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Jim Leyland explains strategy against Cano

Robinson Cano takes a curtain call after his

Robinson Cano takes a curtain call after his sixth-inning grand slam gave the Yankees an 8-1 lead against the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the ALDS. (Oct. 1, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Jim Leyland was more than happy to explain why he brought in righthander Al Alburquerque to face Robinson Cano in the sixth inning. Cano, of course, hit a grand slam into the second deck in right.

"To me, that's the one to second-guess," Leyland said. "To me that was a no-brainer. If Granderson would have got a hit to make it 6-2, I would have brought in [lefty Daniel] Schlereth. But after he didn't, we loaded the bases. Left-handers are hitting .177 off Alburquerque, .200 off Schlereth. Cano is .320 off of left-handers, .295 off righties. Alburquerque has had a tremendous ratio of swings and misses." 

He had struck out 67 in 43 1/3 innings during the regular season and hadn’t allowed a home run to the 182 batters he faced.

"He's been tremendous, one of the best in baseball in swinging and missing," Leyland said. "That's the reason. But, obviously, that's one people could talk about it. To me, that was really a no-brainer...he threw a slider and it didn't do anything. One of the best hitters in baseball hit it out." 


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