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ALDS Game 4: Yankees at Tigers

Oct 5, 2011, 12:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Derek Jeter, who struck out to end last night's game, has struggled in the clutch.

This would be the scenario the Yankees never wanted to face: A do-or-die game with A.J. Burnett on the mound. The A.J. Burnett who owns a 5.26 ERA over the last two seasons in New York. The A.J. Burnett who led all of baseball with 25 wild pitches this year. (And you thought Henry Rodriguez struggled with command.)

But here's the thing: Even if Burnett twirls a gem tonight in Game 4 of the ALDS, the Yankees still need their big boppers to start producing at the plate. That hasn't been the case so far in this series. Alex Rodriguez is 0-for-10. Mark Teixeira is 1-for-11. Even Derek Jeter (despite four hits overall) has been abysmal in clutch situations; with runners in scoring position, he's 0-for-5 with four strikeouts (including the final out of last night's game).

Detroit's pitching, of course, has had something to do with all that. And tonight the Tigers send another good young right-hander to the mound in Rick Porcello. The 22-year-old didn't have a great season (14-9, 4.75 ERA) but he posted five consecutive quality starts in September. One more tonight could send Detroit to the ALCS…

AL DIVISION SERIES – GAME 4
NEW YORK YANKEES at DETROIT TIGERS
Where: Comerica Park
Gametime: 8:37 p.m.
TV: TBS
Radio: WTEM (980 AM), WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), XM 89
Weather: Clear, 63 degrees, Wind 3 mph out to LF

STARTING LINEUPS
YANKEES
SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
2B Robinson Cano
3B Alex Rodriguez
1B Mark Teixeira

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  1. Eugene in Oregon - Oct 5, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    Free advice to the Yankees: Gardner should be leading off.

  2. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    Can't anybody here (and for whom I am rooting) play this game? Let's go, Tigers!

  3. baseballswami - Oct 5, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    I know this has nothing to do with this game, but… I heard on tv today that only 2 teams have winning records against the Phillies this season – The Cardinals and — ta-da! the Washington Nationals!!!

  4. BinM - Oct 5, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    Here we go Tigers, Here we go!!

  5. BinM - Oct 5, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    Crap – A huge opportunity missed (bases loaded, 2 out in 1st) for the Tigers. Let's see how Porcello navigates the Yankees 'dead zone' (ARod/Tex/Swisher) in the 2nd.

  6. John C. - Oct 5, 2011 at 1:16 AM

    Let's go, Yankees! :)

  7. John C. - Oct 5, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    El Capitan!

  8. John C. - Oct 5, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    Watching A.J. Burnett pitch is like watching Rex Grossman play QB. Even when they are playing well, you find yourself kind of holding your breath …

  9. Eugene in Oregon - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:22 AM

    When Montero got his RBI single I left, walked to store for milk, got it, walked home, put the milk away, chatted with my daughter, and now discovery that THE INNING IS STILL GOING ON?!? Wow.

  10. John C. - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    You never want to say the game is over, but suffice it to say that Valverde's crystal ball doesn't seem to be any better than Jimmy Rollins's was in 2009 …

  11. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    D'oh!

  12. natsfan1a - Oct 5, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    (the sequel)

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