Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez yielded just three hits over seven shutout innings and third baseman Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with an RBI as the Tigers rolled to a far-too-easy 3-0 victory over the Yankees on Sunday evening in Game 2 of the ALCS.
Yankees fans might choose to pout about a blown call at second in the Tigers’ two-run eighth inning and an inconsistent strike zone throughout, but it’s the New York bats that deserve most of the blame.
Robinson Cano finished 0-for-4 and has now gone without a hit in 26 straight at-bats. That’s an all-time postseason record. Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-4 and struck out twice. Jayson Nix, the Yankees’ shortstop-by-default in the wake of Derek Jeter’s season-ending ankle fracture, wound up 0-for-3.
The Tigers will bring a 2-0 series lead back to Comerica Park with Justin Verlander going Tuesday night in Game 3. We’d be foolish to bury a team too early in a seven-game postseason series, but it’s not looking good right now for the Yanks. And staff ace CC Sabathia isn’t slated to take the mound until Game 4.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.