ALCS Game 4: Detroit Tigers Ride Max Scherzer’s Arm To World Series

Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera

After enduring a rain out on Wednesday night, the ALCS resumed on Thursday afternoon with CC Sabathia and Max Scherzer squaring off for what would be the deciding game of the American League Championship series.

The only thing that could have helped the Yankees was another rain out as Detroit went on to win 8-1 behind the dominant arm of Scherzer. Detroit will now make their second trip to the World Series in six years. As for the Yankees—according to Fox Sports, it was the first time they were swept in 36 postseason series.

The Tigers jumped on Sabathia early, scoring one run in the first inning on a Delmon Young RBI.

While the Tigers got to Sabathia early, Scherzer was doing his best Justin Verlander impression by striking out four of the first six batters he faced. In fact, Scherzer did not allow a hit through five innings.

The Tigers got to Sabathia again in the third. Prince Fielder singled. Young walked. Andy Dirks reached on an error by Mark Teixeira. Avisail Garcia singled to drive in Fielder giving Detroit a 2-0 lead after three innings.

Scherzer continued his dominance in the top of the fourth by striking out Teixeria and Raul Ibanez to bring his strike out total to seven through four innings.

The Bottom of the fourth only served up more good news for the Tigers as Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run home run to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead. But that wasn’t the end of the scoring in what turned out to be a nightmare of an inning for Sabathia. Cabrera’s home run was followed by a Jhonny Peralta two-run shot in what would prove to be the coup de gras on Sabathia’s day.

New York’s ace only lasted 3.2 innings, allowed 5 earned runs on 11 hits, walked 2, and gave up two home runs.

Scherzer, on the other hand, continued his complete dominance of the Yankees in the fifth as he struck out Eric Chavez and Russell Martin to bring his strikeout total to nine through five innings.

After the fifth inning, DJ Gallo of ESPN tweeted:

Game 4 of the ALCS really was the Scherzer show.

Scherzer’s no-hit bid ended in the sixth as Eduardo Nunez tripled and Nick Swisher doubled. Although the Yankees broke up the no-hit bid it may have actually helped out Jim Leyland. Scherzer’s pitch count was getting high and there may have been a riot if Leyland pulled Scherzer in the middle of no-hitter.

Leyland did pull Scherzer in sixth with the Tigers leading 6-1. Scherzer went 5.2 innings, allowed one run on two hits and struck out 10.

Drew Smyly came on to face pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez who quickly popped out to end the sixth inning.

Before the game, ESPN Stats and Info tweeted:

Well, A-Rod was not in the lineup and the answer turned out to be “no” — he is not much of a help as a pinch hitter.

The Tigers extended their lead to 7-1 with an Austin Jackson solo shot against Derek Lowe in the bottom of the seventh. They would extend their lead to 8-1 in the eighth with Peralta’s second home run of the game. It was an official whipping at this point. New York looked outclassed in every aspect of the game.

This game was never really in doubt and the Tigers are now headed to the World Series for the 11th time in their history. They will either face the St. Louis Cardinals or San Francisco Giants in this year’s Fall Classic.


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Tom Fitzgerald