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 2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS

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PostSubject: 2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS   2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS Icon_minitimeFri Oct 07, 2011 1:11 am

2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS 6302398772_7eecbc6610_o

SERIES W-L RECORD:
BEST 3 OF 5 SERIES

AL Division Series 1: DET BEATS NYY 3 GAMES TO 2

AL Division Series 2: TEX BEATS TB 3 GAMES TO 1
NL Division Series 1: STL BEATS PHI 3 GAMES TO 2
NL Division Series 2: MIL BEATS ARI 3 GAMES TO 2


2011 MLB Postseason Schedule**

** subject to change

Friday September 30, 2011
All times Eastern. Subject to change.

Rays @ Rangers - TEX 0, TB 9 - WP:Moore (1-0), LP:Wilson (0-1)
Tigers @ Yankees - Suspended RAIN


Saturday October 1, 2011
All times Eastern. Subject to change.

D-backs @ Brewers -MIL 4, ARI 1 - LP: Kennedy (0-1) VS WP: Gallardo (1-0)
Cardinals @ Phillies - STL 6, PHI 11 - LP: Lohse (0-1) VS WP: Halladay (1-0)
Rays @ Rangers - TEX 8, TB 6 - LP: LP: Shields (0-1) VS WP: Holland (1-0)
Tigers @ Yankees - DET 3 @ NYY 9 - LP: Fister (0-1) VS WP: Nova (1-0)


Sunday October 2, 2011

All times Eastern. Subject to change.

Tigers @ Yankees - NYY 3, DET 5 - WP: Scherzer (1-0) VS LP: Garcia (0-1)
D-backs @ Brewers - MIL 9, ARI 4 - LP: Hudson (0-1) VS WP: Saito (1-0)
Cardinals @ Phillies - STL 5, PHI 4 - WP: Dotel (1-0) VS LP: Lee (0-1)


Monday October 3, 2011
All times Eastern. Subject to change.

Rangers @ Rays - TEX 4, TB 3 - WP: Lewis (1-0) VS LP: Price (0-1)
Yankees @ Tigers - NYY 4, DET 5 - LP: Soriano (0-1) VS WP: Verlander (1-0)


Tuesday October 4, 2011
All times Eastern. Subject to change.

Brewers @ D-backs - MIL 1, ARI 8 - LP: Marcum (0-1) VS WP: Collmenter (1-0)
Yankees @ Tigers - NYY 10, DET 1 - WP: Burnett (1-0) VS LP: Porcello (0-1)
Phillies @ Cardinals - STL 2, PHI 3 - WP: Hamels (1-0) VS LP: Garcia (0-1)
Rangers @ Rays - TEX 4, TB 3 - WP: Harrison (1-0) VS LP: Hellickson (0-1)


Wednesday October 5, 2011
All times Eastern. Subject to change.

Brewers @ D-backs - MIL 6, ARI 10 - LP: Wolf (0-1) VS WP: Owings (1-0)
Phillies @ Cardinals - STL 5, PHI 3 - LP: Oswalt (0-1) VS WP: Jackson (1-0)


Thursday October 6, 2011
All times Eastern. Subject to change.

Tigers @ Yankees - NYY 2, DET 3 - WP: Fister (1-1) VS LP: Nova (1-1)


Friday October 7, 2011
All times Eastern. Subject to change.

D-backs @ Brewers - MIL 3, ARI 2 F/10 - LP: Putz (0-1) VS WP: Axford (1-0)
Cardinals @ Phillies - STL 1, PHI 0 - WP: Carpenter (1-0) VS LP: Halladay (1-1)


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LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

American League Championship Series
TEX WINS series 4 - 2

Game 1 - Sat, Oct. 8 -DET 2 @ TEX 3 (LP: VERLANDER)
GAME POSTPONED - Sun, Oct 9 - RAIN
Game 2 - Mon, Oct 10 - DET 3 @ TEX 7 F/11 (LP: PERRY)
Game 3 - Tues, Oct 11 - TEX 2 @ DET 5 (WP: FISTER, SV: VALVERDE)
Game 4 - Wed, Oct 12 - TEX 7 @ DET 3 F/11 (LP: VALVERDE)
Game 5* - Thurs, Oct 13 - TEX 5 @ DET 7 (WP: VERLANDER, SV: COKE)
OFFDAY - Fri, Oct 14
Game 6* - Sat, Oct 15 - DET 5 @ TEX 15 (LP: Scherzer)



National League Championship Series
STL WINS SERIES 4-2

Game 1 - Sun, Oct 9 - STL 6 @ MIL 9
Game 2 - Mon, Oct 10 - STL 12 @ MIL 3
OFFDAY - Tues, Oct 11
Game 3 - Wed, Oct 12 - MIL 3 @ STL 4
Game 4 - Thurs, Oct 13 - MIL 4 @ STL 2
Game 5* - Fri, Oct 14 - MIL 1 @ STL 7
OFF DAY - Sat, Oct 15
Game 6* - Sun, Oct 16 - STL 12 @ MIL 6



2011 MLB Postseason Schedule**


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson


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World Series
STL CARDS WIN WS 4 GAMES TO 3

Series - Date - Match-Up - Network Air Time (ET)
Game 1 - Wed, Oct 19 - TEX 2 @ STL 3
Game 2 - Thurs, Oct 20 - TEX 2 @ STL 1
OFF DAY
Game 3 - Sat, Oct 22 - STL 16 @ TEX 7
Game 4 - Sun, Oct 23 - STL 0 @ TEX 4
Game 5* - Mon, Oct 24 - STL 2 @ TEX 4
OFF DAY
Game 6* - Wed, Oct 26 - TEX at STL - Postponed Rain
Game 6* - Wed, Oct 27 - TEX 9 @ STL 10 F/11
Game 7* - Thurs, Oct 28 - TEX 2 @ STL 6


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson


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RESERVED


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS   2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS Icon_minitimeFri Oct 07, 2011 1:44 am

Rain suspends ALDS opener in Bronx
Game 1 tickets honored Saturday; Game 2 tickets good Sunday
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com | 09/30/11 10:45 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Tigers and Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Friday night was suspended because of rain and will resume on Saturday at 8:37 p.m. ET in the bottom of the second inning with the score tied at 1.

Game 2, weather permitting, has been rescheduled from Saturday night to Sunday at 3:07 p.m. Ivan Nova -- originally scheduled to pitch Game 2 -- will be on the hill for the Yankees when Game 1 resumes, and Doug Fister will pitch for the Tigers. New York will start Freddy Garcia in Sunday's Game 2, and Detroit will counter with Max Scherzer. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after the game was suspended that Justin Verlander -- who started Friday's game -- will pitch Game 3 on Monday in Detroit.

Tickets for Game 1 can only be used on Saturday, while tickets for Game 2 can only be used for Sunday's game. There are no refunds or exchanges for tickets to either of these games.

The game was suspended at 10:24 p.m. ET after a delay of one hour and 17 minutes. It began pouring in the top of the second as Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia set the side down in order, whiffing Alex Avila and Ryan Raburn to end the inning.

"On the fair side, both clubs have to deal with the same issues," said Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations.

The weather report is not good for Saturday, either, Torre was told.

"If that's the case, we're going to have to look at Sunday in a different way," Torre said.

The Tigers scored in the top of the first on Delmon Young's two-out homer. And against Verlander in the bottom of the first, the Yankees tied the score on a groundout by Alex Rodriguez.

Once Sabathia struck out Ryan Raburn for the third out, the Yankee Stadium grounds crew began to jog out of the dugout to begin some cleanup work on the infield in the middle of the inning. They stopped when crew chief Gerry Davis and the rest of the umpires gathered on the pitching mound with Yankees head groundskeeper Dan Cunningham.

Davis stopped the game at 9:07 p.m., as Verlander stood at the top of the visitors' dugout steps.

