Alex Rodriguez's only view of Game Three was from the dugout (AP Photo)
DETROIT -- Statistics often lie. These don't.
Detroit Tigers starting pitchers have an 0.96 ERA in the postseason (six earned runs in 56.1 innings) and an 0.42 mark in the ALCS against the Yankees (one earned run in 21.2 innings). Justin Verlander did the job Tuesday, working into the ninth inning as the Tigers posted a 2-1 win to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
Wrote Mitch Albom in the Detroit Free Press of Verlander's dominance in the early innings: "A lawn mower doesn't flatten things this easily."
The Yankees are batting .182 in the ALCS and slugging at a pathetic .291 clip. They have five runs and have scored in just two of 30 innings (the ninth inning of Game One and Game Three). They are batting .200 overall in the postseason.
No wonder the Tigers can complete a sweep tonight in Comerica Park. It's Max Scherzer and CC Sabathia, an ace looking to extend the Yankees' season.
The Yankees have a wee bit of an issue in how to deal with Alex Rodriguez after his Game Three benching. A-Rod stayed silent Tuesday and the New York Post's latest story about his Game One dugout dailiances won't help in that regard. Joe Giradi has oddly understated A-Rod's issues ("SOME struggles"?) but GM Brian Cashman was front and center Tuesday and seemed to be taking charge.
ESPNLosAngeles.com talked to Kobe Bryant about A-Rod Tuesday and Kobe revealed what he said to A-Rod about the benching:
"I just say to him, 'You're Alex Rodriguez. You're A-Rod. You're one of the best to ever do it,'" Bryant said. "I think sometimes he kind of forgets that and wants to try to do the right thing all the time. Which is the right team attitude to have. But other times you really have to put your head down and say, 'Hell with it' and just do your thing.
"Hopefully the next game they'll kind of give him a chance, maybe put him back at third and let him respond to the pressure, which I think he'll do."
Bottom line from the Post's Joel Sherman: You can't win if you can't score.