2006 American League Division Series
|Dates:||October 3 – 7|
|Television:|| Fox (Games 1, 4)|
ESPN (Games 2–3)
|TV announcers:|| Joe Buck, Tim McCarver (Game 1)|
Jon Miller, Joe Morgan (Game 2)
Jon Miller, Joe Morgan, Ernie Harwell (Game 3)
Josh Lewin, Steve Lyons (Game 4)
|Radio announcers:||Jon Sciambi, Buck Martinez|
|Umpires:||Tim McClelland, Laz Díaz, Alfonso Márquez, Paul Emmel, Larry Poncino, Larry Vanover|
|Dates:||October 3 – 6|
|TV announcers:|| Jon Miller, Joe Morgan (Game 1)|
Dave O'Brien, Rick Sutcliffe, Eric Karros (Games 2–3)
|Radio announcers:||Gary Thorne, Steve Stone|
|Umpires:||Randy Marsh, Kerwin Danley, Mike Everitt, Ed Rapuano, Tim Tschida, Tony Randazzo|
The 2006 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 2006 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 3, and ended on Saturday, October 7, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:
- (1) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champions, 97–65) vs. (4) Detroit Tigers (Wild Card, 95–67); Tigers win series, 3–1.
- (2) Minnesota Twins (Central Division champions, 96–66) vs. (3) Oakland Athletics (Western Division champions, 93–69); Athletics win series, 3–0.
The higher seed (in parentheses) had the home field advantage, which was determined by playing record.
The Athletics and Tigers met in the AL Championship Series, where a Detroit sweep made the Tigers the American League champions. The Tigers then faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 World Series, and lost, four games to one.
The AL playoff race of 2006 was unusually dramatic, with the last divisional championship and the wild card berth undecided until the final day of the season, and the most unlikely of all of the AL's playoff contenders taking the top spot in the AL Central and the second seed.
In the AL East, the New York Yankees (97–65) clinched the division when the Boston Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs by the Minnesota Twins (96–66) on September 20. The Oakland Athletics (92–69) clinched the AL West on September 26, and in the AL Central, the Twins won the division by a single game over the Wild Card Detroit Tigers (95–67) after Detroit—who had led the division for the entire season—lost their last five games. Minnesota had set a torrid pace since June 7, after a horrible start. The Twins sewed up their playoff berth with an 8–1 win over the Kansas City Royals. They clinched the Central Division title, their fourth in five years, with a 5–1 victory and a 10–8 Detroit loss to the Royals on the last day of the season. The Twins' 96–66 mark is their best since the 98–64 AL West Champion Twins of 1970.
New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
Detroit won the series, 3–1.
|1||October 3||Detroit Tigers – 4, New York Yankees – 8||Yankee Stadium (I)||3:14||56,291|
|2||October 5†||Detroit Tigers – 4, New York Yankees – 3||Yankee Stadium (I)||3:15||56,252|
|3||October 6||New York Yankees – 0, Detroit Tigers – 6||Comerica Park||3:05||43,440|
|4||October 7||New York Yankees – 3, Detroit Tigers – 8||Comerica Park||2:54||43,126|
†: Game was postponed due to rain on October 4
Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics
Oakland won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 3||Oakland Athletics – 3, Minnesota Twins – 2||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||2:19||55,542|
|2||October 4||Oakland Athletics – 5, Minnesota Twins – 2||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||3:02||55,710|
|3||October 6||Minnesota Twins – 3, Oakland Athletics – 8||McAfee Coliseum||2:55||35,694|
New York vs. Detroit
Game 1, October 3
| WP: Chien-Ming Wang (1–0) LP: Nate Robertson (0–1)|
DET: Craig Monroe (1), Curtis Granderson (1)
NYY: Jason Giambi (1), Derek Jeter (1)
The Yankees struck first with a five-run third inning off of Nate Robertson, who allowed a leadoff single to Johnny Damon and subsequent double to Derek Jeter. Bobby Abreu doubled to score both men, Gary Sheffield singled in Abreu, and Jason Giambi capped the scoring with a two-run home run. In the fifth, the Tigers got on the board with a solo home run from Craig Monroe, then Brandon Inge singled with one out before back-to-back two-out RBI doubles by Placido Polanco and Sean Casey made it 5–3 Yankees, but Chien-Ming Wang struck out Magglio Ordóñez to end the inning. The Yankees added to their lead in the sixth off of Robertson when Damon singled with two outs, then Jeter doubled before both men scored on Abreu's single. Curtis Granderson's home run in the seventh off of Mike Myers made it 7−4 Yankees, but they got that run back on Jeter's home run in the eighth off of Jamie Walker. Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth while Jeter batted 5-for-5 in the game, becoming the sixth player to record five hits in one postseason game.
