News and notes from around the playoffs:
- There's a lot of blame to go around New York this morning after the Yankees dropped a 3-2 decision in Game 5 of their ALDS series with Detroit: starter Ivan Nova gave up two homers before leaving the game after two innings because of tightness in his right forearm; Joe Girardi yanked Phil Hughes, who took over for Nova, after just 1.1 innings of scoreless ball; CC Sabathia, pitching on three days' rest in the fifth inning, gave up two walks, two hits, and what proved to be the game-winning run; and Alex Rodriguez went down swinging for the final out in the ninth inning with the Yankees trailing by one.
- The Tigers, meanwhile, are celebrating today before beginning the ALCS with Texas tomorrow night. There were plenty of heroes from last night's game, from utilityman Don Kelly, who clubbed a one-out homer in the first inning, to Delmon Young, who followed Kelly's shot with a homer of his own -- Young's third blast of the ALDS.
- The Tigers will have ace Justin Verlander on the mound in Game 1 of the ALCS, since skipper Jim Leyland stayed true to his word and didn't use Verlander in the deciding game of the ALDS.
- There are a pair of Game 5s in the NLDS tonight: after Milwaukee and Arizona wrap up their series, the Phillies and Cardinals take center stage at 7:30 p.m. CDT. As you'd expect, the Phillies are pulling out all the stops: lefty Cliff Lee is available out of the 'pen tonight, just as he was in Game 4 of the series.
- The Cardinals should have everyone at the ready for Game 5, as well: outfielder Matt Holliday says he's healthy enough to start, as is infielder Skip Schumaker, who had to exit Game 4 with a cramp in his left hamstring.
- Detroit claimed victory in its ALDS series with New York, riding a pair of first-inning homers -- from Don Kelly and Delmon Young -- to a 3-2 win at Yankee Stadium. The Tigers only managed one run after the first-inning outburst (Victor Martinez's run-scoring single off of CC Sabathia), but that was enough for Doug Fister and three Detroit relievers, who gave up 10 hits and three walks but held the Yankees to two runs. Robbie Cano hit a solo homer in the fifth to trim Detroit's advantage to two, and Mark Teixeira drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh to make it a one-run game, but Joaquin Benoit bounced back to strike out Nick Swisher to end the threat. Jose Valverde put the Yanks down in order in the ninth inning for his second save of the postseason.
The division series standings:
- Detroit 3, New York 2.
- Texas 3, Tampa 1.
- Milwaukee 2, Arizona 2.
- Philadelphia 2, St. Louis 2.
On tap for today:
D-backs @ Brewers: Kennedy (0-1, 5.40) vs. Gallardo (1-0, 1.13) at 4:00 p.m. CDT (TBS)
Cardinals @ Phillies: Carpenter (0-0, 12.00) vs. Halladay (1-0, 3.38) at 7:30 p.m. CDT (TBS)