MLB - Verlander could do something very special as the Tigers look to bury Yanks
By Rob Soria
Heading into tonight's third game of their ALCS series against the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees are now facing a must win situation. No way they want to fall behind 3-0 but when you consider they are about to face Tigers ace Justin Verlander, could there really be any other outcome?
Edmonton - October 16, 2012 - Heading into tonight's third game of their ALCS series against the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees are now facing a must win situation. No way they want to fall behind 3-0 but when you consider they are about to face Tigers ace Justin Verlander, could there really be any other outcome?
If the Yanks were down 2-0 but had shown some semblance of an offensive attack, beating the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young winner would not be out of the question. As things currently sit, would anyone really be shocked to see Verlander have himself a special night?
He's about to face a lineup that mustered all of three hits against nine game winner Anibal Sanchez in Game Two and made ten game winner Doug Fister look pretty darn dominant in the series opener. Frankly, Verlander has to be licking his chops at facing the Yanks.
As good as the twenty-nine year old has been during his seven year career, he now has the opportunity to make a statement on a national stage, against the big bad Yankees. Long considered one of the premier pitchers in the game and as previously mentioned, the owner of two of the most prestigious individual awards in baseball. However, he is missing one thing...a World Series ring.
To make matters worse, New York will be throwing the inconsistent Phil Hughes up against the Tigers ace and are in danger of facing elimination, before even having CC Sabathia take the mound in the series. Add to that, a Yankees pop-gun like offence that is not only missing its heart and soul in Derek Jeter but are being carried by a journeyman major leaguer Raul Ibanez and things do not look to promising for the once mighty Bronx Bombers.
Leadoff man Ichiro Suzuki and first baseman Mark Teixeira have both managed to contribute on an almost nightly basis but the likes of Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher have been downright awful.
While over in that other dugout, you have a team that is by no means knocking the cover off the ball but they are littered with guys that come up with a big hit when they need it. Be it a hit from one of their star players in Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder or lesser heralded guys like Delmon Young, they are getting the job done.
Unless Justin Verlander takes the mound at Comerica and, for whatever reason, just doesn't have it, all signs are pointing to him putting together a memorable performance and pushing the Yankees to the brink of elimination.
Rob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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