The game was suspended based on a rule change after the 2009 World Series. Game 5 between the Rays and Phillies at Philadelphia was stopped amid a downpour after the top of the sixth with the score tied at 2. Commissioner Bud Selig suspended the game, and it concluded two days later with the Phillies winning, 4-3, to lock up their second World Series title.

That rule was memorialized for all postseason games only a few months later.

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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Fister's gem, Tigers' chances unravel in sixth
Tight ALDS Game 1 becomes Yankees' rout in six-run inning

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/2/2011 1:15 AM ET

BOX>

NEW YORK -- For a brief while, America got its Tigers-Yankees pitching duel after all. Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia just weren't involved in it.

The duel, however, didn't last long enough for Detroit. By the time Robinson Cano's sixth-inning grand slam powered the Yankees out of the Tigers' reach for a 9-3 Detroit loss in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, Doug Fister's gem was statistically a distant memory. Yet it was a game that seemed tantalizingly close for the Tigers to take for the first five innings.

They can look at their 2006 Division Series and an opening thumping from the Yankees as an example that Game 1 doesn't determine everything. The Tigers won seven straight after that to reach the World Series. But just four Tigers on this roster were part of that team. They'll take more solace in how close this game was.

It was close enough that Alex Avila thought a hesitation at second base might have cost him the extra step that might have gotten him home with the go-ahead run. It was also close enough that he felt two pitches turned it after that.

"We made two mistakes in the game: The breaking ball, the hanger, to [Brett] Gardner [for a two-run single], and the hanger to Cano [for the grand slam]," Avila said. "That was the ballgame right there."

The hit from Gardner, manager Jim Leyland felt, was the one mistake Fister made. The swing that followed left the pitcher with his first loss since Aug. 14, and more earned runs than he suffered in his eight games since then.

Nearly 24 hours after Verlander and Sabathia threw their final pitches in Game 1, Fister and Ivan Nova literally picked up where they left off and mowed down opposing hitters. But once Cano's RBI double off the top of the left-field fence pulled New York ahead, the spell Fister had on the Bronx Bombers appeared to vanish. So did the chances Detroit had to pull ahead and steal a game on the road.

"Alex and I were trying to keep them off-balance," Fister said. "They just kept attacking. We tried doing our best to mix them up and put the balls in the right location. I missed my location on a few of them, and obviously they made me pay."

Fister denied the Yankees a chance in his first inning -- the game's second -- once the game resumed from Friday night's rain-forced suspension, stranding runners at second and third with back-to-back strikeouts of Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson. From there, he found his rhythm on a cool New York night: 11 consecutive outs, five on swinging strikeouts, and only one ball hit out of the infield.

Fister had a fastball that was darting in on right-handed hitters and off the corner on lefties, and he threw it time and again early.

"I wouldn't necessarily say we got to him," Jeter said. "He was outstanding. I don't think he threw any balls over the middle of the plate, with the exception of Robbie [Cano's RBI double]. We really didn't hit too many balls hard. I wouldn't necessarily say we had success against him. We were fortunate."

Nova, whom the Tigers didn't see in either of their two regular-season series with the Yankees, did his best to match Fister, retiring the first seven Tigers he faced and fulfilling Leyland's fear that their unfamiliarity with the rookie right-hander would hamper them. Once Avila drew a one-out walk in the fifth, though, Detroit nearly broke through with back-to-back singles from Ryan Raburn and Jhonny Peralta.

Once Raburn sent his line drive through the middle, third-base coach Gene Lamont sent Avila home, challenging former Tigers center fielder Granderson to make a play. Jeter's pivot and catcher Russell Martin's tag provided the play the Yankees needed.

"Knowing that Granderson's a good outfielder, but he doesn't have the best of arms, knowing a lot of times if you get a good jump you can score on base hits to center -- if I would've probably gone right off the bat, I probably would've made it without a play," Avila said. "But having hesitated a little bit to make sure he didn't catch it, it made it a lot closer. Then Jeter relayed it and made a perfect throw."

Said Miguel Cabrera: "That was the difference in the game. If we score that run, we go into the lead right there, but they made some plays."

Granderson's one-out single in the bottom of the inning ended Fister's streak at 11 straight outs. Starting with him, seven of Fister's final 10 batters reached base safely. Cano was the next, barely missing a home run with his shot off the top of the fence. Granderson was the last, working out of an 0-2 hole to draw a walk that loaded the bases following Gardner's two-run single and Jeter's hit-and-run grounder through an open right side while Raburn covered second.

"I thought he pitched very, very well," Leyland said. "The numbers won't look like that, obviously."

At that point, Fister had a 4-1 deficit, but the bases-loaded jam. Leyland turned to his high-strikeout rookie, Al Alburquerque, to face Cano. Alburquerque had allowed just three of 31 inherited runners to score in the regular season, and he hadn't allowed a home run in his 43 1/3-inning Major League career.

Once the reliever's 0-1 slider hung on the inner half of the plate, Cano matched that total.

"Normally, it goes straight down," Avila said of the slider. "That one didn't really do anything. Tough spot for him to come in, but he's got the stuff to be able to get guys out there, and he will. It's part of the game."

By then, the momentum had swung. Austin Jackson led off the top of the inning with a walk out of an 0-2 count, but he was helpless on a hit-and-run play after Magglio Ordonez's sharp grounder went straight to Cano to start a double play. Nick Swisher made a sliding catch for an inning-ending out on Delmon Young, whose first-inning home run Friday night before the rain stood as Detroit's lone run until a two-run ninth.

"We played hard," Raburn said. "We battled. Just a matter of a couple hits that got them rolling. Just got too big a lead and we just couldn't battle back."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS 6205223801_07fa36859d_z

Max effort: Tigers tie up ALDS

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/2/2011 11:00 PM ET

BOX>

NEW YORK -- Tigers fans spent the regular season wondering which pitcher was the real Max Scherzer. His first postseason start, the biggest outing of his career, provided a pretty good answer.

He also provided a tied AL Division Series heading back to Detroit, where Justin Verlander will have an electric atmosphere at Comerica Park surrounding him and a pitching duel with CC Sabathia in front of him. The matchup that was meant to open the best-of-five series will now essentially start off a best-of-three.


It took a pitching gem from the Tigers' No. 3 starter, and an escape from their perfect closer, amidst a deafening crowd at Yankee Stadium to get them there.

"You never know what's going to happen," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Scherzer. "Big stage, and he was terrific."


Going into the series, Verlander was the Tigers hurler who had fans and media wondering if he had a bit of postseason greatness in him, a chance for a no-hit bid to open the postseason like Roy Halladay did last October. Scherzer had the talent, but not the consistency. For 5 1/3 innings, he had the outs.

This was the Scherzer fans remembered from his shutdown summer of 2010. It's the Scherzer his teammates knew he had in him.


"I expected him to be," catcher Alex Avila said, "because he's good. I'll be completely honest with you, 15 wins is pretty good in the American League.

"A lot of people talk about his inconsistencies because of his stuff, like what he showed today, but he's got the potential to be doing what the elite pitchers in the league are doing. I think that's why we always expect that. I think that's why he always expects it in himself. And when he has outings like this, it doesn't surprise us."

Whether it surprised the Yankees is debatable, but it kept them off guard. A pair of fly balls that cleared the short fence in right field frustrated Scherzer at Yankee Stadium in early April, though an offensive barrage that afternoon earned him the win anyway. This time, he turned the tables, though it looked eerily reminiscent at the start.

He threw seven straight balls that saddled him with back-to-back two-out walks and a 3-0 count to Mark Teixeira, who homered off Scherzer in that April game. Scherzer escaped the first inning with a popout to second and rolled off 11 consecutive outs.

It was a power-pitching form the Tigers saw in Scherzer when they acquired him from Arizona in the trade that sent Curtis Granderson to New York. With a fastball that topped out at 98, five miles above his regular-season average, his changeup became a dangerous swing-and-miss pitch.

