Yankees vs. Tigers: 3 storylines to watch
1. Is A-Rod’s bat finally coming around?
The last time Alex Rodriguez stepped foot in the Yankee Stadium batter’s box, he heard some boos following an eighth-inning pop up in Game 2.
He is hitting .143 for the series with the two hits both coming in Game 4. The omnipresent A-Rod haters will also likely point out that both of those hits came in the eighth inning as the game turned into a blowout.
While Rodriguez has played steady defense at third base, his performance has also overshadowed the underperforming Mark Teixeira (2-for-15) and Nick Swisher (3-for-15).
2. Will the pitching go according to plan?
If it does, Ivan Nova will pitch at least six innings as the starter before having to pass it over to the bullpen.
Then the Yankees will use David Robertson and Mariano Rivera for the final nine outs of the series. If Nova goes six, it is possible one of those All-Star relievers is called on for six outs.
The obvious candidate is Mariano Rivera, but he is almost 42 years old. Thankfully, the whole bullpen got rest with the off day.
3. How will Cabrera be pitched to?
Other than Game 2 when he hit a two-run home run in the first inning and drove in three runs against Freddy Garcia, the Yankees have somewhat survived Miguel Cabrera’s presence.
Cabrera is 3-for-12 in the series and one of those at-bats was an inning-ending groundout in the third inning of Game 4 with the Yankees holding a one-run lead.
The Yankees don’t want to see that 30-home run power again in this series.