Some stuff to check before tonight's game begins!
Over at It's About the Money, Hippeaux points out that impatience against Doug Fister could be key for the Yankees.
Brien Jackson points out that the Yankees have the Game 5 starter they planned on all along.
ESPNNewYork.com's Rob Parker likes the Yankees' chances with Ivan Nova on the mound.
If the Tigers load the bases ... they need to take advantage, something they haven't done well this season.
Buster Olney talks about the playoffs and Tigers-Yankees Game 5. Tim Kurkjian looks ahead to Cardinals-Phillies Game 5.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports that the Rangers may go to 12-man pitching staff for the ALCS. Richard also reports: Don't throw Adrian Beltre fastballs.
The other day, I listed the hitters who had highest WPA (win probability added) in a single postseason game. It was basically a list of guys who delivered late-game or winning hits. Kirk Gibson's Game 1 home run in the 1988 topped the list with a WPA score of .870. Anyway, with tonight's Game 5, over at Baseball-Reference.com, Steve Lombardi found only four players who had two games with a WPA score of .2 or higher in a sudden-death game.
--Yogi Berra, Yankees: Went 2-for-3, with two home runs, two walks and four RBIs in a 9-0 win over Brooklyn in Game 7 of the 1956 World Series; his two-run homers came in the first and third innings and staked the Yankees to a 4-0 lead. Also went 1-for-4 with a walk and four RBIs in the famous Game 7 loss to the Pirates in 1960. His three-run homer in the sixth tied the game 4-4 and he walked and scored in the eighth.
--Mickey Mantle, Yankees: 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs in 1952's Game 7 4-2 victory over Brooklyn. His home run in the sixth put the Yankees ahead and his RBI single in the seventh added an insurance run. In the 1960 game, he went 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
--Keith Hernandez, Cardinals/Mets: In the 1982 World Series, he went 2-for-3 with two walks against the Brewers. His two-run single in the sixth tied it 3-3 and he walked and scored in the eighth, helping stretch a 4-3 lead to 6-3. In 1986, he went just 1-for-4 against the Red Sox, but his two-run single with two outs in the sixth off Bruce Hurst cut the Mets' deficit from 3-0 to 3-2. He added a sac fly in the seventh.
--Tony Womack, Diamondbacks: Yes, the surprise name on the list. In the 2001 Division Series, he went 3-for-5, including the winning hit with two outs in the ninth. And against the Yankees in the World Series, his one-out double in the bottom of the ninth off Mariano Rivera tied the game.
Another post at Baseball-Reference.com: I wrote about Albert Pujols' play on Chase Utley last night. John Austin did the math on the play and reports that Utley was taking the bigger risk by trying to reach third.
In non-playoff stuff, Troy Patterson of Fire Brand of the AL breaks down the Theo Epstein-to-the-Cubs rumor and points out the Cubs may actually be a dream job for a GM. Yes, even with the Alfonso Soriano contract.