A capsule look at Tigers-Yankees playoff series

Associated Press Modified: October 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm •  Published: October 13, 2012
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A look at the best-of-seven American League championship series between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees:

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Schedule: (All times EDT)

Game 1, Saturday, at New York (8:07 p.m.); Game 2, Sunday, at New York (4:07 p.m.); Game 3, Tuesday, at Detroit (8:07 p.m.); Game 4, Wednesday, at Detroit (8:07 p.m.); x-Game 5, Thursday, at Detroit (4:07 p.m.); x-Game 6, Saturday, at New York (8:07 p.m.); x-Game 7, Sunday, at New York (8:15 p.m.).

x-if necessary.

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Season Series: Yankees won 6-4.

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Projected Lineups:

Tigers: CF Austin Jackson (.300, 16, 66, 10 triples), LF Quintin Berry (.258, 2, 29, 21/21 SBs), 3B Miguel Cabrera (.330, 44, 139 for baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967), 1B Prince Fielder (.313, 30, 108), DH Delmon Young (.267, 18, 74), RF Andy Dirks (.322, 8, 35), SS Jhonny Peralta (.239, 13, 63), C Alex Avila (.243, 9, 48), 2B Omar Infante (.274, 12, 53 with Marlins and Tigers).

Yankees: SS Derek Jeter (.316, 15 HRs, 58 RBIs, 99 runs, MLB-best 216 hits), LF Ichiro Suzuki (.283, 9, 55, 29 SBs with Mariners and Yankees), 1B Mark Teixeira (.251, 24, 84), 2B Robinson Cano (.313, 33, 94, 48 doubles, 105 runs), DH Raul Ibanez (.240, 19, 62), RF Nick Swisher (.272, 24, 93), CF Curtis Granderson (.232, 43, 106, 195 Ks), C Russell Martin (.211, 21, 53), 3B Eric Chavez (.281, 16, 37 in 278 at-bats) or 3B Alex Rodriguez (.272, 18, 57).

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Projected Rotations:

Tigers: RH Doug Fister (10-10, 3.45), RH Anibal Sanchez (9-13, 3.86 with Marlins and Tigers), RH Justin Verlander (17-8, 2.64, ML-leading 239 Ks), RH Max Scherzer (16-7, 3.74, 231 Ks).

Yankees: LHP Andy Pettitte (5-4, 2.87 in 12 starts), RHP Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32, 219 2-3 IP), RHP Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.23, 191 1-3 IP), LH CC Sabathia (15-6, 3.38 ERA, 200 IP, 197 Ks).

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Relievers:

Tigers: RH Jose Valverde (3-4, 3.78, 35/40 saves), RH Joaquin Benoit (5-3, 3.68, 84 Ks, 71 IP), RH Octavio Dotel (5-3, 3.57), RH Al Alburquerque (0-0, 0.68 in 8 games following elbow surgery), LH Phil Coke (2-3, 4.00), LH Drew Smyly (4-3, 3.99 in 23 games, 18 starts), RH Rick Porcello (10-12, 4.59 in 31 starts), RH Brayan Villarreal (3-5, 2.63, 66 Ks, 54 2-3 IP).

Yankees: RH Rafael Soriano (2-1, 2.26, 42/46 saves), RH David Robertson (2-7, 2.67, 2 saves, 81 Ks in 60 2-3 IP), LH Boone Logan (7-2, 3.74, 1 save, AL-high 80 games), RH Joba Chamberlain (1-0, 4.35 in 22 games), RH David Phelps (4-4, 3.34 in 33 games, 11 starts), RH Derek Lowe (9-11, 5.11, 1 save in 38 games, 21 starts with Indians and Yankees), LH Clay Rapada (3-0, 2.82 in 70 games, 38 1-3 IP), RH Cody Eppley (1-2, 3.33 in 59 games).

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Matchups:

The Tigers beat the Yankees in the division series in 2006 and last year; no team has ever beaten the Yankees in three consecutive postseason series. ... New York acquired Granderson from Detroit in a three-team trade after the 2009 season. The Tigers received Jackson and Coke from New York and Scherzer from Arizona. ... In seven starts against the Yankees in 2011 and 2012 — playoffs included — Verlander is 2-1 with a 3.92 ERA. ... Coke was fairly effective against left-handed batters during the regular season, but righties hit .396 off him. Smyly and Porcello — both part of the rotation at the start of the season — were left on the postseason roster for the division series at Villarreal's expense. ... Sabathia was 3-0 in three starts with 20 strikeouts in 21 2-3 innings against Detroit this season. The Tigers hits .238 against them. ... The Yankees won two of three in New York in April and two of three in Detroit in June before the teams split four games at Comerica in August. ... The two players who should benefit most from Rodriguez's benching, have divergent experiences against Verlander: Chavez is 9 for 25 (.360). Division series star Ibanez has only three hits in 29 at-bats for a .103 average.

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Big Picture:

Tigers: It wasn't as easy as many expected, but Detroit (88-74) wrested the AL Central title from the fading Chicago White Sox and beat Oakland in the division series to reach the ALCS for the second year in a row. The Tigers lost to Texas in six games last season. ... Detroit is in the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1934-35. ... Cabrera's charge to the Triple Crown began in earnest on Aug. 1. He hit .344 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs in 57 games for the rest of the regular season. ... Verlander threw a career-high six complete games and is in contention for a second straight Cy Young Award. His four-hit shutout finished the Athletics in a winner-take-all Game 5. ... Scherzer was slowed by a shoulder problem in late September, but he pitched into the sixth inning without allowing an earned run in his only start of the division series. ... The Tigers grounded into a major league-leading 156 double plays. They stole 59 bases, the second-fewest in the majors. ... Detroit manager Jim Leyland is making his seventh postseason appearance. ... The Tigers signed Fielder last winter after slugger Victor Martinez's season-ending knee injury. ... After going all of 2011 without blowing a save, Valverde was a more pedestrian 35 for 40 this season. ... Benoit's 3.68 ERA was his highest since 2008. He allowed 14 homers, his most since he became exclusively a reliever. ... The Tigers had four regulars with an OPS of at least .856 in the regular season — Cabrera, Fielder, Dirks and Jackson. Then it was a substantial drop to Avila at .736. ... Backup catcher Gerald Laird provided a lift by hitting .282 in 63 games. ... Detroit finished sixth in the AL in runs. The Tigers were 10th in homers — with Cabrera and Fielder accounting for more than 45 percent of the team's total of 163. ... Young was arrested in New York in April on a hate-crime harassment charge. He was accused of yelling anti-Jewish epithets at a group of tourists, tussling with them and tackling one to the ground.



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