"He was really good, the best I've ever seen him," Teixeira said. "Great fastball, his changeup was really, really good, and the numbers don't lie. He just dominated us."

The key, Scherzer said, was taking the ballpark out of his mind.

"You can't really focus on the ballpark per se," he said. "I was more focused on the quality of their hitters, and making sure I was executing pitches throughout the night -- even when I was behind in the count, never giving in in a situation where it could cost me."

All the while, Scherzer had a lead to protect courtesy of Cabrera, whose first swing off old friend and fellow Venezuelan Freddy Garcia cleared the short right-field fence for his fifth postseason home run, a two-run shot, in the opening inning. His liner up the middle in the sixth was the first of back-to-back RBI singles -- the other from Victor Martinez -- to double the lead to 4-0 and knock Garcia out of the game.

"We needed run support," Cabrera said. "We needed to score early in the game to give breathing room to our starting pitcher."

Not until Robinson Cano flared a bloop single just out of Delmon Young's reach in short left field did the Yankees have a hit, a one-out single in the sixth. Scherzer stayed in until a leadoff walk and a Jorge Posada single chased him in the seventh.

Joaquin Benoit ended the threat there, spotting a changeup on the outside corner to strike out Derek Jeter and strand both runners, before Granderson's leadoff homer in the eighth broke up the shutout. Once Don Kelly singled in another run in the ninth, the Tigers had their four-run lead back.

They needed all of it once the Yankees awakened against Jose Valverde. He went perfect in save situations all year, and he didn't have a save chance this time, coming on to start the ninth with the four-run lead. By the time he stared down Cano with two outs and the tying run on base, he couldn't tell the difference.

It fell apart in a hurry, a first-pitch home run from Nick Swisher and a triple from Posada. Once Russell Martin walked, New York had the tying run at the plate and its crowd roaring. Once Avila slipped on the on-deck circle trying to chase down Granderson's popup for the potential third out, the Yankees seemingly had fate. Granderson walked to bring the winning run to the plate in the form of Cano.

"You know, it was a little hard, I think," Valverde said. "That's what happens sometimes. Nothing you can do. You do the most you can. I throw my pitches, my split-finger, my sinker and my fastball. The umpire missed a couple pitches. I think I missed a couple, too."

At the moment he needed to, he made it, mixing in a splitter with a slew of sinkers to get a ground ball from Cano. He officially made a winner out of Scherzer, whose performance seemingly hours earlier gave them the chance, and gave Verlander the momentum to go with the ball.

"We did OK," Leyland said. "If you make pitches, you have a chance."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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Gutsy Verlander puts Tigers a win from ALCS
Ace fans 11 Yankees, gets assist from Young's go-ahead blast

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/4/2011 3:30 AM ET

BOX>

DETROIT -- Arguably nobody in baseball takes over a game like Justin Verlander. In the biggest outing of his career, he took it back. An old foe gave him that chance.

This was the showdown that was supposed to set the tone for this American League Division Series. Four days and way too many rain showers later, Verlander didn't so much outpitch CC Sabathia as he outlasted him. And after eight innings from the potential AL MVP and a Delmon Young go-ahead homer in a 5-4 victory, the Tigers are a win away from taking this AL Division Series.

It was a display of domination from Verlander, who fired one triple-digit fastball after another while dropping in curveballs on the corners. But for one of the rare times this season, it was a show of redemption, and why this MVP candidate counts on a team behind him.

"I lost my rhythm for three batters," Verlander said, "and all of a sudden, you look up and it's a tie game. But this team has a never-say-die attitude. We did what we've done all year, which is either come from behind or have a big hit when we need it."

It's the team with a never-say-die attitude. It's Verlander's job to get the other team to say die, so to speak. With 24 wins and a pitching Triple Crown on his resume, he has the stats to create that sense. And after his second set of opening-inning struggles in four days, he eventually got the lead with help from two RBIs from Ramon Santiago.

It became another show for a sellout crowd of 43,581, until the final act got twisted a little bit looking for the perfect ending.

Starting in the third inning, Verlander retired 13 of 15 batters, seven by strikeout, four on called third strikes. He dropped a curveball on Nick Swisher to end the fourth inning, and it sparked a flurry of them. Brett Gardner saw a 98-mph fastball, then an 84-mph bender to finish off a 10-pitch fifth that might rank among the best postseason innings for a pitcher in a long time.

Once Curtis Granderson came up in the sixth, Verlander pulled a reverse, just missing with a curve out of the strike zone before pumping a 99-mph heater past him on his way to stranding Derek Jeter after a leadoff single.

Sabathia had escaped the early innings with double plays, but lasted just 5 1/3 innings. Once Verlander took the mound for the seventh with a 4-2 lead, he had seemingly won the battle, striking out Mark Teixeira and getting a first-pitch foul out from Swisher. He had an 0-2 count on Jorge Posada and the crowd on its feet when he tried for one more called strike, then another, then another.

"After two strikes," catcher Alex Avila said, "I think he kind of smelled it and realized, 'OK, we've got this,' and maybe overthrew a little bit. It just kind of created a jam there. And it happens."

Verlander tried four times to spot the strike -- two curveballs, a 101-mph fastball and a changeup. None of them worked, putting Posada on. Two pitches later, Russell Martin took a 100-mph fastball off his ribs to put the tying run on base. Verlander fell behind on a 3-0 count to Gardner, then ran the count back full.

With a payoff pitch coming, Verlander hit triple digits again. Gardner slashed it into the gap in left-center field, sending both runners around to score and sending Comerica Park into silence.

"That was an unbelievable at-bat," Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said. "You have to tip your hat on that one. He battled and battled and against perhaps the best in the league right now. It was Verlander's best against Gardner's best. You just tip your hat to him on that one. It was a great, great at-bat."

It's tough for Verlander to get into hat-tipping mode.

"That's why that team is so dangerous," Verlander said. "Top to bottom, anybody can hurt you."

Verlander kept the Yankees from pulling ahead by getting Jeter to chase an offspeed pitch in the dirt. He had to count on his offense to take care of the rest. A first-pitch swing from Young in the bottom of the inning did it.

When he came over from Minnesota, one of the first things he said was how glad he was not to have to face Verlander anymore. To support him in a game this big with an opposite-field homer was an entirely different feeling.

"I was just going up there, trying to get a good pitch to hit," Young said. "We needed desperately to get a run, because playing a tie ballgame with the Yankees late in the game is never fun. There's some type of spark and magic that they have late in ballgames."


Young saw enough of that in Minnesota with two straight Division Series sweeps. By taking Rafael Soriano deep for his second home run of the series, he got to feel the other side of that. He also became the first Tiger since Granderson to homer twice in a Division Series.

Verlander went to 120 pitches, including five straight triple-digit fastballs to Alex Rodriguez, to carry the lead to the ninth. His 11 strikeouts were the most by a Tigers pitcher in the postseason since Joe Coleman in the 1972 ALCS. His 15 pitches at 100 mph or better is believed to be a career high.

Jose Valverde backed up his confidence from Sunday night for his first postseason save since 2007. And the Tigers turned the matchup of the series into a swing game that saw momentum swung against, then for their ace.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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Former teammate burns Tigers in Game 4
Martinez homers, but Detroit loses chance to close out ALDS

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/5/2011 12:07 AM ET

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DETROIT -- So much for the comparisons between this American League Division Series and 2006, now that the 2011 ALDS will go to a deciding fifth game at Yankee Stadium after Tuesday's 10-1 Tigers loss.

So much, too, for the thought that Detroit had New York in an untenable position, with A.J. Burnett starting a must-win game.

Though the Tigers have shown a talent for hitting top pitchers since around midseason, they've also had a challenge facing the effectively wild. Burnett became the picture that goes with the definition on Tuesday, when he held the Tigers to Victor Martinez's solo homer among four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He stranded four walks in the process, three in an opening inning that left the Tigers lamenting one of Curtis Granderson's two great catches.

