NEW YORK — How’s this for a guarantee?
After closing out the Detroit Tigers’ win over the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the ALDS on Sunday, closer Jose Valverde believes the Tigers are a lock to win the series.
“I think the series will finish in our house,” Valverde told ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas and other outlets. “They have a good team, but the series is not (coming) back to New York.”
The Yankees and Tigers are tied at 1-1 in the best-of-five series. The teams split two games in the Bronx. Game 3 is scheduled for Monday in Detroit. It will be a duel of aces — Detroit’s Justin Verlander and New York’s CC Sabathia.
“We have a big advantage,” Valverde said. “We have Verlander ready for tomorrow. In the bullpen, we are ready.”
Valverde made a similar guarantee in interviews given in English but said that he was joking. He did not say he was joking in the interview with Spanish-speaking outlets.
Valverde entered Game 2 in the ninth with Detroit up, 5-1, and quickly made things interesting.
The closer allowed a solo homer to Nick Swisher to lead off the inning. Jorge Posada then followed with a triple to deep center. After a Valverde walk to Russell Martin, Andruw Jones drove in Posada with a sacrifice fly, cutting the Tigers’ lead to two runs.
With a heavy rain falling, Valverde struck Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter out on a 2-2 fastball. He then appeared to get a game-winning pop-out in foul territory off the bat of Curtis Granderson, but catcher Alex Avila slipped on the surface of the on-deck circle and failed to make the catch.
Granderson eventually worked a walk, putting the winning run at the plate in Robinson Cano, who had six RBIs in Game 1. But Cano grounded to second to end the game.
“Thank God my team won,” Valverde said.
The closer, who finished 49 for 49 in save changes in the regular season, also guaranteed that he’d be available for Monday’s game. “I can pitch in 11 straight,” he said.
You’re damn right you better thank God your team won. Kook. Of. The. Week. Lemme get this straight, this joker comes in to close out an ALDS game, against the Yankees, immediately gives up two runs, and then guarantees a series victory after the game? You know how easily the Yankees could run the table on you without you even entering another game, Jose? You’re a closer, bro. I don’t care if you were perfect in the regular season, you can’t go running your mouth like this in the postseason… in any language. Kidding in English, but not in Spanish? What’s that all about? I know Verlander’s good and all, but so are the freaking Yankees. Their starting lineup is an all-star team. Sure, it’s only been one inning for each of you, but Verlander’s ERA in the series… is 9.00. Yours is 18.00. Shut your mouth, and keep praying that you even get to make another appearance, clown.