We’ve now entered the most exciting time of year in American sports: Not Super Bowl Sunday, not the World Series, The first Sunday of October. 7 long months of grueling Baseball season have come to a close and the Division Championships are underway. Combine that with Week 4 of the NFL Season, the week that true front-runners and inevitable losers will start to emerge, and what you get is a cluster-fuck of must-watch sports. Maybe I’m biased but I’m making my pick: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees.
The Dallas Cowboys may be America’s team, but the New York Yankees are the world’s team. Don’t believe me? Go to any foreign country and take note of the symbol on the first 5 Baseball caps you see. If 3 out of 5 (low end) aren’t a blue “N” crossed with a “Y,” I owe you a beer. After a rain out at 1-1 Friday night and a huge 9-3 finish by the Yankees last night, Game 2 today is where things are bound to get interesting.
Crazy stat: The only Yankee starter to ever win Game 2 of an ALDS series is Andy Pettitte. To everyone’s dismay, Andy chose to retire this year, probably not thinking the Yanks were much of a contender which nobody did (except us) after they lost out on Cliff Lee and the now deceased Red Sox grabbed every big name free-agent they could handle. He was wrong, and now tonight he will be at The Stadium to throw out tonight’s Ceremonial First Pitch. Don’t judge me if I have tears in my eye.
As for the actual game, the match up tonight is New York’s Freddy Garcia vs. Detroit’s Max Scherzer. Neither pitcher is particularly special – Garcia went 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA and Scherzer went 15-9 with a 4.43 ERA – which is exactly why this is basically anyone’s game. I could say that Garcia has the lower ERA (one of the the only pitching stats that really matter), he has post-season chops with his clinching of the 2005 World Series for the White Sox and the better surrounding bats, but this truly is a game that is totally up for grabs.
I know that much more than most sports, any Football game could go either way, but this is play-off Baseball and a Division Series only has so many games. Today’s game will either kill the Yankees’ momentum and inevitably give the ball to pitchers who don’t handle it particularly well (ok, AJ Burnett) or basically seal Detroit’s fate with the unstoppable CC Sabathia taking the mound tomorrow for Game 3. It’s gonna be huge.
Action starts at 3:07 PM EST on TNT