"I thought we hit some balls pretty decently," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "[Burnett] wasn't real sharp early. We had our shot. In the first inning, we may have been able to turn the game around."

Three walks among Detroit's first five batters, one of them an intentional pass to Burnett's former Marlins teammate Miguel Cabrera, had a sellout crowd at Comerica Park on its feet for a chance to break the game open. Don Kelly, who earned his first start of the series as an injection of speed and baserunning against Burnett, centered a solid liner towards center field and his ex-teammate Granderson.

When Granderson was an All-Star center fielder in Detroit, his one fielding shortcoming was reading line drives hit directly at him. Kelly's shot also seemed to freeze Granderson for a split-second -- enough that he had to make a rapid retreat to give himself a chance. He made a leaping grab at the last second to take away what likely would have been three Tigers runs and an early lead for Rick Porcello.

"It looked like it might get over his head," Leyland said. "If it would have gotten over his head, and he had fallen down, it might have been an inside-the-park home run. That was a huge out right off the bat."

It was the kind that brought Tigers fans to their feet when Granderson was wearing the old English "D." This time, he broke their hearts. He did it again on a diving catch in left-center field to retire Jhonny Peralta and preserve what was then a 4-1 Yankee lead after Burnett left in the sixth.

Porcello, a New Jersey native and the son of Yankees fans, did his best to keep pace, retiring the first six Yankees he faced, but he hit Jorge Posada and allowed a single through the middle by Russell Martin set up New York's initial runs in the third. Derek Jeter's two-run double put the Bombers ahead before Granderson's RBI double put them in command.

"I thought Porcello really threw the ball well," Leyland said. "He made a bad pitch to Derek on the double. The ball had good life. He actually pitched well, to hold that team down like he did."

A six-run eighth inning put the game out of reach, sending the fans home and sending the Tigers on their way to New York on Wednesday, preparing for a Thursday night battle in the Bronx that will decide who advances to the AL Championship Series.

"It doesn't surprise me that the series is going five games," Leyland said. "That doesn't surprise me at all. Hopefully, that suit I bought three or four days ago will be fixed now. I can pick it up when I go back."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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Tigers take Game 5 from Yanks, head to ALCS
V-Mart drives in go-ahead run in fifth, bullpen makes it stand

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/7/2011 1:51 AM ET

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NEW YORK -- The Tigers escaped the Bronx in the wee hours Friday morning and flew to Texas for the American League Championship Series. It's difficult to imagine any amount of turbulence on their way down could match what they faced at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.

For the first time since the 1968 World Series, the Tigers won a winner-takes-all game in a postseason series. The way they held on for a 3-2 win over the Yankees, it took every heart-pounding out, every stress-inducing pitch to get there.

Don Kelly took the abuse from the Bronx Zoo in the outfield bleachers, but he silenced them with a first-inning home run as part of back-to-back Tigers shots. Kelly broke their hearts at the right-field fence when he caught Derek Jeter's eighth-inning drive that nearly pulled New York ahead.

"Oh, boy," Kelly groaned when asked later what he was thinking while he was backpedaling. "We've seen him do it a thousand times, go the other way and use that short porch. I couldn't tell how well he hit it."

Joaquin Benoit had bases loaded around him and the largest crowd in new Yankee Stadium history on top of him, yet he struck out Nick Swisher to work his way out of the jam and preserve the lead.

Benoit described the deafening sound of the playoff crowd with two words: "Yankee Stadium."

"Everybody's loud, and I think the adrenaline rush is amazing," Benoit said. "I think this is the best I've felt all year. It was a great win for us."

Finally, Jose Valverde bounced out of the bullpen and into the sights of Yankee fans, who made him a target of their pent-up angst after he declared the Division Series over following Game 2 here last Sunday. Once Valverde set down the heart of the Yankees' lineup in order, capped with a strikeout of Alex Rodriguez for the first 1-2-3 inning since the opening one, the game was truly over.

"It's not easy," Valverde said, "but what I do today is for all my family, all my friends and God, too, for all the energy to be on the mound to do what I had to do. It's great today. "

When asked if he had any predictions for the ALCS, Valverde laughed.

"Not yet," he said. "Not yet."

Tigers fans who remember the AL Central tiebreaker loss in Minnesota two years ago kept waiting for the Yankees to rally. Detroit held off New York's late charge and celebrated on the field at Yankee Stadium.

"The Yankees are so good that I would be lying if I said it didn't give me a little extra satisfaction to be able to do it here in the fifth game," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I don't mean that disrespectfully, I mean that respectfully. ... I was just talking to [general manager] Dave Dombrowski -- other than the American League pennant and the World Series, this will be a game I'll remember for the rest of my life."

He won't be the only one.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi went to his bullpen early and often after rookie starter Ivan Nova gave up first-inning homers to Kelly and Delmon Young and escaped a jam in the second, but Leyland stuck with starter Doug Fister through five innings and 92 pitches. New York had burned through four pitchers by the time Fister got a pat on the back and Leyland made a call to his bullpen for Max Scherzer to start the bottom of the sixth.

Five days after taking the loss in the series opener, Fister allowed baserunners in all but the first inning, including a bases-loaded jam with one out in the fourth, but he shut down the Bronx Bombers until Robinson Cano lined a mistake into the right-field seats for a fifth-inning solo shot.

The Tigers were hoping to add on runs to give their pitching some room for error against a Yankees lineup with seemingly too much balance to shut down. Austin Jackson aggressively took second base after leading off the fifth with a hit, and Victor Martinez scored him with a clutch two-out RBI single, but that was it. In the end, Martinez's RBI stood as the difference in the game as Benoit stared at his jam in the seventh.

Asked if he thought the Tigers could win with three runs, Kelly smiled.

"No," he said. "Our pitchers did an insane job."

It was on them. Somehow, they took it.

Scherzer, who was making his first relief appearance since his rookie season in 2008, retired the side in the sixth, but Jeter reached with a perfectly placed ground ball in the seventh. Leyland went to his bullpen to summon Benoit.

Former Tigers star Curtis Granderson greeted Benoit with a lined single, then Benoit couldn't field Cano's dribbler to the third-base side of the mound.

With the bases loaded, Benoit struck out Rodriguez for the second out, but he lost Mark Teixeira to a one-out walk that plated Jeter and put Granderson on third as the potential tying run. Benoit finished the frame by striking out Swisher.

"I needed to do something to get out of it," Benoit said. "I went to my best pitch. The fastball is my best pitch. It's what was working."

Benoit recovered to get through the eighth, inducing by Jeter's fly ball that sent Kelly to the foot of the short fence in right field before he corralled the third out with Brett Gardner running.

"That was unbelievable," Kelly said. "Doug did a great job. Max comes in, and it was a gusty win, especially with all the opportunities they had with the bases loaded a couple of times. Their lineup is unbelievable. Just being able to hold them to two runs, they did an outstanding job."

That set up Valverde, whose 51st save in as many chances this season was remarkably peaceful, but it was still his biggest of the year.

Valverde could have had his biggest post-save celebration yet, but his teammates didn't give him a chance, nearly tackling him on the first-base side of the mound.

"We had the guy that we wanted to beat," Swisher said. "All that talking he's been doing, man -- as much as I don't want to say it, I do have to say, 'Congratulations.' Those guys pitched extremely well this series, especially against a potent lineup like ours."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS   2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS Icon_minitimeSun Oct 09, 2011 2:53 am

Tigers can't find rhythm in soggy ALCS opener
Two delays chase Verlander, soak Detroit's rally in fifth inning

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/9/2011 3:03 AM ET

BOX>

ARLINGTON -- Justin Verlander looked at Alex Avila in the Tigers' dugout and smiled as the raindrops fell. Considering he was in the same spot eight days earlier, there wasn't much else Verlander could do.

