Tigers show they belong in ALCS

All season long the AL East made a strong claim for the best division in the league, producing three of the five best AL teams and sending Tampa Bay into the playoffs as the Wild Card.

In the end, neither the low budget Rays or the big spending Yankees could overcome their opposition to move onto

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the ALCS.

After winning Game 4 behind A.J. Burnett, the Yankees went into yesterday’s game at Yankee Stadium with Ivan Nova on the hill against Doug Fister.

Nova picked up the win in Game one after CC Sabathia was forced to leave following a rain delay and suspension. The Yankees got to Fister for six runs in just 4.2 innings that game and had to like their chances heading into Game 5.

But the Tigers started things off with a bang (two of them actually) as Don Kelly and Delmon Young hit back to back homers to give the Tigers the early lead in the first inning.

Nova worked just two innings before Phil Hughes entered the game. After the game it was revealed that Nova was feeling tightness in his forearm and will have an MRI. Sabathia, working out of the bullpen on short rest entered in the game in the fifth but allowed Detroit’s third run to cross the plate.

The Yankees struck back, adding a solo homerun by Robinson Cano in the bottom of the fifth. They again cut the deficit in the seventh inning when Mark Teixeira drew a bases loaded walk from Joaquin Benoit. The Yankees wasted other opportunities however when Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher struck out with three men on.

After struggling in the seventh, Benoit allowed just a two out single in the eighth, getting a one run lead to closer Jose Valverde who has been perfect in save opportunities this year.

Valverde retired Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano on flyouts before striking out Alex Rodriguez on four pitches to clinch the series for Detroit.

The Tigers escaped a number of jams on the mound and will move on to face the Texas Rangers (who defeated the Rays 3-1 in their ALDS) to try and become the AL Champion.

The first game of the ALCS will be on October 8th and will likely pit Justin Verlander and C.J. Wilson against each other.

Used with permission of the author.

Brett is the editor and a contributor for www.BravesFTW.com. He has covered MLB and the Braves for numerous websites and is a regular contributor to Sports Climax. Follow Brett on Twitter.

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