UPDATE: Make it 6-0. Delmon Young singled and Johnny Peralta homered. Then Andy Dirks doubled and Joe Girardi came and got Sabathia. There are still many innings to play here, but, it looks the Tigers are World Series bound.
5:41 PM: Make it 4-0: Miguel Cabrera just hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth.
5:33 PM: Like so many games this series a small lead in terms of runs feels like a bigger lead in terms of momentum. The Tigers are up 2-0 after three and a half innings, but the vibe of the game has them up by half a dozen.
Detroit scored their runs via a Delmon Young single in the first and a rally — if you can call one run a rally — in the third that could have easily led to more runs.
Prince Fielder singled, Delmon Young walked — like, he really walked — and then with two outs the Yankees put on the clownshoes: Mark Teixeira made a rather theatrical looking error on a bounding ball which loaded the bases for Andy Dirks. Dirks hit a chopper up the middle which CC Sabathia just missed. Eduardo Nunez fielded it deep behind the second base bag, but was twisting as he fielded it and ended up firing the throw into the dirt. He was lucky it didn’t get past Teixeira at first. Fielder scored.
We’re now in the top of the fourth. CC Sabathia has already thrown 73 pitches and doesn’t look like he has his best stuff at all. Max Scherzer, in contrast, has seven strikeouts while facing 14 batters through four innings of work. And not a one of them was A-Rod.
It’s not dark yet for the Yankees. But it’s getting there.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.