Tigers take hook to Detroit with 2-0 lead

October, 14, 2012
10/14/12
9:05
PM ET
The Detroit Tigers entered the ninth inning of Game 2 with a 3-0 lead, but unlike Saturday night, this time they only needed three more outs to finish off the New York Yankees.

The Tigers are just the third team to shut out the Yankees in an ALCS game, joining the 2000 Mariners and 2010 Rangers. All three of those shutouts have come at Yankee Stadium.

Detroit held the Yankees to only four hits, becoming the fourth team to allow four hits or fewer in a postseason shutout of the team in the Bronx.

And with the win the Tigers are now 8-3 all-time in the postseason vs the Yankees, the best postseason record vs the Yankees among all teams.

Starting Strong
Anibal Sanchez scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings to continue a strong run of starting pitching by the Tigers this postseason. Detroit’s rotation has a 0.94 ERA in seven games and has not allowed an earned run in the past four outings.

The Tigers are the first team in the last 100 years to have their starters allow zero earned runs in four straight starts of five innings or more, according to Elias.

Sanchez has been nearly unhittable in his last four starts dating back to September 25 versus the Royals. Over 28 2/3 innings, he has given up only three runs and two extra-base hits for a 0.94 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.

His curveball has been electric during this streak. He has thrown 68 curves over this four-start span, netting him 20 outs and zero baserunners allowed. Of the 16 curveballs put in play, 11 were on the ground and just one was classified as a line drive.

Ca-no He Didn’t!
Robinson Cano’s miserable 2012 postseason continued with another 0-fer effort. He is now hitless in his last 26 at-bats, the longest hitless streak in a single postseason in major-league history, according to Elias.

Robinson Cano
Cano
All four of his outs in this game came on offspeed pitches: two sliders, one curveball and a changeup. Cano hit .321 vs the soft stuff during the regular season, the second-best mark among all qualified batters.

The Tigers continued the successful strategy of pitching away to Cano, a pattern started by the Baltimore Orioles. Two-thirds of the pitches Cano has seen this postseason have been on the outer third of the plate or off the outside corner.

He has made 22 outs and has reached base just once (a walk in ALDS Game 2) in at-bats ending in a pitch to that location. On Sunday night nine of the 14 pitches he saw were away, and all four of the outs he recorded came on those pitches.

Panic in the Bronx?
The Elias Sports Bureau reports that this is the ninth time the Yankees have been down 2-0 in a best-of-seven series. They have come back to win four of the previous eight series. The four series wins when trailing 2-0 are the most of any major-league team.

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