In each of the last two post season trips by the Detroit Tigers they have had to face the New York Yankees. In 2006 and 2011 they met in the ALDS, not after each team struggled a bit with their Divisional series opponent they two storied franchises meet in the 2012 ALCS. The first big match up comes in the starting pitchers with Doug Fister going for Detroit, and the returning from retirement Andy Pettitte going for New York. While that is the key match up on the hill, the real battle here may just be Pettitte versus Miguel Cabrera.
So far this post season Cabrera is hitting just .250 (going 5-20) with just two extra base hits and only one RBI. The Tigers offense was virtually shut down by the Oakland pitching staff and to beat the Yankees the Tigers are going to have to score more than the 17 runs they were able to push cross the plate in the ALDS. That starts with Cabrera cause not only does he make 20 million plus a year, but is the first AL Triple Crown winner in 40 some years. He has to provide a spark for the offense. For the record he is just 4-20 versus Pettitte lifetime.
While left handed pitchers have given the Tigers offense fits this season, two players have done particularly well against Pettitte in their careers. Both Delmon Young and Jhonny Peralta have done well against him historically, and Young really needs to have a better series than what he did in the ALDS (he hit just .235 and struck out three times versusOakland). Delmon is not likely to return to the Tiger in 2013, so having a big series on the National Stage would go a long way in earning him his next contract.
For the moment let’s talk about Fister. He has been a tad inconsistent throughout 2012, but over the last two months or so has been pretty dominant. He needs to go deep into this game, because the Tigers bullpen is questionable at best. The less they have to rely on the pen the better off the results should be.
In the end DJC believes that the Tigers will win this series, but we do not think they will win tonight. Hopefully we are very wrong. Let’s go Tigers!