Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tigers Take Down those Damn Yanks [J. Mark English]

DETROIT -- The team that couldn't beat the Royals in three tries to win the American League Central overwhelmed the Yankees to win its AL Division Series instead.

While Jeremy Bonderman retired the first 15 batters he faced, Craig Monroe's two-run homer propelled Detroit to its largest offensive attack of the series, sending the Tigers to an 8-3 victory on Saturday night and their first postseason series victory since the 1984 World Series.

It was proof of the old baseball adage of good pitching beating good hitting. The finale, however, showed Detroit with better everything.

Though Bonderman won 14 games and produced the first 200-strikeout season in 19 years from a Detroit pitcher, he was the true wild card in the AL Wild Card's blueprint for beating the Bronx Bombers. He lasted 8 1/3 innings, surrendering two runs on five hits.

In essence, he was the next day's version of Kenny Rogers, only without the age. Though Bonderman won three consecutive starts in September, he gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings last Sunday as Detroit blew a 6-0 lead and its shot at the AL Central title in the process.

The loss, a week after the Tigers clinched a playoff spot in Kansas City, denied them a much-awaited celebration at Comerica Park. Thanks to Bonderman, they got to celebrate after all.

Comments -

Yankee fans should not be so quick to blame A-Rod for the demise of the offense in the playoffs. This has happened now three years in a row, that the whole of the team has melted.

This team could be facing serious problems. Wang is the only promising arm in the rotation that has a solid future ahead of him. How much longer can Mussina be the Ace of the team? Johnson's next stop should be a retirement home. Wright could not have been any worse today. And will Pavano ever pitch in pinstripes?

This team has a lot to work on if they ever hope to win their 27th Championship. But for now Yankee fans, sit back and enjoy the New York Mets!