Last night was an essential game for both teams with the Tigers up 2-0 in the series. If the Tigers won, it would be almost certain that they’d win the series; however, if the Yankees won, they may have a chance at a remarkable comeback. Well, it was the Tigers that won a fantastic pitching duel last night between Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.23) and Justin Verlander (17-8, 2.64). Both guys got off to fantastic starts, but that all changed when Delmon Young led off the fourth with a homer to left– his second of this postseason. After walking Andy Dirks behind Young, Hughes actually left the game due to back spasms.
However, the Tigers kept hitting off reliever David Phelps (4-4, 3.34) in the next inning. Quintin Berry reached first base on an error by third baseman Eric Chavez to lead off the inning, and was quickly driven in with a double by Miguel Cabrera. That would be all the Tigers would score in that game, as Justin Verlander continued to dominate a depleted Yankees batting order.
In fact, it wasn’t until the ninth inning, when Verlander was tiring out that he allowed the Yankees to do much of anything. Shortstop Eduardo Nunez, playing due to Derek Jeter’s broken ankle, led off the inning with a home run to cut the lead to 2-1. Verlander did induce a groundout to the next hitter, leadoff man Brett Gardner, but was still removed in favor of Phil Coke. Coke allowed two runners to reach base, but got the job done to get the save and put the Tigers up 3-0.