Coming into this series the Yankees had a few question marks. Could the young Chien-Ming Wang thrive as their postseason ace? Will the bullpen hold up enough to bridge the gap to Mariano Rivera? Is Randy Johnson going to be able to pitch? As you might notice, none of those questions involved Derek Jeter and whether or not he'd be ready for October. The captain was 5-5 last night and the Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers 8-4 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 ALDS.

The game was rather quiet through the first two innings as it looked like Nate Robertson might surprise everyone and shut that Yankee lineup down. The Yanks exploded in the 3rd, however, as they opened the inning with six straight hits, starting with Damon's little dribbler past the pitcher's mound. Jeter followed that up with a double, and Bobby Abreu brought both of them home with a double. Gary Sheffield then lined a single to right center, and was brought in by a Jason Giambi two-run homer to make it 5-0. A-Rod was the sixth and final Yankee to get a hit in that stretched but was stranded at first.

Chien-Ming Wang was rolling and had a shutout through four. Detroit then made it a game in the 5th inning with three runs. Craig Monroe led the inning off with a home run to straight away center. Brandon Inge later came up with a base hit with one out. The Tigers scored two more on back-to-back doubles by Placido Polanco and Sean Casey.

The Yankees started to pull away again in the 6th as Abreu knocked in Damon and Jeter with a base hit to make it 7-3. Curtis Granderson got one back for the Tigers in the 7th with a home run off of Mike Myers. Jeter took it right back in the 8th though by capping off his 5-5 night with a monster shot to centerfield to increase the Yankee lead to where it would stay, at 8-4. Mariano Rivera closed the game out with an uneventful ninth inning, allowing only a single to Granderson.

The final line for Wang was 3 runs on 8 hits and 4 strikeouts in 6 and 2/3. Curtis Granderson, who homered, was the only batter Mike Myers faced, so he's got that ugly looking early season/postseason E.R.A. of infinity. A lot of guys came through for the Yanks. Four Yankees had a multi-hit night and the only starter without a hit was Hideki Matsui. Abreu drove in four runs in his first postseason game since 1997 when he was a rookie with the Astros.

Well the one thing I'd have to say I enjoy most about postseason baseball as opposed to let's say the NBA Playoffs is that we don't have to wait four days for the next game. The two teams will be right back at it again tomorrow for a Game 2 showdown. The Tigers will put Mike Mussina to the test and the Yankees will get a look at Justin Verlander. Game starts at 8 E.T.