Playoff Series: Game 2 of 4

Detroit won 3-1

Game 1: Tuesday, October 3
NY Yankees8
Game 2: Wednesday, October 4
NY Yankees
Game 2: Thursday, October 5
NY Yankees3
Game 3: Friday, October 6
NY Yankees0Final
Game 4: Saturday, October 7
NY Yankees3Final

8:09 PM ET, October 4, 2006

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

Starting Pitchers

Detroit: Verlander (0-0, 5.06 ERA)

New York: Mussina (0-1, 5.14 ERA)

Jeter off to dominant start in Division Series

NEW YORK -- The chants of "M-V-P, M-V-P" grew louder with each hit Derek Jeter recorded against the Detroit Tigers.

Following a five-hit outing in the opening contest of the American League Division Series on Tuesday, Jeter has a tough act to follow when the New York Yankees host the Tigers in Wednesday's Game 2.

After a rain delay of almost two hours, the game was expected to start at 10 p.m. ET. But another anticipated band of showers forced officials to postpone Game 2 until Thursday at 1 p.m. ET (ESPN).

Although voting for the AL Most Valuable Player encompasses regular-season play, the fans made their feelings known as Jeter became just the sixth player in postseason history with a five-hit game as New York posted an 8-4 triumph over Detroit.

Days after falling short to Minnesota's Joe Mauer for the AL batting title, Jeter went 5-for-5 with his 17th career playoff homer in the eighth. The Yankees' captain raised his career postseason batting average to .315.

"You're not always going to come through," Jeter said. "There's been plenty of times that I haven't. But when I'm in that situation, I feel as though I'm going to produce, if I come up with a hit or make a play."

New York broke open the contest with a five-run third inning. Bobby Abreu delivered a two-run double, Gary Sheffield had an RBI single and Jason Giambi smacked a two-run homer to right field off starter Nate Robertson.

Mike Mussina (15-7, 3.51 ERA) won 13 of his first 16 decisions and appeared to be headed to his first 20-win campaign before suffering a minor groin injury that slowed his momentum. He went 2-4 in the final two months of the regular season.

A 37-year-old righthander who is still looking for his first World Series ring with the Yankees, Mussina is 8-2 in 15 home starts and beat the Tigers in Detroit on May 31.

"Mike Mussina presents problems because he never gets in a pattern," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He very rarely throws the same pitch twice in a row. So he keeps the hitters off-balance and that's what pitching is. You'll see guys with better arms in the postseason, but you won't see people that know how to pitch any better."

Detroit counters with Justin Verlander (17-9, 3.63), who will try to keep his team from losing the first two contests of the best-of-five series. The 23-year-old righthander won 10 games before the All-Star break but went 4-5 in the last two months of the year.

In his only appearance against the Yankees this season, Verlander was charged for six runs and seven hits in five innings on June 1 but did not figure in the decision.

Craig Monroe and Curtis Granderson homered for the Tigers, who fell in their first postseason game since 1987 after finishing the regular season with five consecutive losses.

"You have to manufacture as much runs as you can," Granderson said. "We had opportunities but we have to learn from our mistakes and manufacture runs."

The series shifts to Detroit for Game Three on Friday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Gameday Matchup

 DetroitNew York
Current StreakL5L2
Last 104-65-5

Pitching Matchup

DetroitNew York
J. Verlander
0-0, 0.00 ERA

M. Mussina
0-0, 0.00 ERA

Gameday Lineups

NO.DetroitNew York
1. C. Granderson, CF J. Damon, CF
2. P. Polanco, 2B D. Jeter, SS
3. S. Casey, 1B B. Abreu, RF
4. M. Ordonez, RF G. Sheffield, 1B
5. C. Guillen, SS J. Giambi, DH
6. I. Rodriguez, C A. Rodriguez, 3B
7. C. Monroe, LF H. Matsui, LF
8. M. Thames, DH J. Posada, C
9. B. Inge, 3B R. Cano, 2B