2012 ALCS Game 2, 2012 NLCS Game 1

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports - Presswire

After a dramatic division series round that ended with some heart-pounding classics, we were treated to more of the same in the first LCS game.

How much more drama can one postseason give? First, it's a shame that Derek Jeter is going to miss the rest of the season; no matter how you feel about the Yankees, Jeter has always played the game right, been a class act, and played through injuries that would have stopped lesser players. The Yankees will have to step up, now that they are down one game to none, and facing the prospect of having to defeat Justin Verlander twice if the series goes seven games.

Jim Leyland, meanwhile, can thank his players for bailing him out of his mind-numbingly awful decision to leave Jose Valverde in the game. First of all, Valverde probably shouldn't have been in the game with a 4-0 lead. But once he gave up the home run to Ichiro, Leyland should have yanked him. Or after he walked Teixeira. Or sometime. This is where managers get themselves in trouble, by being too loyal to certain players, instead of playing the game to win.

Valverde has been bad this postseason (2⅓ innings, seven hits, two home runs, seven earned runs, 27.00 ERA). At times, it seems as if he's more interested in his histrionics on the mound than winning baseball games. Leyland will have to make a decision soon on whether to stick with him, or instead try Octavio Dotel (who has 109 career saves) or Joaquin Benoit in closing situations. For now, the Tigers have to consider themselves fortunate that they escaped what could have been a soul-crushing defeat, and instead lead the series 1-0.

Meanwhile, the NLCS matchup of the last two World Series champions -- something that's never happened before in a LCS -- will begin this evening in San Francisco. The Cardinals have magic dust sprinkled on them, or so it would seem. But I think the Giants' pitching will shut them down. The teams split six games during the regular season, which were played (oddly) in a four-game set in San Francisco (split 2-2) and a two-game series in St. Louis (each team won one).

Giants in seven.

MLB.com Gameday for Yankees/Tigers. Tigers lead series 1-0. Game time: 3 p.m. CDT. TV: TBS. Announcers: Ernie Johnson, John Smoltz, Ron Darling and Craig Sager.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Anibal Sanchez 4-6 12 12 1 1 0 0 74.2 81 36 31 8 15 57 3.74 1.29


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Hiroki Kuroda 16-11 33 33 3 2 0 0 219.2 205 86 81 25 51 167 3.32 1.17

MLB.com Gameday for Giants/Cardinals. Game time: 7 p.m. CDT. TV: Fox. Announcers: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. (Yes, they're back. ESPN Radio is covering this game; if you can sync up the broadcasts, you can listen to them instead.)


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Lance Lynn 18-7 35 29 0 0 0 0 176.0 168 76 74 16 64 180 3.78 1.32


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Madison Bumgarner 16-11 32 32 2 1 0 0 208.1 183 87 78 23 49 191 3.37 1.11

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

This will be the only thread for today's games; if it gets too slow, post another one in the fanshot area. Discuss amongst yourselves.

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