The Tigers have been a very bad baseball team now for a month or so. Still, this contest had a “big game” feel to it before the game – as well it should, given the need that both these teams have for wins (and given the chance that this series could be a post-season preview in case the Yanks and Tigers meet again in October).
What happens? Mussina melts. A-Rod makes a costly error. The Yankees bats do very little against power arms – even if they work pitch counts. New York loses. In the YES post-game, Joe Torre gives his patented “the effort was there, we just didn’t get the results that we wanted” speech.
Sure, the Yankees could go on to win the next three games of this series now. But, then again, this whole series, and the one to follow it, and the one after that, and the next one, could just be platform for us to see what we have here in Yankeeland: A team good enough to pound bad pitching and make the post-season, but, once they have to face good pitching, it will be 2005 and 2006 all over again in the ALDS.
Maybe it’s time to get ready for the 2007 version of the Yankees post-season punt play: Three and out. Unless, of course, we see something different in the next couple of weeks from what we saw in this game.