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.
Radio: WTEM (980 AM), WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), XM 89
Weather: Clear, 63 degrees, Wind 3 mph out to LF
SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
2B Robinson Cano
3B Alex Rodriguez
1B Mark Teixeira
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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