By: Jeff Riger
When fans look back on the 2012 ALCS they will remember many different things. Sweeping the Yankees, Delmon Young winning the MVP, starting pitching giving up just 2 earned runs and one big celebration on Thursday night in front of the home town fans are just a couple of the memories that come to mind. Of course there are so many more and everybody, no doubt will have a different favorite one that they will keep with them for the rest of their lives.
But this pennant was not won by a couple of guys; it was grabbed by a team effort…
Outfielder Andy Dirks struggled at the plate in the first 3 games of the series hitting just .077 but did have a crucial RBI which helped in a bunch of close games. Dirks then exploded for 3 hits in game 4 as the Tigers dismantled the Yanks 8-1. Dirks was also integral all season long, when healthy helping the Tigers win AL Central. Who will ever forget the breakup slide against the Kansas City Royals in late September?
Lefthander Drew Smyly has had a pretty impressive rookie season. Smyly was 4-3 during the course of the season with a 3.99 ERA in almost 100 innings pitched. However it was in the postseason that Smyly really showed what he was capable of. There was his performance in game one of the ALCS where he pitched 2 shutout innings in extra innings after the Tigers blew a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the 9th. He got the win for that performance. Then there was game 4, as he relieved Max Scherzer in the 6th inning with runners on 1st and 3rd. Smyly got a pinch hitting Alex Rodriguez to pop harmlessly out to centerfield to end really the Yankees only threat of the game.
Even though some fans will be hesitant to do so, you really have to give it to Jim Leyland. After all the criticism, yelling and screaming, Leyland in his 7th season with the Tigers is going back to the World Series. His embrace with his son, Patrick after the series pretty much says it all!
Enjoy all the videos and interviews from the Tigers ALCS sweep over the Yankees.