Facing possible elimination on Tuesday night, the New York Yankees pulled off an extraordinary win against the Detroit Tigers, winning 10-1 and forcing a Game 5 on Thursday. A.J. Burnett got the win, pitching 5 2/3 innings, giving up 4 hits and 1 earned run; Rick Porcello got the loss.
It was announced about five days ago that Burnett was going to get the ball in the fourth game of the series, and ever since then, Yankee fans have been nervous about it. Burnett had a terrible 2011 season, posting an 11-11 record with a 5.15 ERA, and giving up 31 home runs. He was the last pitcher that Yankee fans wanted pitching a possible elimination game. Burnett was shaky in the first, walking a couple and loading the bases but eventually got out of it by a possible game changing catch by center fielder Curtis Granderson. It seems like that catch boosted Burnett’s confidence, as he bared down the rest of the game only giving up one earned run.
“He made a heck of a play. There’s really not much you can do as a hitter. You just go up there and put a good swing on the ball.” Don Kelly said, who hit the liner that Granderson leaped on.
Captain Derek Jeter had this to say about Burnett’s outing, “He pitched huge when we needed him the most. A.J. deserves all the credit. He shut down a tough team over there. He’s the reason we get an opportunity to play on Thursday.”
Rick Porcello was on the other side of the game, who actually pitched very well despite what the numbers show. He breezed through the first two innings but got in to trouble in the top of the third, when Derek Jeter doubled home two runs giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead. After that, the only trouble Porcello got into, came in the top of the fifth when Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson doubled in a run and Alex Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jeter. Porcello had good velocity on his fastball all night and when he was on, he would only need few pitches to get through the inning.
The Tigers offense was 3 hours late for its shift Tuesday, scoring their only run on a solo shot by Tigers DH Victor Martinez.
The Yankees were being the Yankees on Tuesday, hitting where they needed to and eventually going on a tear, scoring 6 runs in the top of the eighth to seal the Detroit coffin. Jeter and Robinson Cano each went 1 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Phenom Jesus Montero, came on in the eighth in a pinch-hit situation and ended up staying in the game and going 2-for-4. Russell Martin and Brett Gardner also went 2 for 4 as the eighth and nine batters.
The series goes back to New York for a Game 5 on Thursday. The Yankees will throw rookie Ivan Nova as the Tigers will hand the ball to Doug Fister. I predict it will be a high scoring game as all hands will be on deck. There will be a lot of free swinging and runs scored.
“It doesn’t surprise me that the series is going five games,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland stated. “That doesn’t surprise me at all.”