Yankees Facing Series Whitewash

Image courtesy sportsnet.ca/Paul Sancya - AP
It goes without saying that the Yankees are in big strife in their American League Championship Series. Already 2-0 down after losing both home games to start the series, they face a Tigers team on Wednesday morning (AEST) in Detroit with star pitcher Justin Verlander on the mound. In 21 innings so far this series, the Yankees have scored in just one, and those first two games will seem like batting practice compared to facing arguably the best pitcher in baseball.

For a guy who had a reputation as a non-performer in the post-season, Verlander has certainly turned things up a notch this year. Over 17 innings against the Athletics in their NLDS, the right-hander allowed just one run and seven hits, while striking out 22 batters. The Tigers ace went 17-8 this season with an ERA of just 2.64. The Yankees had slightly more success with Verlander finishing with an ERA of 3.10 against New York across three starts, although he did pile up 22 strikesouts in 20 1/3 innings. He’s an intimidating 9-2 with a 1.65 ERA at Comerica Park this season.

There is some chat around that Yankees manager Joe Girardi may bring in gun lefty CC Sabathia on a short rest, but he has slated Philip Hughes to start game three. The good news for Yankees fans is that Hughes fared better on the road than he did at Yankee Stadium this season.

The game is in the hands of the Yankees’ batters, though. Detroit’s starters across the past four games haven’t conceded an earned run, so unless they can get on top of Verlander early , the man who has thrown the most pitches in the Major League three of the past four years will likely spend the majority of the game on the mound, which makes life tough for New York. 

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