"I saw him smile at me like, 'I can't believe this,'" Avila said after the Tigers' 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Saturday night to open the American League Championship Series. "I mean, it hasn't rained here in 160-something days and it picked today to rain? But, I mean, you can't control that."

For the second time this postseason, the rain chased Verlander from the opener of a series, a game the Tigers eventually lost. Unlike last Friday at Yankee Stadium, the hitters got in their licks, as well.

When it rains, it pours. When the rain finally stopped, it didn't feel much better, not for the Tigers.

"Quite frustrating," Verlander said. "I really felt as a team, we were starting to get into a rhythm there. We were starting to swing the bats better, and it just killed the momentum. Obviously, that was a tough situation, but that's what you've got to do."

Verlander wasn't the great equalizer for the Tigers in this series, but he was the guy to set the course. When manager Jim Leyland got through Game 5 of the AL Division Series win over the Yankees without using his ace, he set up Verlander for two starts in the ALCS, beginning here.

Verlander wasn't terrible, and he wasn't dominant. Realistically, he didn't pitch long enough to make a great determination either way, thanks to one hour, 50 minutes of rain delays in the top of the fifth inning. But the way the Tigers struggled to convert runners in scoring position, it was going to take a dominant outing to keep them in the game.

David Murphy's RBI triple and run in the second inning and Nelson Cruz's 392-foot drive to left field in the fourth put Texas in command, while Verlander was battling command issues with his upper-90s fastball.

The first rain delay actually came at the right time for Verlander, giving him a chance to head underneath the stands and work out his mechanics.

"His control was not very good," Leyland said. "He didn't have his curveball going for strikes. He had a tough time with it, I think probably trying to overthrow it a little bit."

Not many pitchers can correct that indoors. But add that to Verlander's list.

"Just a little flaw in my mechanics that I worked on in there," Verlander said. "I threw like seven or eight perfect pitches in a row, and I was excited to go out there. But I didn't have the opportunity."

Still, the Tigers had the opportunity to get the lead coming out of the first delay. It was their second situation with the bases loaded and one out. It ended up with a similar result.

Texas lefty C.J. Wilson stranded five Detroit baserunners over the first two innings, including the bases loaded in the first on a Magglio Ordonez double play, but Ramon Santiago's leadoff double in the fifth gave the Tigers one more chance. Though Wilson induced a Brandon Inge groundout in his first pitch out of the first delay, he fell behind the next three hitters and paid with an Austin Jackson RBI double, back-to-back walks over nine pitches and a wild pitch that scored Jackson on an 0-2 delivery to Victor Martinez.

With the tying run on third and go-ahead run on second, Wilson recovered for a Martinez comebacker, then intentionally walked Ordonez to set up a lefty-on-lefty confrontation with Avila. Mother Nature had other plans.

"If C.J. would have got out of that fifth inning in good fashion, I probably would have him back out there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "But the way it worked out, he had certainly exhausted all of his pitches once the second rain delay came, and we just brought in [Mike] Gonzalez."

The Tigers knew the plan as soon as they saw Alexi Ogando warming alongside Gonzalez in the Rangers bullpen after the tarp came off. Considering Ogando's 3-0 record and 1.29 ERA against the Tigers in three starts earlier this year, they knew they probably had to get their runs off Gonzalez.

All the while, Avila was waiting. He said he was sitting in the dugout, reading a magazine, not thinking about the pitcher.

"I mean, honestly, it really doesn't affect me," he said. "I knew there was going to be a left-hander in there, whether it was going to be him or [a reliever]. I didn't think they were going to bring back Wilson after the second rain delay but, you know, it's the same situation."

Gonzalez induced an Avila grounder on the second pitch of the confrontation. The Tigers stranded nine runners for the night, and they went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. None reached there against the Rangers bullpen, starting with two hitless innings and three strikeouts from Ogando.

"Same thing," Miguel Cabrera said. "He's strong."

Now, the Tigers are looking to set their course for the rest of the series. They have to figure out when Verlander can start again, whether it's Game 5 as originally planned or Game 4 in place of Rick Porcello, who tossed two scoreless innings after the rain.

Until then, it's up to Max Scherzer in Game 2 and Doug Fister in Game 3 to try to help the Tigers rebound after a Verlander loss. They bounced back in the last round quite nicely, but they had Verlander coming back to pitch Game 3 in that set.

"Everybody says, 'Well, if Verlander didn't get the win, this team is beat.' That's not the case, not the case whatsoever," Verlander said. "Guys behind me are going to come in and show everybody what they've got."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
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Members of the grounds crew at The Ballpark wrangle with the tarp over the pitching mound in ALCS Game 1. (Getty Images)

Fifth inning of ALCS opener twice delayed
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com | 10/08/11 11:46 PM ET

ARLINGTON -- Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday was twice delayed in the top of the fifth inning, the second coming with the Rangers holding a 3-2 lead over the Tigers.

Play was initially halted at 9:42 p.m. ET after a leadoff double by Ramon Santiago against Rangers starter C.J. Wilson. It resumed after a delay of 41 minutes, and the Tigers had enough time to score on Austin Jackson's double and a wild pitch. But with two outs and the bases loaded, the pace of the downpour quickened, and play was once again stopped, this time at 10:36 p.m. Alex Avila was about to hit after an intentional walk to Magglio Ordonez.

Play once again resumed after a one-hour, nine-minute delay. Mike Gonzalez took over for Wilson to face Avila. Don Kelly took over as a pinch-runner at first base for Ordonez.

The Rangers took a 2-0 in the second inning against Tigers starter Justin Verlander when David Murphy hit a one-out triple that brought home Mike Napoli. He scored on a two-out single by Ian Kinsler.

Nelson Cruz made it 3-0 in the fourth with a home run off Verlander. It was his first of the postseason but his seventh playoff home run going back to last year. That's a new club record, passing Juan Gonzalez.

The Rangers had four delays at The Ballpark in the regular season and none after May 24.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS   2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS Icon_minitimeTue Oct 11, 2011 2:04 am

Hoping to tie ALCS, Tigers falter in 11th
Bases left full in top of ninth; Raburn's early homer for naught

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/10/2011 11:50 PM ET

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ARLINGTON -- Miguel Cabrera watched his fly ball carry through the Texas night and stared as it died at the warning track in center field. He knew he got too much air under the ball, but with a runner on and two out in the 11th inning, he was hoping for some extra-inning magic.

He had no such question when Nelson Cruz turned on a Ryan Perry slider in the bottom of the inning. Nobody did. In a game with enough people stranded to make a travel novel -- 19 runners between both clubs -- the Tigers and Rangers provided plenty of suspense until the end. Cruz's walk-off grand slam in the 11th was a no-doubter.

"Today, the ball was not carrying. But for Cruz, the ball was carrying," Cabrera lamented after Detroit's 7-3 loss in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.

As a result, there is little question about what the Tigers have to do when the ALCS reconvenes at Comerica Park on Tuesday night. Win Game 3, and they put a different script on this series with Justin Verlander looming for Game 5. Lose, and they're at risk of being swept out of the postseason.

It isn't a must-win, but it's not far off. At this point, it's more like a must-score situation. So far, that's proving excruciatingly difficult, from Cabrera throughout the heart of the Tigers' lineup.

The Tigers got starter Max Scherzer on a roll through the middle innings, and they got closer Jose Valverde out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam. They didn't get out of a similar jam with Perry. Detroit never got the additional runs it needed to end the game before that.

The Tigers could only go out for out with the Rangers' bullpen for so long.

"We're not hitting," Cabrera said. "I think we have to do a better job with men in scoring position. I think we have to go out there and find a way to do our jobs. Hopefully, we can start tomorrow.

"We have to go out there and be positive. We have to go out there and believe we can do it. And we've got to go out there and believe we can win."

