Yankees 5, Tigers 3, at Comerica Park in Detroit. For only the 2nd time all season, the Yanks won a game without hitting a home run.
The Yankees scored 2 runs in the 1st and 1 in the 2nd off Tiger starter Justin Verlander. But the Tigers scored single runs in the 2nd, 3rd, and, off a tiring Bartolo Colon, in the 7th, to make it 3-3, which it remained into the 9th inning. Joba Chamberlain (2-0) pitched a scoreless 8th.
In the top of the 9th, off reliever Jose Valverde (2-1), ex-Tiger Curtis Granderson made his first game back in Detroit (he was hurt during the Yanks' lone trip there last season) count as he drew a leadoff walk. Those leadoff walks will get you every time. Except he got caught stealing 2nd. Sometimes, you CAN try too hard.
But Mark Teixeira also worked Valverde for a walk, and then Alex Rodriguez answered his "He can't hit in the clutch" critics (myself included) by beating out an infield single. And my boy Swish came through: Nick Swisher singled home Teix, sending A-Rod to 3rd. After Jorge Posada struck out, Russell Martin came to the plate. Tiger catcher Alex Avila, who had hit 2 home runs in the game, mishandled a pitch for a passed ball, and A-Rod scored the insurance run. Mariano Rivera went 1-2-3 in the 9th, finishing with (appropriately) a strikeout of Avila for his 11th save.
For those of you demanding that Derek Jeter A) be dropped to 9th in the batting order, B) take himself out of the lineup (as another Yankee Captain, Lou Gehrig, did on another May 2 in Detroit, in 1939), or C) "retire with class," let the record show that, at Comerica Park, a hitters' park, off a pretty good pitcher in Verlander, he got 2 hits.
No, he's not a Navy SEAL. No, he didn't find, kill, or order the killing of Osama bin Laden.
But it is far from time to hang Derek Jeter out to dry.
Game 2 of the series tonight, 7:05 PM, CC Sabathia vs. Brad Penny.
Jeter 2951 49
Rivera 570 31
A-Rod 618 145
Magic Number 132 (to eliminate Rays & O's 130 for Scum & Jays)