Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thoughts after 3 innings, Tigers, Yankees, Game 2, ALCS

- The Yankees did not get good swings at all on Tigers starter Justin Verlander the first time through the order. At this early stage, it appears like a total mismatch. Yankees starter Phil Hughes is a solid major league starter. He has a good fastball and mixes his pitches well. Still, the gap between Hughes and Verlander is amazingly wide. Before the game, former Tigers star Jack Morris said Verlander is more talented "than 99.99" of the pitchers who have ever taken the mound in the major leagues. He is right.
- I've never seen a hitter with as much raw power played defensively to hit the ball to the opposite field as much as the Yankees are playing Miguel Cabrera toward right. The game plan pitching him in the postseason has been pretty simply: Show Cabrera fastballs inside, then pitch him away. He is a smart hitter, though. He'll eventually make the Yankees pay, especially if they hang a breaking ball inside.
- Eric Chavez has been a poor postseason performer, but come on, how could Yankees manager Joe Giradi not replace Alex Rodriguez in the starting lineup tonight?
- That was a great play by Alex Avila to reach in the standings and catch that foul pop up during the second inning. Catching is not a problem for the Tigers, rather it is a strength. The criticism Avila received this season was misguided. He is solid defensively, and despite a dropoff statistically at the plate from 2011, he has had a number of clutch hits, including a couple this postseason.


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