While Ryan Raburn's three-run homer slugged the Tigers to their first lead of the series, it was also their only run-scoring hit. They left five runners on base through the first two innings for the second consecutive night, this time struggling to get a big hit while Rangers left-hander Derek Holland was effectively wild.

After Austin Jackson's leadoff walk and a Ramon Santiago single, Holland didn't allow a ball out of the infield from the middle of the Tigers' order, forcing a popout from a hobbled Delmon Young and groundouts by Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

"The first inning in both games so far, in my opinion, has really come back to haunt us a little bit," manager Jim Leyland said. "We didn't score when we had a great opportunity to both games [this series]. They did score."

When Holland walked the bases loaded with back-to-back two-out free passes, he got a play up the middle by second baseman Ian Kinsler to stop what initially looked like a potential Santiago single through the middle.

Just six times in postseason history has a team drawn four walks in the first two innings without scoring a run. Detroit has done it twice in the last eight days.

The Tigers were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position this series, and 2-for-29 for the postseason, when Raburn homered. Jhonny Peralta's ensuing double gave them a chance to add on until Holland and Scott Feldman got back-to-back groundouts by Alex Avila and Brandon Inge.

Feldman's 4 1/3 innings of one-hit ball stopped it there until the ninth.

"I think he just ate up enough innings where they can use all their situational guys for one batter or one inning and still come out tomorrow and have [Alexi] Ogando available for an inning or two," Young said. "They've still got [Neftali] Feliz. They've still got [Mike] Adams and [Koji] Uehara."

The Tigers saw all but Uehara on Monday, yet they still had a golden chance in the ninth. But their struggles were enough that folks questioned whether Santiago should have at third base on Don Kelly's two-out double with Cabrera and Martinez coming up. Detroit would've gladly let those two hit in the regular season, the league's two top batters with runners in scoring position. Had the ball taken a different carom in foul territory, third-base coach Gene Lamont probably would have sent Santiago.

"We were hoping [the ball] would kick back to him, but it didn't," Leyland said. "It just came back to him, and that's the luck of the draw."

Cabrera, predictably, was intentionally walked. Martinez hit a flare to deep short, which Elvis Andrus nearly dropped before holding on.

Scherzer made the lead last as long as he could, retiring 12 straight Rangers to reinforce his status as the most effective Tigers hurler this postseason. He retired the heart of the Rangers' lineup in order with two on in the sixth, including a strikeout of Adrian Beltre to deny him a sacrifice fly opportunity. Leyland let Scherzer go out for the seventh under the deal that he'd pull him if Cruz reached base.

Cruz rounded the bases after hitting a 377-foot drive on a Scherzer fastball.

Add scoreless innings from Ogando, Feliz and Adams, and Rangers relievers have held the Tigers scoreless for 13 innings this series. Once Mike Napoli's liner fell between Jackson and Andy Dirks for a single to right-center in the 11th, Perry had Cruz back up with the bases loaded.

"He's a great hitter," Perry said. "You have to make better pitches to him. A 1-2 pitch, slider came inside, and he made the best of it."

Technically, it's the first walk-off grand slam in postseason history, though Robin Ventura hit one out for the Mets in 1999 before being tackled while rounding first base and never completing the trip. Cruz's blast dropped the Tigers' run differential to minus-16 for the postseason, while scoring 22 total. They can pull out close wins, but to get those against Texas, they still need runs.

"We just have to relax," Santiago said. "We're at home now. I know everybody's trying to do the best they can. We just have to relax and execute."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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Bruising retort: Tigers roar in Game 3 victory
Fister yields just two runs; offense erupts for three home runs

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/12/2011 1:55 AM ET

BOX>

DETROIT -- The Tigers are a battered and bruised ballclub, seemingly more so by the day. The way they looked on Tuesday, they are far from beaten.

"We're kind of limping through this series right now," said catcher Alex Avila, one of Detroit's many walking wounded. "You have to find a way to get the job done regardless."

Physically, that might be an understatement. Psychologically, it's a dramatization. After Tuesday's 5-2 victory over the Rangers, they're far from dead in this American League Championship Series.

The Tigers are down, two games to one, and limping, but to Avila, that's a good thing.

"You want to be limping," Avila explained. "You don't want to be completely out. You want to be on crutches. That's the thing."

If they're moving and breathing, that's good. Because the way Victor Martinez sounds, he's going to keep playing unless he joins the cast of "The Walking Dead."

Martinez's game-tying home run came at a price, as his hobbled trot around the bases showed. The swing that sent Colby Lewis' two-strike pitch deep to right field leading off the fourth inning strained a muscle in Martinez's right side, injuring him to the point that his teammates couldn't quite tell whether to congratulate the veteran or console him as he rounded the bases and went straight to the trainer's room.

By game's end, an entire Tigers offense that seemed limited after two low-scoring, missed-opportunity losses in Texas had awakened with three leadoff home runs, a pair of two-out rallies and a long-awaited run off the Rangers' bullpen. The onslaught supported Doug Fister, who recovered from three straight hits opening the game to scatter just four more over 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball.

Just about as important, the man who started the roll of five unanswered runs through the middle innings sounded like he was shrugging off yet another injury.

"The only way I don't play [in Game 4]," Martinez said, "is if I wake up and I'm dead."

Martinez said something similar at the end of the regular season, when he fouled a ball off his right big toe. He has been dealing with a sore left knee since early August. That had shown in his deliberate steps around the bases for two months, but his trip on Tuesday looked even more painful than before.

The Tigers lost outfielder Delmon Young from the lineup earlier in the day, his abdominal strain having flared up after he played in Game 2, and he didn't sound particularly optimistic about playing in Game 4. Detroit watched Magglio Ordonez limp gingerly down the foul line during pregame introductions with his right foot in a boot, having fractured his ankle in the series opener.

With Martinez unable to catch since August, Avila has been catching nearly every game, which shows in his slow steps to first on a balky left knee. Avila was one of just two Tigers starters without a hit Tuesday, going 0-for-4 to fall to 2-for-29 for the postseason.

Get the picture? While the Tigers won't use health as an excuse, it presents at least a partial explanation for their difficulty plating runs. After Avila and Ryan Raburn struck out with two runners on in the second inning, Detroit was 2-for-21 with runners in scoring position for the series.

Martinez's home run was a spark. His return to the on-deck circle the next inning might well have ignited the go-ahead rally. The healthy Tigers seemed to heat up in turn.

"I know we're a little off right now on offense," said Jhonny Peralta, who hit one of the home runs. "But we're at home right now. When we're at home, we play better baseball. [Wednesday], it's going to be different. We'll see that we can start to get hot every at-bat."

Once Martinez emerged from the dugout and gingerly stepped on deck in the fifth, the sellout crowd at Comerica Park roared. The Rangers, meanwhile, still pitched to Miguel Cabrera in front of Martinez, putting him in an 0-2 count with two outs after back-to-back singles from Austin Jackson and Ramon Santiago started a two-out rally.

Lewis tried to get Cabrera to chase a pitch off the plate.

"The ball was supposed to be out of the zone," Rangers manager Ron Washington explained. "He didn't put it there. That was what was supposed to happen."

Cabrera and his opposite-field power still got to Lewis, lacing the ball into the right-field corner for a double and his first RBI since Game 2 of the AL Division Series.

"It's tough in that situation, because we've had a tough time to drive in runs," Cabrera said. "I was not thinking about [Martinez on deck]. I was thinking get a good pitch to hit. Thank God we found a way to score and we won this game."

The previously dormant and injury-riddled Tigers offense broke out en masse. Peralta's leadoff homer in the sixth was his second RBI of the postseason. Jackson followed Andy Dirks' first postseason hit and stolen base with his third hit of the night, matching his hit total for the entire postseason entering the evening and tying a Tigers ALCS record.

