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Around the MLB Playoffs: October 4 Edition

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News and notes from around the playoffs:

Yesterday's action:

  • What I billed yesterday as the pitching matchup of the playoffs didn't come to fruition: CC Sabathia didn't look quite right yesterday pitching on two days' rest, as the big lefty lasted just 5.1 innings in a 5-4 loss to Detroit. Sabathia gave up seven hits, four earned runs, and a whopping six walks in his 106-pitch outing, and he gave away an early 2-0 New York lead in the third inning: Ramon Santiago singled in Brandon Inge for the Tigers' first run, and Miggy Cabrera grounded into a DP to account for the second. Detroit added one more in the fifth on Santiago's double and chased Sabathia in the sixth on Jhonny Peralta's RBI double. Justin Verlander, meanwhile, wasn't his usual self, either, but he managed to last eight innings -- and was still pumping 100-mph fastballs down the pipe in his last inning -- giving up four runs on six hits and three walks while fanning 11. Brett Gardner tied the game at 4 with a 2-RBI double in the seventh, but Detroit reclaimed a one-run advantage on Delmon Young's solo homer in the eighth. The Tigers then survived another white-knuckle save from Jose Valverde, who struck out Deter Jeter with men at first and second to finish the game off.
  • Tampa was cruising into the seventh inning of its ALDS game with Texas with a 1-0 lead, but David Price and Co. hit a major oil slick in the top of seven: Mike Napoli hammered a two-run homer off Price field to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead, and Josh Hamilton ran that advantage to three runs by lacing a two-run single off of J.P. Howell, who was ushered off the field to a chorus of boos. (He's apparently not well liked in Tampa. With a 6.16 ERA on the year, I can see why.) Tampa rallied for a run in the bottom of the seventh on Sean Rodriguez's RBI groundout and pulled within one on Desmond Jennings' solo homer in the eighth (Jennings' second homer of the game), but Neftali Feliz slammed the door in the ninth inning, getting Kelly Shoppach to ground into a game-ending double play with one on and one down in the ninth.

The division series standings:

  • Detroit 2, New York 1.
  • Texas 2, Tampa 1.
  • Milwaukee 2, Arizona 0.
  • St. Louis 1, Philadelphia 1.

On tap for today:

Rangers @ Rays: Harrison (14-9, 3.39) vs. Hellickson (13-10, 2.95) at 1:00 p.m. CDT (TBS)

Phillies @ Cardinals: Hamels (14-9, 2.79) vs. Garcia (13-7, 3.56) at 4:00 p.m. CDT (TBS)

Yankees @ Tigers: Burnett (11-11, 5.15) vs. Porcello (14-9, 4.75) at 7:30 p.m. CDT (TBS)

Brewers @ Diamondbacks: Marcum (13-7, 3.54) vs. Collmenter (10-10, 3.38) at 8:30 p.m. CDT (TNT)