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Yankees vs. Tigers: 2012 By The Numbers

10/12/2012 8:22 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera leads Detroit into an ALCS showdown with the Yankees.(AP)
Just 12 months ago, it was the Detroit Tigers who ended the New York Yankees' 2011 season, taking a deciding Game 5 in Yankee Stadium to win the American League Division Series by a 3-2 margin and move on to face Texas in the ALCS.

Flash forward a year, and after outlasting a pair of upstarts in Baltimore and Oakland respectively, the Yankees and Tigers will meet once again in the 2012 ALCS, with a trip to the World Series (and perhaps playoff redemption) on the line.

The two teams come in after going through a pair of Division Series that were very similar, but very different just the same. Neither team ever trailed in their series, both matchups saw their share of late-inning heroics, and in Game 5 it was their aces who saved their seasons by pitching complete-game masterpieces – but while the Yankees knew from the start they would be locked in a true battle to the end, Detroit nearly blew a 2-0 series lead before Justin Verlander's two-hit complete game shutout sent the Tigers to their third ALCS in seven years.

Here now is a snap-shot look at the regular season matchup, the postseason skinny, and both teams' respective statistical leaders:

Records:
Yankees: 95-67
Tigers: 88-74

Season Series:
The Yankees won 6-4, taking two of three in their lone meeting in the Bronx and four of seven in their two Motor City showdowns.

Most Memorable Game of 2012:
June 2 in Detroit: Hiroki Kuroda (2 ER in 7 IP) and Rick Porcello (1 ER in 6 IP) thrilled fans in a pitchers duel that was a sgood as advertised, but it ended up being the bullpens who decided their teams’ fate that night. The Yankees trailed 2-1 heading into the eighth, but Nick Swisher’s two-out single in the top of the frame tied the game at 2-2. Miguel Cabrera hit a solo shot in the bottom of the inning to give Detroit back the lead, but Detroit closer Jose Valverde gave back the lead in the ninth thanks to a pair of walks and two hit batsmen. That, however, only set the stage for a walk-off, as catcher Omir Santos’ sac fly with the based loaded and one out gave the Tigers a 4-3 win.

ALDS Results:
Yankees: defeated Baltimore 3-2, splitting the first two games in Baltimore before winning two of three at home.
Tigers: defeated Oakland 3-2, winning the first two games at home before having to go to a Game 5 in Oakland.

ALDS Heroes:
Yankees: Raul Ibanez (4-for-9, 2 HR, 3 RBI, game-tying and winning solo homers in Game 3) and CC Sabathia (1-0, 1.53 ERA, 16 K in 17.2 IP over two starts, including a complete game win in Game 5).
Tigers: Omar Infante (6-for-17, 6 R) and Justin Verlander (2-0, 0.56 ERA, 22 K in 16 IP over two starts, including a complete game four-hit shutout in Game 5).

Old Friends:
Of course, Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson came to the Bronx in the December 2009 trade that sent outfielder Austin Jackson and lefty Phil Coke to the Motor City. The Tigers also have another former Bomber in their bullpen in Octavio Dotel, who pitched 10.1 innings for the Yankees in 2006, while the Yankees have two former Tigers on their staff: Freddy Garcia (1-1, 4.20 ERA in three starts in 2008) and Clay Rapada (27 IP over 32 games from 2007-09).

Team batting leaders:
Average
Yankees: Derek Jeter (.316)
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera (.330)

Home Runs
Yankees: Curtis Granderson (43)
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera (44)

Runs Batted In
Yankees: Curtis Granderson (106)
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera (139, won Triple Crown)

Team pitching leaders:
Wins
Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda (16)
Tigers: Justin Verlander (17)

ERA
Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda (3.32), Rafael Soriano (2.26)
Tigers: Justin Verlander (2.64), Brayan Villarreal (2.63)

Strikeouts
Yankees: CC Sabathia (197)
Tigers: Justin Verlander (239)

Saves
Yankees: Rafael Soriano (42)
Tigers: Jose Valverde (35)

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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