Brett Gardner LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Eric Chavez 3B
Curtis Granderson CF
Eduardo Nunez SS
RHP Phil Hughes (0-0, 1.35)
Hughes vs. Tigers
Austin Jackson CF
Quintin Berry LF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Andy Dirks RF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Alex Avila C
Omar Infante 2B
RHP Justin Verlander (2-0, 0.56)
Verlander vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 8:07 p.m., TBS
WEATHER: Nice, clear sky with temperatures in the 50s.
UMPIRES: HP Sam Holbrook, 1B Jeff Nelson, 2B Gary Cederstrom, 3B Mike Winter, LF Jeff Kellogg, RF Rob Drake
TWO DOWN: The Yankees have lost the first two games of an ALCS for the second time (also 1980 when they were swept by Kansas City under a three-game format). It marks the ninth time the Yankees have started a best-of-seven series 0-2, all coming in the World Series (1922 vs. New York Giants, ‘56 vs. Brooklyn, ‘58 vs. Milwaukee, ‘63 vs. Los Angeles, ‘76 vs. Cincinnati, ‘78 vs. Los Angeles, ‘96 vs. Atlanta and 2001 vs. Arizona). They came back to win the series four times in those previous situations (‘56, ‘58, ‘78 and ‘96). They were swept in ‘22, ‘63 and ‘76 and lost in seven games in ‘01.
NO HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE: This is the third time the Yankees have lost the first two games of a best-of-seven series with both losses coming as the home team (also ‘63 when they were swept by the Dodgers and ‘96 when they won four straight vs. Atlanta (beating Glavine, Avery, Smoltz and Maddux).
BAD START, BUT GOOD STARTERS: Yankees starters have combined to go 2-2 with a 2.33 ERA in the 2012 postseason. They have 48 strikeouts, a .201 opponents average, and?have tossed at least six innings with three earned runs or less in all seven starts, matching their World Championship season of 2009 for the best such stretch to start a postseason in franchise history.
UPDATE, 8:08 p.m.: Here we go folks. Gardner leading off, showing bunt in his fourth at-bat since April. Don’t forget, Carp is chatting down below.
UPDATE, 8:12 p.m.: Gardner grounds to second and the Yankees go down in order in the first.
UPDATE, 8:19 p.m.: Cabrera gets on in the air, but it’s caught by Granderson for the second out of the first inning. A fly-ball pitcher against Cabrera and Fielder is a dangerous thing.
UPDATE, 8:24 p.m.: Single, walk and a couple of medium-depth fly balls, but Hughes is through the first inning and through the heart of the Tigers order with the game scoreless after one.
UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: Impossible to question whether Ibanez is hustling out of the box.
UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.: Make that 15 postseason strikeouts for Granderson.
UPDATE, 8:57 p.m.: Hughes got ahead of Cabrera, but with two outs and a man on, walking him isn’t the worst result. Gotta get Fielder now. Lefties had a harder time hitting Hughes than right handers during the season.
UPDATE, 8:59 p.m.: Annnnnnd breathe. Fielder swings at a 3-0 pitch and flies to center. Hughes is through three innings, game still scoreless, Verlander — of course — working on a perfect game.
UPDATE, 9:08 p.m.: Ichiro singles for the Yankees first hit of the night.
UPDATE, 9:16 p.m.: Young continues to clobber the Yankees in the postseason. His solo homer to start the bottom of the fourth has the Tigers in front 1-0.
UPDATE, 9:20 p.m.: Hughes velocity has been 90-91 most of the night, and now he’s pulled because of some sort of apparent injury concern. He’s given the Yankees the kind of start I think they were hoping to see — some hits, but until the inevitable homer he’d kept this lineup off the board — and now it’s Phelps coming in from the pen.
UPDATE, 9:32 p.m.: Still no word on Hughes’ injury, but Phelps is one out away from getting out of the inning.
UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: Groundball to short and Phelps is out of the inning. It was dicey — a single and a couple of medium-depth fly balls — but Phelps has done the job. Can’t see anyone getting loose in the bullpen, so it looks like the fifth inning will belong to Phelps as well.
UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: Verlander is awfully good, and the Yankees have very little to show for their at-bats so far. Ichiro’s fourth-inning single remains their only hit heading into the bottom of the fifth.
UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.: Bad hop for Chavez, but it’s an E-5 and the leadoff man is on for the Tigers in the fifth. Middle of the order now coming to the plate.
UPDATE, 9:52 p.m.: Bad route for Granderson on the hard line drive by Cabrera. It’s an RBI double and the Tigers lead is up to 2-0.
UPDATE, 9:57 p.m.: Terrific play by Nunez to save a run (for now). Here comes Eppley to face Peralta with two outs and runners at the corners.
UPDATE, 10:01 p.m.: One unearned run in the inning as Eppley gets out of it.
HUGHES UPDATE: Phil Hughes has a stiff back according to the Yankees.
UPDATE, 10:27 p.m.: Girardi’s most questionable bullpen decision of the series might have been letting Boone Logan pitch to Miguel Cabrera with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth. Of course, Logan got a groundball to third and an inning-ending double play. Who knew?
UPDATE, 11:01 p.m.: Logan is still out there for the ninth. This pitching staff — despite Hughes’ stiff back, Chavez’s error and a lot of work for the bullpen — has done its job. Two runs is awfully good against this Tigers lineup, but the Yankees offense has been awful once again. Obviously a lot of that is Verlander, but given the way this postseason has gone, it seems the Yankees never really had much of a chance. They’ve got one inning to prove people wrong, but right now it’s the same old story all over again.
UPDATE, 11:05 p.m.: Logan got through 2.1 innings on 25 pitches, including that huge double play against Cabrera. Here’s Joba Chamberlain to face Infante with two outs and the bases empty in the eighth. The Yankees have Nunez, Gardner and Ichiro coming to the plate in the ninth. Verlander is at 115 pitches.