Cabrera, fittingly, capped the onslaught by driving a mistake pitch from Koji Uehara 398 feet. His second homer of the playoffs ended 13 scoreless innings of Rangers relief this series.

"Any time those guys are clicking, we're going to score some runs," Dirks said. "It just comes with the day."

All the while, Fister was rolling, having silenced the Rangers' early aggressiveness with a sharp breaking ball. Add his regular-season effort to his postseason work, and he improved to 10-2 since being acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline from Seattle, where he was used to pitching duels like what seemed to be brewing on Tuesday.

"I thought he put on a clinic," manager Jim Leyland said.

Wednesday, Dirks said, is a new day. As long as Martinez wakes up to see it, he plans on playing. The Tigers don't know about Young. The rest will slog through their various bumps and bruises.


They'll try to use another win to heal.

"You find a way to win somehow," Leyland said. "We did that tonight."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS   2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS Icon_minitimeWed Oct 12, 2011 11:56 pm

Motown meltdown: Valverde, Tigers fall in 11th
Closer surrenders four runs; Detroit one loss away from elimination

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/13/2011 1:41 AM ET

BOX>

DETROIT -- Another dramatic swing from Brandon Inge brought a sellout crowd at Comerica Park to its feet.

Another big swing from Nelson Cruz sent them home.


Another close win for the Rangers in this American League Championship Series has the Tigers in a corner.

"We battled as long as we could," Inge said after Cruz's three-run shot punctuated a four-run 11th inning in a 7-3 Tigers loss in Game 4 of the ALCS on Wednesday. "It just didn't work out for us."

They've battled longer than many expected in these games. They battled deep into the night in what was scheduled as a day game. The plot was dramatic, but the ending was familiar.

"It's one of the best games I've ever been involved in," manager Jim Leyland said. "Great plays by both teams. Just didn't come out the right way."

The Tigers have a one-run defeat and two extra-inning losses on their mark through four games of the ALCS. They count all the same as two blowouts they suffered to the Yankees on their way through the AL Division Series.

A healthier lineup and a deeper bullpen have so far won out.


"The more you play games like this, the more respect you gain for the other team," Rangers first baseman Michael Young said. "The Tigers have a great team, they're playing hard and their pitching has been great. It's been a real nail-biter, but a lot of fun."

One more loss, no matter how big or small, and the AL Central champions -- the hottest team in baseball in September -- are heading home. With ace Justin Verlander on the mound, the Tigers can at least like their chances to send the series back to Texas for a possible Game 6 on Saturday night.

Get there, and they'll have Max Scherzer and Doug Fister, their two hottest pitchers this postseason, lined up. But starting pitching hasn't been their problem this series. Hitting has.

"It's the name of the game up to this point," said Rick Porcello, who shut down the Rangers' potent offense for five innings before it broke out for three runs in the sixth to erase a 2-0 Tigers lead. "They get clutch hits when they need to."

Out of 32 teams to face 3-1 deficits in the LCS, six have come back to win it, including four in the ALCS. Among the similar comebacks in the World Series were the 1968 Tigers, who won Game 5 at home before taking the next two at Busch Stadium to topple the Cardinals behind Denny McLain and Mickey Lolich.

Bottom line: It's doable, but the Tigers need that big hit. They finally got one from Inge. They needed one more.

Their chances at least look better than the possibility of Inge hitting an 0-2 fastball at 98 mph from Tigers killer Alexi Ogando into the left-field seats. Only one of Inge's 139 regular-season homers have come out of an 0-2 hole. But then, these situations seem fit for Inge this year.

He's no longer a big home run hitter, but his dingers have all been big. Two of his three this season were walk-off shots. The other came in his first game back from Triple-A Toledo in August.

Ogando was one pitch away from sending the Tigers down in order in the seventh and handing a one-run lead to the Rangers' dominant late-inning duo of Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz. Inge had taken a 98-mph fastball and a slider on opposite corners. He had geared up for another fastball, but he wasn't expecting it over the middle.

"He throws 100 mph," Inge said. "I'm thinking, 'If he throws me another curveball, maybe I can foul it off, but don't let him beat you with the fastball.'"

With that, a game that seemed headed out of the Tigers' reach was deadlocked, and a series was up for grabs. When Victor Martinez followed a one-out, bases-empty intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera with a single through the right side, it was within their reach.

Detroit got a fly ball to the middle depths of right field from a hobbled Delmon Young, who had struck out in his past two plate appearances. With Alex Avila mired in a 2-for-32 slump on deck, the Tigers took their shot.

"I thought it was a great decision to send him," Leyland said. "If the throw is offline, he makes it. If it's not, he's out. Other than Austin Jackson, I don't know that anybody would have made it if he threw it on the money."

Cruz fired a strike, then the 270-pound Cabrera -- whose two-run double accounted for Detroit's first two runs -- tried to deliver one on catcher Mike Napoli.

"I tried to make something happen right there," Cabrera said. "It was like a reaction play."

Napoli held on for the out. Once he did, the Rangers were confident they could outlast the Tigers.

"Crucial time of the game," Napoli said. "Nellie gave me a good throw, gave me enough time to where I can brace and just get low. Just a great play."

Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde held down the Rangers as long as they could, but as Leyland admitted, they're "both running on fumes and heart right now."

It was enough for Benoit to send the game into extra innings. Once Josh Hamilton's double leading off Valverde's second inning of work set up the middle of the order for damage, heart couldn't get him through it.

Valverde continued Michael Young's postseason slump with a strikeout, but after an intentional walk to Adrian Beltre, Napoli lined a pitch through the middle, allowing Hamilton to score easily. Cruz then pounced on a fastball inside for his fourth home run of the ALCS.

"You can't make a mistake with these guys," Valverde said. "I threw my best pitch, and [Cruz] got it. There's nothing you can do."

If the Tigers can keep pitching, they have a chance. They need one more big swing, three different times.

If Inge can do it, maybe somebody else can, too.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS   2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS Icon_minitimeThu Oct 13, 2011 9:50 pm

2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS 6242972114_517cb2ce03_z

Hop to it: Tigers use bounce to force Game 6
Miggy's RBI double off third-base bag jump starts four-run sixth

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/13/2011 10:44 PM ET

BOX>

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander pitched with a chance at history seemingly every time he took the mound this season. If Game 5 of the American League Championship Series ends up being his last start of the year, he'll go out with a performance that won't soon be forgotten.

If instead Detroit's 7-5 win over the Rangers on Thursday afternoon is the spark the Tigers needed to rally in this series, their little piece of history could at least give them a chance at something far bigger.

"We're tough," manager Jim Leyland said. "This Texas team is tough. That's the way it's supposed to be."

The Tigers are also just a little lucky. Considering the way their three close losses put them in a must-win situation Thursday, maybe they deserved a little luck.


"We were due, I think. Maybe overdue," said third-base coach Gene Lamont, who watched Miguel Cabrera's ground ball in the bottom of the sixth inning hop off the bag and jump over Adrian Beltre's head for a go-ahead double.
It wasn't one hop that turned the game, and maybe the series. But the entire shift seemed just about as sudden.

As Verlander fired a 99-mph fastball to Ian Kinsler with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning, he essentially had the Tigers' season on the line. Texas was mounting the kind of rally it put together a day earlier on Rick Porcello in Game 4. C.J. Wilson was holding Detroit's offense to a pair of solo homers. A Rangers return to the World Series seemed imminent.

The pitch, and the resulting double play Brandon Inge started on it at third base, halted the Rangers' momentum. Four batters later, the Tigers' natural cycle in the bottom of the inning completely turned it.

"This is a game of momentum, and obviously that was a huge play for us," said Verlander. "We come right back and score, so to be able to get out of that, there were a couple big spots that I was able to make my pitch and get out of [the inning]."

Never in postseason history had a team singled, doubled, tripled and homered in sequential order. It took a sky-high hop off third base and a missed attempt at more heroics from Nelson Cruz, but the previously moribund Tigers did it for their first true offensive breakout this postseason.

