ALDS Game Five: Tigers @ Yankees

Jose Valverde said the series wouldn’t get back to New York after Game Two. He was wrong. The Yankees bludgeoned the Tigers pitching staff in Game Four on Tuesday night, ensuring that the ALDS would come back home to the Bronx for the deciding Game Five. Someone’s season will end tonight. There will be heroes and there will be goats.

Ivan Nova is making the biggest start of his life tonight, one that will help determine if the Yankees will get a chance to exact revenge against the Rangers in the ALCS, or if they’ll head home for an early winter. He pitched well in “relief” in Game One, holding the Tigers scoreless through six-plus innings before some Luis Ayala-induced inherited runner funny business. The Yankees got to Doug Fister in that game, a pitcher they once drafted, tagging him for more earned runs (six) than he’d allowed in his final seven regular season starts combined. Here’ are the lineup Nova and Fister will be facing…

Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF
Don Kelly, 3B
Delmon Young, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Alex Avila, C
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Ramon Santiago, 2B

Doug Fister, SP

New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF

Ivan Nova, SP

It’s chilly here in New York, but the sky is clear. There won’t be any rain, unlike the first three days they spent in the Bronx. The game starts at 8:07pm ET (not 8:37!) and can be seen on TBS. Enjoy.

Site Note: Ben, Joe, and I are at the game, so I have spillover threads scheduled to publish at 9, 10, and 11pm ET. Please use them accordingly to keep the site running smooth.

UPDATE: Sabathia available in Game Five, but not Verlander

Update (Oct. 6th): You can rest easy now, Verlander will in fact not be available tonight. He threw a total of 56 pitches during his between-start bullpen session this afternoon. Max Scherzer, who shut the Yankees down in Game Two, is available in relief tonight, however.

Original Post (Oct. 5th): Via George King, CC Sabathia will be ready to go out of the bullpen in Game Five if needed. “It’s my bullpen day, so I will be ready to go,” said Sabathia. Remember, Sabathia was available in relief in Game Six of the ALCS last year, but Joe Girardi never gave him the ball. Being ready is one thing, being used is another. I think the bullpen is deep enough and rested enough that CC won’t be needed unless it goes crazy extra innings, or something.

As for Justin Verlander, he will be ready to pitch in relief tomorrow night as well, but Jim Leyland insists he won’t use him. “I wouldn’t do anything foolish,” said Leyland. “I try not to do anything foolish with any of my pitchers, let alone an arm like that.”