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Yankees Return Favor, Shutout Tigers in Game Two


New York 8, Detroit 0 (box)

I honestly wasn’t even going to recap this game, not through the first eight innings anyway.

Prior to the ninth, this recap would have read much the same as the game one recap did. There was strong starting pitching, but one team scratched out a couple of runs and the bullpen slammed the door. But since I’m writing this anyway…

After the outstanding performance of Rick Porcello in game one, the Tigers needed a similar effort from Jeremy Bonderman if they were going to sweep the doubleheader. The got a similar effort, but unfortunately couldn’t do any damage against the Yankees’ starter Phil Hughes.

Bonderman was very good throughout the game, limiting the Yankees to two runs over seven frames. It was his deepest start of the year and possibly his best.

Hughes, for his part, was even better. After not collecting a single extra-base hit in the opening game, the Tigers managed just one, a double, in game two. Twice the had a runner on second with no one out, but twice Hughes shutdown the inning. The Tigers never advanced a runner to third.

Then there was the ninth.

After working a scoreless eighth, Phil Coke remained in the game for a second inning. It didn’t go well. After hitting the leadoff batter, Coke retired the next hitter before allowing a broken bat single to center to put runners on first and second. Fransisco Cervelli then sent a flare to center to score the third Yankees run. Coke then walked the next batter to load the bases and end his day.

Enter Alfredo Figaro.

Figaro stepped into the fire on his first day back in the big leagues. Instead of bringing a hose, Figaro dusted off the gas can he used with the Tigers last year. After getting Derek Jeter to ground into a force play at home, Figaro allowed hits to Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira to bring three more runs home. A double by Alex Rodriguez scored another and Figaro wild pitched the final Yankee run home.

I hope he didn’t plan to stay long. His bus ticket back to Toledo should have been paid for as soon as this game ended. It got so bad that Fu-Te Ni had to begin throwing with two outs in the ninth, in a 6-0 game at the time. If I were Jim Leyland, Ni never would have gotten up. I would have gone to the mound and told Figaro that under no circumstances was he not finishing this game. And then I would have shipped his butt back to the minors as soon as it was over.

Cheers and Jeers after the jump.


Cheers for

  • Jeremy Bonderman– Bondo fanned seven and allowed just five hits and a walk to the mighty Yankees. This has been a very well pitched series so far by the Tigers starters, hopefully a sign of better days ahead.
  • Brennan Boesch– Boesch had two more hits, raising his average to .356. The guy swings at everything, so you have to figure he will cool off sooner or later, but for now he has given the Tigers exactly what they needed after Carlos Guillen went down.

Jeers for

  • Alfredo Figaro– What can I say that I didn’t say above? How about that he faced seven batters, allowed five of the to reach base, allowed all three inherited runners to score, and turned a three runs game into a blowout? How about the fact that he fell behind six of the seven batters he faced? If this is the best help the Tigers could get from their farm system, we’re in deep trouble here.
  • That horrible Jay-Z/Eminem “interview” in the booth with Rod and Mario. Seriously, that was just painfully awkward.

What’s on tap?

Detroit will try to secure a series win this afternoon as two aces do battle at the CoPa. Justin Verlander starts for the Tigers coming off back-to-back excellent outings. The Yankees will counter with former Cy Young winner CC Sabathia.

Verlander (3-2, 4.50) has won both of his May starts after a rocky April and has matched up with Sabathia twice since CC came to the Yankees. A total of nine runs were scored in those two games last season.

Sabathia (4-1, 3.04) allowed two home runs in his last effort, in which a rain delay cost him a chance at his fifth victory. Having spent the lion’s share of his career in Cleveland, Sabathia has faced the Tigers frequently and holds a 14-10 career mark against them. Those 10 losses represent the most he has endured versus any opponent.