The expected pitching duel between Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia never quite developed in Game 3 between the Tigers and Yankees. Verlander was sharp enough, striking out 11 in eight innings and earning the win to put his team within a game of the ALCS, but Sabathia was gone shy of six full innings after allowing six walks and seven hits.


Did the strike zone beat Sabathia?

"I actually thought [Sabathia] made good pitches and I thought the zone was small. No disrespect to anyone, but that's what I thought." -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

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Is October not Sabathia's month?

It's not as if Sabathia can't pitch October gems -- he was 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in the 2009 ALCS. But how do you explain one of baseball's best aces generally struggling?

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The incredible shrinking strike zone?

Verlander worked with the same strike zone, so maybe it wasn't a deciding factor. But is an umpire squeezing aces more annoying than a referee sending stars to the bench?

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