The Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees faced off against each other in a 4 game series in the Bronx. The hype behind this series was the Yankees facing the unprecedented: 3 straight Cy Young Award winners (the last 3, in fact) all in a row.
On Monday, recent trade acquisition Brandon McCarthy outdueled defending Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer winning 2-1. Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury each had RBI's for the Yankees as McCarthy pitched 5 2/3 innings of 1 run ball, allowing 5 hits while striking out 8. On the other side, Scherzer was equally as dominant, giving up 9 hits and 2 runs in 7 innings while striking out 4, but he also walked 3. McCarthy earned his 4th win in his 5 Yankees starts.
Tuesday saw the second Cy Young winner pitch for Detroit, although he was not with them to start the year, David Price. If you will recall, Price was acquired in a blockbuster three-team deal last Thursday and this was his first Tigers start. It was a battle of aces as the Yankees countered with Hiroki Kuroda. Both starters lasted at least 7 innings (Price went 8 2/3, Kuroda went 7). While the Yankees got a 2 run lead by the 6th (homers by McCann and Prado's first NYY bomb) and an RBI double by Ellsbury, the lead could not be held as the Tigers clawed their way back on a homer by Austin Romine and a RBI from Alex Avila (we'll hear from him later). The game went into extra innings and in the 12th, the aforementioned Avila hit a HR off Yankee reliever Matt Daley (who was recalled that very day) and the Tigers ended up winning 4-3 in 12 innings.
Wednesday saw the Tigers trot out their 3rd consecutive Cy Young Award winner, Justin Verlander. The Yankees started another trade acquisition, Chris Capuano. On paper Verlander and the Tigers were easily expected to take care of Capuano and the Yankees, but that's on paper. When they actually played, it was a reversal of fortune as Capuano pitched a solid game although he did not get the win. That went to Adam Warren because of a Yankees rally in the 7th and 8th that included a bang-bang play at home involving Mark Teixeira where after first being called out, umpire review called him safe, capping a 3 run 8th (though Teixeira suffered a lacerated pinky after being accidentally spiked by Alex Avila)
Thursday the Tigers brought a bit of the area to the mound, starting Morristown New Jersey native Rick Porcello who went against Shane Greene. For all the hype of facing the three Cy Young Award winners, THIS was the best pitched game of the entire series. Stephen Drew's 4th inning RBI was all the offense from either side as the Yankees shutout the Tigers 1-0. Porcello allowed 1 run and 9 hits over 7 innings, striking out 5. Greene pitched his best game in pinstripes thus far. He went 8 2/3 innings, no runs, just 5 hits and struck out 5.
If this whole series made someone acclimated to the pinstripes, it's new third baseman Chase Headley, who the Yankees acquired in a trade with the Padres. Chase had a homer, a few RBI's, but his shining light was his stellar defense. If anyone earned a spot on this team, it's Chase.
The upcoming weekend brings the Cleveland Indians to town and while the series might be average at best, fans are certainly looking forward to Saturday where Yankee legend Paul O'Neill takes his rightful place in Monument Park. If you're a diehard fan as I am, you don't need me to tell you what The Warrior did in his 8 seasons with the Yankees. Congrats, Paulie!