The Yankees have never won a post-season series against the Tigers. Yet, historically, the Tigers have always been chasing the Yankees success.
“We hated the Yankees, and they hated us” – Birdie Tebbetts
From 1934-43 the Yankees and Tigers dominated the American League. The Yankees won 7 pennants during that span, the Tigers, 3. Both teams combined for 9 MVP’s including Hank Greenberg, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Cochrane, Charlie Gehringer, Joe Gordon and Spud Chandler. Each team was loaded with Hall of Fame talent.
However, unlike the mid 30’s and early 40’s, the Yankees post-season issues have them facing elimination despite having the better regular season record. Jeter is hurt, the offense is stagnant, and changes to the starting lineup have yielded mixed results. They are more prey than predator.
The Tigers pitching has been the backbone of an offense that often fails to deliver the knockout blow especially in situations with the bases loaded. They continue to grind out win after win despite their faults- a characteristic inherent to post season success. Interestingly, Miguel Cabrera recently broke Hank Greenberg’s streak of 18 consecutive post-season games having reached base safely without hitting a single homerun.