The Yankees lost their second straight heart breaker to the Detroit Tigers in the 2011 ALDS. You have to give the Tigers props for getting the job done. The Tigers have now pushed the Yankees to the edge of elimination and only need one win to shut the Bombers down for the season. And Yankee fans have to face their largest nightmare. Their season is now in the hands of A.J. Burnett.
Burnett wasn't supposed to pitch in this series. But the rain that postponed Game One killed that reality and gave us this one. Joe Girardi will look like a man with a perpetual hotfoot in the dugout tomorrow. The encouraging news is that Burnett finished the season on sort of a high note. That is if you could call beating the Boston Red Sox in the middle of their swan dive a high note. But it's something at least. Burnett will face Rick Porcello, which is somewhat good news as well.
Here are some of the numbers behind the match up:
- Burnett is 2-2 lifetime against the Tigers with a hefty 6.33 ERA.
- And just don't think the big ballpark in Detroit will help Burnett. His ERA there is 7.17.
- Burnett is 1-2 in the post season with a 5.67 ERA. But he's given up twelve runs in his last fifteen post season innings.
- Rick Porcello is 2-2 lifetime against the Yankees with a 5.56 ERA.
- Porcello has walked eleven Yankee batters in 22.2 innings against them.
- Porcello has a lifetime ERA at Comerica Park of 4.59 with a WHIP of 1.369.
- Rich Porcello has never pitched in the post season.
- If this writer got the umpiring rotation correctly, Dan Iassogna will have home plate in the game. Porcello has a 6.75 ERA in games with Iassogna behind the plate. A.J. Burnett threw eight and two-thirds innings of shutout ball in his only occasion with Iassogna behind the plate. He only walked one batter in that appearance.
The bottom line here is that the game will go one of several ways:
- Burnett will be lousy and the Tigers will win a laugher.
- Burnett will be the hero with an unexpectedly great outing.
- Burnett will get yanked early and Phil Hughes or someone will be the hero.
- Burnett will get yanked early and Phil Hughes will be the goat or perhaps Ayala or somebody.
- It won't matter what Burnett does because Porcello will shut down the Yankees.
- It won't matter what Burnett does because the Yankees will slam Porcello.
- Either way, a team would much rather be in the Tigers' shoes right now than the Yankees.