News and notes from around the playoffs:
- The Yankees are handing the ball to youngster Ivan Nova in tonight's pivotal Game 5 in the Bronx, but New York skipper Joe Girardi says he'll have all hands on deck in the 'pen -- including left-hander CC Sabathia, who pitched in Monday's loss to the Tigers.
- For his part, Tigers manager Jim Leyland says that uber-ace Justin Verlander will be off limits tonight after throwing eight innings and 120 pitches on Monday. The only starter who might see action out of the 'pen is right-hander Max Scherzer, who pitched the Tigers to victory on Sunday in New York.
- In the National League, St. Louis' come-from-behind victory in Game 4 sets up an excellent pitching matchup in Game 5: former teammates Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter, who came up together in the Blue Jays system, will face off for the first time in their careers on Friday night.
- The Cardinals got a welcome surprise yesterday when outfielder Matt Holliday, who's been limited to pinch-hitting duty with an injured right hand in the NLDS, started and played all nine innings. Holliday was 1-for-3 on the day with two runs scored.
- St. Louis lived to play another day thanks to a Herculean effort by third baseman David Freese, who doubled in two runs and then hit a clutch two-run homer in the sixth inning to lead the Cardinals to a 5-3 win over Philadelphia. The Phillies jumped on Cards starter Edwin Jackson for two quick runs in the first inning, as Jimmy Rollins doubled, Chase Utley followed with a triple, and Hunter Pence brought Utley home with a sharp single to center field. But Jackson settled down from there, giving up just two more hits and a walk over the next five innings, and the Cards rallied to take the lead on Freese's big hits. Tony LaRussa used five Cardinal relievers to finish out the game, and Jason Motte picked up his second save of the postseason with an efficient, 12-pitch ninth inning.
- I'll just recycle yesterday's note on the Brewers:
Shaun MarcumRandy Wolf was an abject disaster, and the rest of the Brewers weren't much better, as Arizona staved off elimination with a 10-6 drubbing of Milwaukee at Chase Field. Our recap is here.
The division series standings:
- Detroit 2, New York 2.
- Texas 3, Tampa 1.
- Milwaukee 2, Arizona 2.
- Philadelphia 2, St. Louis 2.
On tap for today:
Tigers @ Yankees: Fister (11-13, 2.83) vs. Nova (16-4, 3.70) at 7:00 p.m. CDT (TBS)