Thanks to the rain that came through New York on Friday night, Game 1 of the ALDS between the Tigers and Yankees took more than a day to complete. The first inning and a half saw the two teams each score a run before play was suspended. Once the action resumed on Saturday night, the Yankees took over and dominated the Tigers en route to a 9-3 victory.
Doug Fister took the hill for the Tigers in place of Justin Verlander and quickly found himself in some trouble. He was able to get out of the jam and settled down nicely, and even though he allowed a run in the fifth on a Robinson Cano double that almost left the park, Fister seemed to be pitching quite well.
Things fell apart for the Tigers in the sixth inning. First Brett Gardner singled in Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada, and then Fister left the game with the bases loaded. Al Alburquerque came in and needed just one out to escape the jam. Unfortunately, the out came after Cano hit a 375-foot grand slam to right field. The Yankees took an 8-1 lead, and they ended up scoring a ninth run on a Cano double in the eighth.
The Tigers' offense was shut down by CC Sabathia's replacement, Ivan Nova, for the most part. Nova allowed only four hits, and only twice did the Tigers threaten against him. Detroit put something together in the top of the fifth with Alex Avila being walked, Ryan Raburn getting a single and Jhonny Peralta singling to center. Unfortunately, no runs were scored thanks to Gene Lamont waving Avila home on Peralta's single. Avila was tagged out, and that was the last we heard from the Tigers' offense until the ninth inning.
In the ninth, the Tigers loaded the bases and forced Nova out of the game. Luis Ayala came in and allowed a pair of the inherited runners to score before he was pulled. Mariano Rivera entered the game with the bases loaded and finished things off with a three-pitch strikeout.
As bad as the Saturday section of Game 1 went for the Tigers, the good news is it's only one loss. In 2006, the Tigers lost by a score of 8-4 in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees, and they went on to win three straight games against the Yankees and four straight against the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS. Obviously I'm not saying that will happen this year, but at the very least there's no need to panic after one rough game.
The Tigers will try to rebound on Sunday in Game 2 of the ALDS. Max Scherzer will take the hill for the Tigers and Freddy Garcia will get the start for the Yankees. First pitch is scheduled for 3:07 p.m.