Game 2, October 5
| WP: Jamie Walker (1–0) LP: Mike Mussina (0–1) Sv: Todd Jones (1)|
DET: Carlos Guillén (1)
NYY: Johnny Damon (1)
Game 2 was postponed for one day due to rain. In the second inning, Craig Monroe doubled with two outs before scoring on Marcus Thames's single to give the Tigers a 1–0 lead. In the fourth, Johnny Damon launched a three-run home run off Justin Verlander to give the Yankees a 3–1 lead. That would be last time the Yankees would lead a game in the series, and the last time they would score until Game 4. Jamie Walker (who earned the victory in relief) and Joel Zumaya shut the Yanks down for the rest of the game. The Tiger hitters clawed their way back off Mike Mussina. In the fifth, Thames hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Curtis Granderson to the cut the lead to one. Next inning, Carlos Guillén homered to tie the game and in the seventh, Thames hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a passed ball, then to third on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on Granderson's triple to give the Tigers a 4–3 lead. In the ninth, Todd Jones earned the save by getting Johnny Damon to fly out to center with one man on to end the game and even the series.
Game 3, October 6
| WP: Kenny Rogers (1–0) LP: Randy Johnson (0–1)|
DET: Curtis Granderson (2)
Feeding off a crowd witnessing its first playoff game in nineteen years, Detroit pitcher Kenny Rogers pitched 7 2⁄3 innings of scoreless ball, earning a victory and standing ovation from the Comerica Park crowd in a 6–0 Tigers win. Rogers was throwing as hard as 92 mph in the eighth inning, topping his usual top speed by 3–4 mph. Joel Zumaya used his 103-mph arm to close out the inning, and Todd Jones closed the game for the second time, but did not earn a save, as the Tigers were not in a save situation.
Offensively, the Tigers got on the board off of Randy Johnson in the second on three straight leadoff singles, the last of which by Sean Casey scoring Carlos Guillen. After Brandon Inge struck out, Curtis Granderson hit into a forceout at second to score Ivan Rodriguez. Granderson stole second and scored on Placido Polanco's single. In the sixth, Guillen singled with two outs before back-to-back RBI doubles by Rodriguez and Casey made it 5−0 Tigers. Granderson capped the scoring with a leadoff home run off of Brian Bruney in the seventh.
Game 4, October 7
| WP: Jeremy Bonderman (1–0) LP: Jaret Wright (0–1)|
NYY: Jorge Posada (1)
DET: Magglio Ordóñez (1), Craig Monroe (2)
Detroit finished off New York behind another dominating pitching performance, this time by Jeremy Bonderman in an 8–3 clinching win. In the second inning, Magglio Ordóñez hit a leadoff home run and after Ivan Rodriguez walked with one out, Craig Monroe homered off Jaret Wright to give the Tigers a 3–0 lead. Next inning, Ordonez reached on an error, moved to third on a single and scored on Rodrigeuz's single. Wright was replaced by Cory Lidle, who ended the inning without further damage and pitched a perfect fourth, but in the fifth, allowed three consecutive leadoff singles, the last of which to Ordonez scoring a run. After allowing an RBI double to Carlos Guillen, Lidle was relieved by Brian Bruney, who allowed a sacrifice fly to Rodriguez. Next inning, Scott Proctor allowed a two-out single to Placido Polanco, who scored on Sean Casey's double to make it 8−0 Tigers. Bonderman, meanwhile, pitched a no-hitter through five innings. Robinson Canó singled in the sixth for the Yankees' first hit, but Bonderman prevented any further damage. The Yankee hitters ended their twenty-inning scoreless streak in the seventh when Derek Jeter hit a leadoff single, moved to third on Bobby Abreu's single and scored on Hideki Matsui's groundout. Bonderman left the game in the ninth inning with one on and one out. Jamie Walker gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Jorge Posada in the ninth before getting Robinson Canó to ground out to end the game and send the Tigers to the 2006 ALCS against the Oakland Athletics. The game is notable as Cory Lidle made his final appearance before dying in an airplane crash four days later, and was the final ALDS game televised by FOX due to the new TV contracts as of 2011.
