Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the Tigers-Yankees series tonight:
DETROIT TIGERS NEW YORK YANKEES
1. Austin Jackson, CF 1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Magglio Ordonez, RF 2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Delmon Young, LF 3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B 4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Victor Martinez, DH 5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Alex Avila, C 6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Ryan Raburn, 2B 7. Jorge Posada, DH
8. Jhonny Peralta, SS 8. Russell Martin, C
9. Brandon Inge, 3B 9. Brett Gardner, LF
SP Justin Verlander, RHP SP CC Sabathia, LHP
Pretty standard lineup against left-handed pitching for the Tigers, with Brandon Inge starting over Wilson Betemit at third base and Magglio Ordonez starting over Andy Dirks in right field. Ryan Raburn is at second base with Carlos Guillen injured. It’ll be interesting to see if sticking with Delmon Young in the third spot pays off for Jim Leyland, because in theory he wants as many runners on base as possible for cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera and Young has a .302 on-base percentage this year.
Joe Girardi announced earlier this week that Jorge Posada will be the Yankees’ designated hitter versus right-handed pitchers and the Tigers don’t have a left-handed starter going in the ALDS, so Jesus Montero will serve as a bench bat. Girardi is also sticking with his late-season batting order switch that moved Robinson Cano into the No. 3 spot and slid Mark Teixeira into the No. 5 spot. In all six of the Yankees’ nine hitters will bat from the left side versus Justin Verlander.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.