News and notes from around the playoffs:
- It was a pretty crummy weekend weatherwise in the Big Apple: Friday's Tigers-Yankees game was washed out in the top of the second inning, cutting short the starts for CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander (both of whom will start on short rest today in Detroit). Then, on Sunday, during a furious Yankees' rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, the heavens opened again, drenching the field and making Robinson Cano's final at-bat miserable.
- Tampa comes home to Tropicana Field for game three of its series with Texas, and the Rays turn to left-hander David Price -- who's never defeated Texas in six regular season games and lost the pivotal game five of last year's ALDS to the Rangers -- in tonight's contest. For its part, Texas gives the ball to right-hander Colby Lewis, who posted a sterling 3-0, 1.71 ERA in four postseason starts last season.
- Things were set up perfectly for the Phillies last night: leading 4-0 at home, with Cliff Lee on the mound and the chance to take a 2-0 lead in their NLDS series with the Cardinals. But Lee couldn't put the Cards away, giving away the lead and, eventually, the game, and afterwards told reporters that he took "full responsibility" for the Phils' loss. And while St. Louis banged out 12 hits against Lee, the two biggest blows might have come from centerfielder Jon Jay, who singled in a run in the fourth inning to make the score 4-3 and another in the sixth to tie the score.
Detroit evened its ALDS series with New York at one with a tense, 5-3 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The Tigers jumped on Yankees starter Freddy Garcia for two runs in the top of the first inning on Miguel Cabrera's two run homer, then tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth (RBI singles from Cabrera and Victor Martinez). Meanwhile, Max Scherzer was holding the Yanks in check: Scherzer worked 6 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and four walks while striking out five. But things got real interesting in the bottom of the ninth: Nick Swisher homered to make the score 5-2, and Jorge Posada followed with a triple and came home to score on Andruw Jones' sac fly. Jose Valverde walked Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson to put the tying run on base, but Valverde got Robinson Cano to ground out to end the game.
- Milwaukee used a five-run sixth inning to cover up a less-than-stellar start from Zack Greinke, and the Crew got four solid innings from the 'pen in a 9-4 win over Arizona. Our recap is here.
- St. Louis was staring down the barrel of a gun last night in game two of its NLDC matchup with Philadelphia: trailing 4-0 after three innings, with Chris Carpenter out of the game after the Cards ace proved incapable of starting on three days' rest. And yet somehow, the Cardinals rallied their way to a 5-4 victory over the Phillies behind six scoreless innings from the bullpen (which allowed a single hit over the game's final six frames). The Cards offense got off the mat in the fourth inning, plating three runs on a cue-shot double by Ryan Theriot, a single by Jon Jay, and another run-scoring single from Rafael Furcal. Al Pujols gave the Cardinals the lead in the top of the seventh, singling in Allen Craig (who led off the inning with a booming triple to center field) for the eventual winning run.
The division series standings:
- Detroit 1, New York 1.
- Tampa 1, Texas 1.
- Milwaukee 2, Arizona 0.
- St. Louis 1, Philadelphia 1.
On tap for today:
Rangers @ Rays: Lewis (14-10, 4.40) vs. Price (12-13, 3.49) at 4:00 p.m. CDT (TBS)
Yankees @ Tigers: Sabathia (19-8, 3.00) vs. Verlander (24-5, 2.40) at 7:30 p.m. CDT (TBS)