ALDS Tigers Versus Yankees Game 1: Keys to the Game
The stars of the game were Yankees rookie pitcher Ivan Nova and second baseman Robinson Cano. Cano drove in six runs in leading the Yankees to a 9-1 victory and a one-game lead over Detroit in the best-of-five series.
Game 1 was supposed to be a pitchers' duel between Yankees ace CC Sabathia and probable Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.
Unfortunately, after just one and a half innings the rain came and the tarp was put out on the field. The rain delay became a 24-hour wait as the game was halted at 1-1. When play resumed on Saturday night, both teams had new pitchers on the mound.
Posada Gets Caught off of Third Base
In the bottom of the second with no outs and runners on second and third Brett Gardner hit a grounder towards third. For unknown reasons, Posada had gone on contact and was easily tagged out. The score remained 1-1.
Jeter Strikes out with One out and a Runner on Third
After Posada was caught off third, Doug Fister was called for a balk moving Russell Martin to third and Brett Gardner to second with one out. Jeter came up to bat with the chance to drive in the runner from third and struck out.
Avilla out at Home
In the top of the 5th with one out Alex Avila walked and moved to second on a single by Ryan Raburn. Jhonny Peralta then singled to center. With Avila rounding third, center fielder Curtis Granderson threw to shortstop Derek Jeter who then threw a perfect ball to catcher Russell Martin who tagged Avila out at home. Detroit came away with no runs.
Cano Doubles in Granderson
In the bottom of the 5th with two outs, Curtis Granderson singled and scored on Robinson Cano's double off of the left center field wall. After five innings the Yankees were up 2-1.
Maglio Ordonez Grounds in to Double Play
In the top of the 6th inning Austin Jackson walked to lead off the inning. With Jackson running on contact, Magglio Ordonez grounded in to a double play killing the Tigers' potential for a big inning.
Cano's Grand Slam
The game changed for good in the bottom of the 6th. Mark Teixeira led off with a double. After Nick Swisher was called out on strikers Jorge Posada walked and catcher Russell Martin grounded out. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs, Brett Gardner singled driving both runners in and making the score 4-1. Derek Jeter then singled and Curtis Granderson was walked.
With the bases loaded and two outs, manager Jim Leyland took the ball from Doug Fister and brought in reliever Al Alburquerque. Robinson Cano then cleared the bases with a grand slam to right field.
After six innings the Yankees held a commanding 8-1 lead.
Cano Knocks in His 6th Run of the Game
The Yankees tacked on another run in the bottom of the 8th. With one out Derek Jeter singled. After Curtis Granderson struck out, Robinson Cano again came through with two outs driving in Jeter with a double. After eight innings the score was Yankees 9 Tigers 1.
Picking up where CC Sabathia left off, rookie Ivan Nova dominated the Tigers through six and one third innings. He tired in the ninth giving up two singles and a walk. Nova was relieved, leaving the game with one out in the ninth. Nova gave up four hits and left to a standing ovation.
Reliever Luis Ayala got Alex Avila to ground out, driving in a run. He then gave up two straight singles before Mariano Rivera was brought in to get the last out.
Nova was charged with two runs and picked up the win with a clutch performance.