Yanks pound Tigers, force Game Five

I don’t think we could have drawn this up any better. A.J. Burnett was better than anyone expected, the offense scored runs early and continued to tack on before blowing things open late. The bullpen was flawless. Elimination has been staved off, and now we’ve got a winner take all Game Five set for Thursday night in the Bronx. The full recap will be up eventually, but for now you can occupy yourself with the Brewers-D-Backs game thread.

ALDS Game Four: Yankees @ Tigers

It’s crunch time. The Yankees’ have their collective back up against the wall; a win extends their season for another game and a loss sends them home for the winter. It’s obviously not an ideal situation, but it is what it is. Nothing they can do now but win.

Tonight is A.J. Burnett‘s chance at redemption, a chance for us all to get behind him and forget all about the ugliness of the last two seasons. Joe Girardi will surely have a quick hook, but I’d really love to see Burnett just shove it tonight. Come out throwing fastballs on the black with a dirty hook for swings and misses. He’s due for a game like that, and there really would be no better time for him to have a start like that. Here are the lineups…

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

A.J. Burnett, SP

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

Rick Porcello, SP

It’s another chilly but clear night in Detroit. The game is scheduled start at 8:37pm ET and can be seen on TBS. If the Phillies and Cardinals are still playing by then, this beginning of this game will be on TNT. Enjoy.

Joseph goes deep on AzFL Opening Day

Baseball America posted full Instructional League rosters for each team. It’s mostly lower level kids, 2011 draftees and recently signed international free agents. They also compiled organizational standings (Yankees had the 11th best combined record in the minors this year) and minor league averages (compared to recent years). Check it out, interesting stuff.

AzFL Phoenix Desert Dogs (12-8 win over Mesa) David Phelps, Preston Claiborne, Dan Burawa, and Chase Whitley are also on the roster
Corban Joseph, 2B: 1 for 4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, BB – nice debut, but remember that this is a crazy offensive environment
Ronnie Mustelier, DH: 2 for 5, 1 3B, 1 RBI
Rob Segedin, LF: 1 for 4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Rosters for the various winter ball leagues in Latin America have not yet been posted, but I’ll let you know if any Yankees are playing down there. There surely will be, don’t worry. Those seasons typically start in early November.