The Yankees will be in Detroit for Game 3 tonight against the Tigers, and feel that maybe going on the road to play will help the team loosen up and get out of their offensive funk. The Yankee offense has been non existent this postseason, and have now put the Yankees two games away from elimination, and every game becoming a must win. So, much for loosening up at the plate. The Yankees lineup has struggled from top to bottom, with few bright spots.
Raul Ibanez has carried the Yankee offense this postseason with three home runs, all coming in the ninth inning or later to to tie or win the game. Ichiro Suzuki has also been hot at the plate, especially in the ALCS. Suzuki is hitting .400 with a home run and two RBI. After Suzuki and Ibanez, no Yankee is hitting above .250 this series, and have combined for zero home runs along with zero RBI.
The Yankee pitching has kept this team in the postseason, and still give the Yankees hope if they can continue to keep the Tigers lineup at bay. Tonight the task of taming the Tigers is given to Phil Hughes. In Hughes' ALDS start, he went 6 2/3 innings, giving up four hits, striking out eight, and the only run he allowed was a solo home run.
Hughes will be facing the reigning AL Cy Young and AL MVP winner Justin Verlander tonight. Hughes faced Verlander in Detroit during the regular season, and out dueled Verlander with a complete game. Hughes allowed four hits and a solo home run in the Yankees 5-1 win over the Tigers. Unfortunately for Hughes, he will have to put up a similar performance tonight, and hope the Yankee bats can get him any kind of run support.
Every game has become do or die for the Yankees, and a loss tonight in Detroit spells the end of the season for the Bronx Bombers who have been anything but. If the Yankees need some inspiration to climb out of this hole they have dug, perhaps they should look at the 2004 ALCS where they were up three games to none on the Boston Red Sox, and ended losing the series 4-3.
Game 3 between the Yankees and Tigers will start at 8:00 pm tonight.