Playoffs ready to take flight for Yankees, Tigers

“There’s not really a chance to sit back and kind of let it soak in,” Verlander said. “Once the last pitch is thrown _ hopefully, after we have won a World Series _ I can sit down and look back and enjoy it. For right now, I’m focused on Game 1.”

The Tigers also have some pop in their lineup. While not as daunting top to bottom in the order as New York, Detroit features AL batting champion Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta. And catcher Alex Avila has been a revelation, with 19 homers and a .295 average.

The Yankees, of course, have Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Teixeira slugging away at the heart of their order. A-Rod will hit behind Cano in the postseason, swapping their usual order from the regular season. And then there’s former Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson, who had a career year with 41 homers.

“I’ve seen his numbers, and they’re amazing,” Verlander said.

Not that it will matter Friday night, when everyone’s stats are reset to zero and what happens from then on is all that counts. It’s almost here.

“I’m not excited yet,” Jeter said. “The excitement starts tomorrow.”

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