The Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 2-1 in game three of their AL Championship Series matchup, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the series.
Justin Verlander, take a bow. This was your night. The Tigers' ace allowed one run on three hits over 8 1/3 innings, walking none and striking out three. The three hits allowed were a pair of singles by Ichiro, and a ninth inning solo homer by Eduardo Nunez that led to Verlander getting pulled one batter later. The Yankees didn't put a man in scoring position until the ninth inning, when Verlander was out of the game. They went down in order in six out of nine innings. You want to look at dominance? Look no further than Detroit's ace.
After taking over for Verlander in the ninth, Phil Coke kept Tigers fans on their toes after allowing singles to Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano, but he struck out playoff hero Raul Ibanez swinging to end the game.
The Yankees got a bit of tough luck from their starter in this game. Phil Hughes put two runners on in the first and third innings, but ecaped without allowing a run in either. Then in the fourth, he allowed a leadoff homer to Delmon Young to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. After walking Andy Dirks, Hughes left the game with a back injury and was replaced by David Phelps. Phelps allowed one unearned run over his two innings of work after Quintin Berry reached on an error to start the fifth, stole second, and was doubled home by Miguel Cabrera. New York's pitching staff really didn't do a bad job in this game, allowing just the two runs, but that was too much against the dominance of Verlander. This game reminded me a lot of game one of the ALDS, when Jarrod Parker was impresive for the A's but the Oakland offense ran right into the teeth of the Verlander buzzsaw and couldn't give their guy enough run support to get the win.
Game four will be on Wednesday, and the Tigers will look to win the pennant with Max Scherzer on the mound. The Yankees will look to stay alive for one more day, and will start their ace CC Sabathia. First pitch is at 8:00.
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