October 17th, 2012
No chance from the usual lefty lineup for the Tigers, which in this case is a good thing. Omar Infante is back in the lineup after suffering a right thumb contusion when he made an attempt at that Mark Teixeira single up the middle with two outs in the ninth.
On the Yankees side, Alex Rodriguez is again out, and now so is Curtis Granderson. Brett Gardner replaces him in center, with Ichiro and Nick Swisher on the corners.
- Austin Jackson, CF (6-for-24, HR, 12 K’s against Sabathia)
- Omar Infante, 2B (6-for-29, HR, 10 K’s off Sabathia)
- Miguel Cabrera, 3B (10-for-28, 2 HR, 12 RBIs, 8 BB off Sabathia)
- Prince Fielder, 1B
- Delmon Young, DH (8-for-34, HR, 9 K’s off Sabathia)
- Jhonny Peralta, SS (2-for-20 off Sabathia)
- Andy Dirks, LF
- Avisail Garcia, RF
- Gerald Laird, C (10-for-24 off Sabathia)
P: Max Scherzer
- Ichiro Suzuki, LF
- Nick Swisher, RF (2-for-10, 5 K’s off Scherzer)
- Robinson Cano, 2B (3-for-13, HR, 4 K’s off Scherzer)
- Mark Teixeira, 1B (3-for-17, HR, 4 K’s off Scherzer)
- Raul Ibanez, DH
- Eric Chavez, 3B
- Russell Martin, C (3-for-17, 3 K’s off Scherzer)
- Brett Gardner, CF (0-for-9, 4 K’s off Scherzer)
- Eduardo Nunez, SS
P: CC Sabathia
First, the numbers:
- The Tigers are the fifth team to take a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven ALCS. One team, the 2004 Red Sox, came back to win it. The other previous teams, three of them, won Game 4 and pulled off the sweep.
- Teams with a 3-0 lead in the NLCS are 5-0, with two teams going on to sweep it in four.
- The 23 teams to take a 3-0 lead in the World Series have won it all 23 times.
- This is the first time the Yankees have ever faced a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven ALCS. They were down 3-0 in the World Series in 1922, 1963 and 1976. All three times, they ended up swept in four.
Now, the matchups:
- CC Sabathia heads into his Game 4 start for the Yankees having not taken a loss in a postseason game since the 2009 World Series. Two of his 15 wins this season have come at Comerica Park.
- Sabathia owns the last Yankees victory this postseason, having tossed a complete game four-hitter to beat the Orioles last Thursday at Yankee Stadium for his second win of the AL Division Series.
- He steps in against a Tigers lineup that has struggled mightily against left-handers this season.
- However, Sabathia gave up four runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his start last Division Series in Detroit, walking six Tigers in a wild outing that ended up a no-decision for Sabathia and a 5-4 loss for New York.
- Max Scherzer threw 119 pitches against the Yankees in April in the Bronx without getting out of the fifth inning, because he walked seven batters. However, he pitched 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball in last year’s AL Division Series against the Yankees, and didn’t allow an earned run over 5 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts in his ALDS start in Oakland last Wednesday.
New, the quotes:
- Verlander: “It’s great to be up 30. We have to win one. But against this lineup, against this team, you never know. And I think the rest of the team takes the mentality that I take, that I took into this game, being up 20, people asked me if I was comfortable, and I said no, because you have to treat this as a mustwin. Every game in the postseason is a mustwin. You have to keep momentum on your side. And hopefully we can go out tomorrow and shut this down.”
- Delmon Young: “Being up 30 is a great benefit right now. And we have Scherzer going tomorrow versus Sabathia. But we’re not looking at it as we can clinch tomorrow. We’re just going in there to play a baseball game. If we win, we can punch our tickets to the World Series; if we lose, we have to come back out here Thursday.”
- Alex Avila: “I mean, we’re one win away. It’s obvious. You’re not going to get around that. It’s the mentality of getting one win at a time. That’s what we tried to do the last three games and we’ve been able to come out on top.”
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi: You look at this and it could be a number of different things besides 03 for us. We have gotten good pitches all the way throughout the playoffs, and we will need it again tomorrow if we want to live another day.”