Yankees vs. Tigers ALDS Game 2: Scherzer Solid, Helps Detroit Tie Series

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Yankees Vs. Tigers, ALDS Game 2 Turning Point: Cano's Final At-Bat

Every Major League postseason game has a turning point -- a moment that was crucial to one team winning or losing. During the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers, SB Nation New York had decided to select a turning point for each game. We will re-live that moment and break it down to explain why if it didn't happen, the Yankees would have either won or lost the game. If you have an opinion, please feel free to discuss in the comment section below. (Turing point: Game 1.)

The Game 2 turning point came in the bottom of the ninth inning when Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano came to the plate with two outs and with runners on second and third base.

To start the bottom half of the inning, the Yankee trailed 5-1 and the Tigers' brought in their closer Jose Valverde. With the rain beginning to come down, Yankee outfielder Nick Swisher belted a lead-off home run to cut the deficit to 5-2. Then, designated hitter Jorge Posada smoked a ball into the left-center field gap and legged out his first career postseason triple. Catcher Russell Martin then walked and then Andruw Jones drove in a run with a sac fly to right field.

After shortstop Derek Jeter struck out on six pitches -- the last was a nasty two-seam fastball that moved too far inside for Jeter to hit it -- outfielder Curtis Granderson stepped to the plate. Granderson battled and almost was retired on a small pop fly, which drifted towards the Tigers dugout and was about to be caught by catcher Alex Avila, but he slipped on the plastic on-deck covering that was wet because of the rain. Avila's slip seemed yet another Yankee break that would work in their favor as Granderson eventually worked a six-pitch walk to put the tying run at the plate. That tying run was Cano, the Yankees' best hitter.

By this time, the rain, which started as a trickle when the inning began, was now a downpour. Those who watched the game could see it was difficult for Cano to even see the ball -- during Jeter's at-bat, the Captain had to squint heavily and wipe the brim of his helmet multiple times before the ball was delivered to the plate. However, Cano battled and on the fourth pitch of the at-bat, Cano just missed an inside fastball, which probably would have been driven into the right field corner -- Granderson' speed at first base would have allowed him to score with two outs. On the very next pitch, Valverde got Cano to slap a grounder to record the final out.

The drama of Cano's final at-bat was postseason baseball at it's best, especially with the rain falling and making it that much more difficult for the pitcher and batter. However, the four-run defecit to begin the inning just proved to be too much for even the Yankees to overcome. Now, the best-of-five series is tied at a game apiece and will head to Detroit where aces, the Yankees C.C. Sabathia and the Tigers' Justin Verlander, will face each other in a pivotal Game 3.

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Yankees vs. Tigers ALDS Game 2: Scherzer Solid, Helps Detroit Tie Series

Starting pitcher Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-4 with three RBI Sunday to help the Detroit Tigers defeat the New York Yankees, 5-3, in Game 2 of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium. The best-of-five series, which heads to Detroit Monday night (8:37 p.m.), is now tied at a game apiece.

The Yankees trailed 5-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, but outfielder Nick Swisher smoked a lead-off home run into the right field bleachers. Swisher's homer was followed by a triple by designated hitter Jorge Posada, a walk by catcher Russell Martin and a sac fly from Andruw Jones, which cut the margin to 5-3.

The rallied stalled, however, when Tigers' closer Jose Valverde got shortstop Derek Jeter to strike out and second baseman Robinson Cano to ground to second base.

On Monday, Yankee ace CC Sabathia matches up against Tigers ace and AL Cy Young Award front runner Justin Verlander. The showcase of aces was supposed to take place Friday night in Game 1, but rain suspended the game in the second inning. Because Sabathia and Verlander started Friday they couldn't pitch Sunday and will now face each other Monday night.

-- SB Nation New York will have more on Game 2, check back later for more.


Final - 10.2.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 5 9 0
New York Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 5 1
WP: Max Scherzer (1 - 0)
LP: Freddy Garcia (0 - 1)

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