The wait is almost over. For the first time since their 2006 run to the World Series, the Detroit Tigers are back in the MLB playoffs. Just like the start of that run in 2006, the Tigers will open the 2011 MLB playoffs against the New York Yankees.
Quite a bit has changed since that series in 2006. Curtis Granderson is now playing for the Yankees. Gone are starters Placido Polanco, Sean Casey, Ivan Rodriguez, Craig Monroe and Marcus Thames. And gone are all of the pitchers except Justin Verlander, who will start for the Tigers in Game 1 on Friday night.
Verlander comes into the playoffs fresh off of his best season ever. He posted a 24-5 record, a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts en route to the AL pitching Triple Crown. He is a lock to win the Cy Young and could even win the MVP award for the American League. He will look to keep his dominance going in the playoffs.
Taking the hill in Game 1 for the Yankees is CC Sabathia, who finished second to Verlander in wins and strikeouts. Sabathia finished the regular season with a 19-8 record, an ERA of 3.00 and 230 strikeouts. He is the ace of the Yankees rotation and is set to start Game 1 and Game 4 (if necessary) of this series.
The first pitch for Game 1 of the Tigers-Yankees series is set for 8:37 p.m. TBS will have the broadcast, and SB Nation Detroit will have updates throughout the night and throughout the series.