After A.J. Burnett and, to a large extent, Curtis Granderson saved the Yankees' season for at least one more day, the Yankees and Tigers will go back to New York, where the two teams will square off in a winner-take-all Game 5. The pitchers will be a rematch of Game 1's "relievers", Ivan Nova and Doug Fister; the Yankees were able to hit Fister on Saturday, and they will hope to repeat their performance.
Discussion of the Day: Which performance on Tuesday impressed you the most -- Burnett's pitching, Granderson's defense, the bottom of the order's production, or something else?
Behind Enemy Lines: Malcolm Maddox writes that the Tigers' success has been a boon to local businesses. At a time when many local businesses are struggling, any little thing can help -- even the local sports team making it to the postseason.
1) George Vecsey compares Tuesday's Game 4 in Detroit with the one in 2006.
The Yankees, one might argue, in 2011 are a different team than the one in 2006. Indeed, only Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano remain from that team (and, of course, Scott Proctor, who made mop-up appearances for the Yankees in late 2011, 1, though he didn't make the playoff roster), but the situation was the same: after winning the first game of the series, the Yankees found themselves on the brink of elimination. Unlike 2006, however, one can argue that the 2011 Yankees are simply an all-around better team, and that a fifth game has been forced should not come as a surprise.
2) Eric Schultz at The Yankee Analysts takes a different approach to the leverage argument.
In sabermetric circles, the leverage argument refers to using a team's best relievers in the highest leverage situation (that is, using Mariano Rivera in the eighth inning of a one run game if the batters due up are Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez); Schultz argues that a high-leverage situation can develop so quickly that there simply isn't time to go to the bullpen, as a starting pitcher can only stall for so long. Though one can argue that a good manager will already have a plan in place for such a contingency, Schultz's argument has merit.
3) Bill Madden writes that CC Sabathia could command a hefty price tag if he chooses to opt out.
Sabathia was signed to a seven year contract with the Yankees before the 2009 season, and has an opt-out clause after this season. While Sabathia's success while a Yankee has been ample, opting out of his contract does not necessarily indicate he will leave the team (one might remember a similar situation with Alex Rodriguez in 2007). Whatever he decides to do, Sabathia will remain among the highest paid pitchers in baseball, and as long as he can stay healthy and effective, it's hard to argue he should be otherwise.
Representing the Yankees on the Phoenix Desert Dogs are Corban Joseph, Ronnie Mustelier, Rob Segedin, David Phelps, Preston Claiborne, Dan Burawa and Chase Whitley. All played at various levels in the Yankees' system in 2011; Joseph, Segedin and Phelps may be the names most familiar to those who follow the minors.