"Weird things happen," said Ryan Raburn, whose leadoff single started the surge.

Raburn was on first when Cabrera's shot off third base truly turned the inning. Lamont was watching from his third-base box. He was later replaying the scenarios.

If the ball misses the bag and bounces normally, the rally is killed.

"We turn the double play," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We're probably off of that field."

If the ball hits the top of the bag instead of the front, Lamont said, Beltre grabs it, though maybe not with enough time to get two outs.

Instead, the ball hit the front of the bag with enough power and topspin to skip over Beltre's head as he stood behind the bag and put up his glove to field it. It ended up rattling around the left-field corner as Raburn scored.

"We were lucky right there," said Cabrera. "We started running, and we scored a lot of runs by it."

As suddenly as the Tigers' momentum shifted, not even Cruz could snuff out the rally. Victor Martinez, hobbled by an intercostal muscle strain in his right side since homering in Game 3 and a bad knee since early August, followed Cabrera's shot with a sinking line drive that skipped past Cruz's diving attempt. While it rolled to the right-field corner, Martinez slogged his way into third base with a 4-2 Detroit lead.

"Of all people to get the triple, it's Victor," Raburn said. "That's pretty funny. It was a great inning for us. We needed that."

Delmon Young capped it by hitting Wilson's second pitch and driving it off the top of the bullpen dugout for a two-run homer, his second in as many at-bats. He became the first Tiger with a multihomer game in the postseason since Magglio Ordonez hit the walk-off homer in Game 4 of the 2006 ALCS that sent the Tigers to their first World Series in 22 years.

All the while, Verlander was sitting in the dugout. It might have been the first time all year a long break actually put him back on his game, even if it seemed like a completely different game when he came back out. He went from fighting for the season in the sixth inning to retiring the side in order to protect a four-run lead in the seventh.

Before the game, Leyland said the only opponent that would chase Verlander would be the pitch count. With closer Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit being rested after four-plus innings over three straight days of work, the only reliever he wanted to use was Phil Coke, and he wouldn't do that until he absolutely had to.

Leyland had Brad Penny warming, but he never needed him. Raburn's homer in the seventh gave the Tigers a postseason game-tying fourth on the night and an insurance run that loomed large once Cruz's two-run homer in the eighth whittled the lead to three.

Cruz's fifth home run of the series also chased Verlander with a career-high 133 pitches. His 94 strikes were the most by a Major League pitcher in the postseason since Curt Schilling threw 99 out of 147 pitches in Game 5 of the 1993 World Series. It wasn't his best line, 7 1/3 innings with four runs and eight strikeouts, but it might have been his most important.

"I was hitting my spots and got some quick outs, which allowed me to go back out there in the eighth and eat up as many innings as I could and make the plan work," Verlander said.

Out came Coke for five outs, the last of which became the toughest after back-to-back hits and a walk brought up Mike Napoli with the potential tying run at first base. Once Coke got the game-ending ground ball, he became the first Tiger to get four or more outs in a postseason save since Willie Hernandez in 1984.

They'll go to Texas now with their bullpen fresh, Max Scherzer on the mound and the offense a little rejuvenated. Whether or not luck stays on their side, at least momentum might be.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS   2011 POST SEASON SCHEDULES AND RESULTS Icon_minitimeSun Oct 16, 2011 1:15 am

Comeback cats can't claw back: Tigers ousted
Scherzer falters in nine-run third; homers can't keep season going

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 10/16/2011 2:20 AM ET

BOX>

ARLINGTON -- This wasn't the way the Tigers' season was expected to end, even if they didn't get to the World Series.

Close, heartbreaking losses have been more a part of Detroit's recent history than drubbings. The one-game tiebreaker in 2009 took 13 innings and a blown lead. Two Tigers losses in this American League Championship Series came in the 11th inning. Their final game of 2011 was effectively over by the end of the third.

For a team that enjoyed a magical season and comebacks galore, Detroit's 15-5 loss to Texas to finish off the ALCS in six games was anticlimactic. The Tigers came ready to play, looked strong early, then got simply overwhelmed.

As weathered as manager Jim Leyland's face looked by the end -- and goodness knows there were plenty of chances to watch it -- he said it was actually easier. No second-guessing, no one highlight replaying in their heads. They gave it their best, and didn't have enough.

"I would have probably gone into the offseason more disappointed if we would have gotten beat by one run," Leyland said. "I'm not going to go into the offseason disappointed at all. This team gave every single thing they had, every ounce of energy. I just couldn't be prouder of them, and we got beat by the team that was the defending champion, and they defended their championship. They should be going [to the World Series], and they are."

For a couple innings, the Tigers thought they had a chance. They could see the path to a Game 7, having put up early runs on solo homers from Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta in the first couple of innings, and having seen Max Scherzer survive early command woes with no damage.

They knew they needed more, that two runs wouldn't hold up.

"No, no chance," Brandon Inge said. "At that point, you have to put your foot down, pedal to the metal. Two runs? With that team? No way."

They knew they needed more, and they got it. By then, though, that road to Game 7 was washed out, the Rangers' path to the World Series pretty well cleared. And the magical run the Tigers put together in 2011 had just about run out.

The Rangers sent 14 batters to the plate and nine runners home in the 38-minute third inning, and it effectively ended the Tigers' dream season in a nightmare fashion.

"It felt very long," catcher Alex Avila said of the inning. "They got hot. They're hitting the mistakes, and then when you're making good pitches, they're hitting those and they're finding a hole. That's just something you can't control."

Part of the downfall was the inconsistent control of Scherzer, who threw more balls than strikes over his 62 pitches, and gave up nearly as many walks (four) as hits (five) while recording seven outs. He had a beef on the last of those walks with a check-swing from Nelson Cruz on a 2-2 pitch. First-base umpire Tim Welke ruled Cruz did not go around on his swing; replays suggested he did.

"First things first, I still had a pitch there to not walk him and I did," Scherzer said. "After seeing the replay, man that's a tough one to swallow, because you know when I was in the game, I thought he went."

Cruz, however, was the sixth straight Rangers hitter to reach base, three of them by walk, after Scherzer retired leadoff man Ian Kinsler. Michael Young's two-run double had tied the game, and Adrian Beltre's RBI single had pulled the Rangers ahead.

"He was out of whack for the most part all the way," Leyland said of Scherzer. "His control was not good from the get-go, really. And he had a tough time. And we just couldn't stop the bleeding."

Cruz's walk brought Leyland out of the dugout for a pitching change, trying for dear life to keep the game close. David Murphy greeted Daniel Schlereth with a two-run single, and the runaway was on.

Before the game, Leyland said he hoped to go with Rick Porcello if he needed a reliever before the seventh. He did not have the third inning in mind, but he had little choice. By then, the Rangers were unstoppable, and Porcello retired one of the five batters he faced.

Both Schlereth and Brad Penny made their first appearances of the postseason. In Penny's case, the fifth starter turned long reliever got a nod to fill the innings as the outs whittled down on Detroit's season.

"It wasn't fair to some of our relievers, because they just weren't used in this series because the situation didn't present itself," Leyland said.

It would be equally unfair to judge the Tigers in this series on their last game. Their best chances to get to the World Series came in the second and fourth games, not the sixth.

They scored runs in Game 6. Both Cabrera and Peralta went to the opposite field on their home runs, with Cabrera recording a hit in his 13th straight LCS game dating back to his rookie season in 2003 with the World Series champion Marlins. Once Austin Jackson sliced a drive over the fence in right-center field for his first career postseason homer, the Tigers chased Texas starter Derek Holland with two outs in the fifth and had gotten the early runs that were a necessity to have a chance.

By then, their chance was gone, and the Tigers had little to regret.

"They definitely played better than us this series, no question about it," Avila said.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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