|New York Yankees||0||0||5||3||0||2||1||1||2||14||33||3|
|Total attendance: 199,109 Average attendance: 49,777|
Minnesota vs. Oakland
Game 1, October 3
| WP: Barry Zito (1–0) LP: Johan Santana (0–1) Sv: Huston Street (1)|
OAK: Frank Thomas 2 (2)
MIN: Rondell White (1)
The A's came into the series as a major underdog, and they had to face arguably the best pitcher in the majors in Johan Santana. Also working against Oakland, Minnesota's Metrodome is regarded as one of the toughest places to play in all of baseball. Frank Thomas hit two home runs, and Barry Zito outdueled Santana (though Zito got a major assist in the eighth inning when, following a lead-off double, Luis Castillo did not bunt in a clear bunting situation) to give the A's a shocking Game 1 victory.
Game 2, October 4
| WP: Kiko Calero (1–0) LP: Pat Neshek (0–1) Sv: Huston Street (2)|
OAK: Mark Kotsay (1)
MIN: Michael Cuddyer (1), Justin Morneau (1)
The A's followed their Game 1 victory with an even more shocking victory in Game 2. An RBI double in the fifth inning by A's short stop Marco Scutaro scored Nick Swisher to give the A's the lead, which was followed by a single from Jason Kendall to score Scutaro. The Twins would tie the game up in the sixth inning off back-to-back home runs from Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau to chase Oakland starter Esteban Loaiza. In the seventh, with two out and Kendall on first base, Oakland's Mark Kotsay hit a hard line drive to center field. Torii Hunter, an accomplished defensive player, made an ill-considered dive for what should only have been a single, but Hunter's dive allowed the ball to roll all the way to the wall, allowing Kotsay to score for a two-run inside-the-park home run, and give the Athletics a commanding lead in the series.
Game 3, October 6
| WP: Dan Haren (1–0) LP: Brad Radke (0–1)|
MIN: Torii Hunter (1), Justin Morneau (2)
OAK: Eric Chavez (1), Milton Bradley (1)
The A's have had a difficult time in winning games when they have the opportunity to eliminate an opponent in the postseason, leaving many to question if the team would choke another time. All questions were answered when Oakland scored twice in the second when Eric Chavez hit a home run and Marco Scutaro added another RBI double in the series. The A's added two more runs in the third when Mark Kotsay scored on a home run by Milton Bradley to deep center field. Scutaro would add insurance runs for the A's in the seventh inning from a three-RBI double, giving the A's an 8–2 lead and Scutaro his sixth RBI in three games as Oakland swept the Twins with the 8–3 victory. This was Oakland's first postseason series win since they swept the Boston Red Sox in the 1990 ALCS. This game was also notable in that Twins pitcher Brad Radke made his final career appearance.
|Total attendance: 146,946 Average attendance: 48,982|
- "2006 ALDS – Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees – Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2006 ALDS – Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees – Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2006 ALDS – New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers – Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2006 ALDS – New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers – Game 4". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2006 ALDS – Oakland Athletics vs. Minnesota Twins – Game 1". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2006 ALDS – Oakland Athletics vs. Minnesota Twins – Game 2". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "2006 ALDS – Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics – Game 3". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- Kepner, Tyler (October 4, 2006). "Yankees 8, Tigers 4: Jeter, as Usual, Saves His Best for October". The New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2012.