by Charlie Miller
It’s not every series that the final deciding game is a rematch between two relievers from Game 1. But that is what this series has been about. Two teams, the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees scrambling and shuffling pitching staffs after a rainout early in Game 1.
So Doug Fister of Detroit and Ivan Nova of the Yankees will start tonight’s Game 5 after starting the re-start of Game 1 on Saturday.
Both pitchers’ outings were similar in that they were fairly sharp a couple of times through the order, then ran into trouble the third time through. And relief pitchers allowed all their runners to score damaging their ERAs. Obviously, the most crushing blow was the Robinson Cano grand slam off Al Alburquerque that added three runs to Fister’s ERA.
But let’s throw that out the window for Game 5. Game 1 means nothing now.
Without a rooting interest in this series, I love the fact that the series lies in the hands of a pitcher (Fister), who in July, was 3-12 toiling for a last-place Seattle team; and Nova, who began the year as the Yankee’s fourth starter and had a 5.82 ERA after the first month.
The Tigers couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity to close the series out at home. They’ve won two nail-biters while the Yankees have won blowouts. Even though Detroit closer Jose Valverde has had a couple of days off, it is dicey at best relying on him again in this series. He just hasn’t been sharp and has lived too close to the edge. If Game 5 goes down to the wire, the Yankees will prevail.
The only way the Tigers can win is to put the game out of reach early with big innings. That’s not likely to happen either. With these two lineups, the Yankees are the ones likely to mount big innings as they have proven thus far.
Game 5 winner will be New York and the Rangers will pack their bags for the Big Apple.
Follow Charlie Miller on Twitter @AthlonCharlie