ALCS Game 3

PREGAME: I just found out I’m going to this game, so I apologize for the complete lack of anything here. Tickets are still availabe from Ticketmaster and below face value from other outlets.

Game Time 4:30

POSTGAME: I’ll just take all the credit. I’ve been in attendance for 5 Kenny Rogers starts this year. In those 5 starts Rogers has a 5-0 record with a 0.51 ERA,a 0.83 WHIP and has yet to allow a homer. Everybody is looking for reasons why Kenny Rogers has been so spectacular in the postseason. They need to look no further than me.

Of course it helped that the Tigers took advantage of some early Rich Harden wildness to push across a couple runs. Even with those couple runs, I was worried that the Tigers hadn’t done enough. Harden had broke the 60 pitch mark at the end of the 3rd inning, with more balls than strikes and the Tigers only had 2 runs on the board.

Yet Rogers, Rodney, and Jones made it stand up with room to spare.

Other thoughts:

  • The A’s must fear Ramon Santiago. He reached a 3 ball count 3 different times including a walk. Santiago also played very nice defense. He made a play on a ground ball up the middle look very routine. If you saw where he started from, you’d see there was nothing routine about it. He doesn’t carry a big bat but the guy can play defense.
  • As good as Carlos Guillen looked in the ALDS, he’s struggled in the ALCS. He’s swinging early in the count, and without much success. It almost makes you wonder if he’s thinking too much about playing first base.
  • Placido Polanco has been a machine. The way he’s hitting right now, you get the feeling he can place the ball wherever he wants. That’s why it was pretty suprising to see him bunting with runners on 1st and 2nd.
  • Those back to back plays that Mark Kotsay made on both Ramon Santiago and Curtis Granderson were remarkable. I still can’t believe he caught up with Granderson’s shot.
  • It actually wasn’t that cold, at least where I was sitting in the upper deck behind home plate. The wind was only a breeze instead of a gale. I was expecing much worse.

50 Comments

  1. Andrew

    October 13, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    I posted this under the “ALCS Playoff Miscellaney” post, but now that Billfer added this thread I thought I would put it here. Seeing as how the lucky Billfer gets to go to the game I’ll help him out and slap up the lineup.

    Tonight’s lineup features no Thames, Alexis Gomez, and (drumroll please) no Perez!

    Here it is –

    1. Curtis Granderson (CF)
    2. Craig Monroe (LF)
    3. Placido Polanco (2B)
    4. Magglio Ordonez (RF)
    5. Pudge Rodriguez (C)
    6. Carlos Guillen (1B)
    7. Omar Infante (DH)
    8. Brandon Inge (3B)
    9. Ramon Santiago (SS)

    Got it off of the Detroit Free Press.

  2. Kurt

    October 13, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    Who’s gonna have a more important hit today, Ramon or Omar?

  3. Anne

    October 13, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    Have a great time and stay warm, Billfer. Has anyone heard if Zumaya is available tonight?

  4. Chris Y.

    October 13, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    Joel’s listed as unavailable for Game 3.

  5. Andrew

    October 13, 2006 at 2:56 pm

    If Zumaya hadn’t had a Cortizone so recently they could treat his arm with that. Unfortunately you cannot take Cotrizone shots too close together (I can’t remember what the timeframe is). They’ll be relying on alternate methods – I’m thinking ice, aspirin, and rest ;).

    I’ll tell ya what – the way Rodney has pitched so far this series I think we can go another game without the services of Zumaya.

    I don’t know what effect the cold will have on Rogers as far as how many innings he can give us. All we can ask is for 5-6 solid innings and hand it over to the bullpen to finish off.

  6. Marshall in DC

    October 13, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    The Gambler wanted to get out of the texas heat. Well – He got his wish . . .I really hope He can go at least 7 innings today.

    I just don’t want to see Grilli (unlesst it is for a spot out). Rodney is good but He concerns me a bit. However – this is the series of unsung heros.

    BTW – I like the line-up. We need to score early and often.

  7. Andy in NY

    October 13, 2006 at 3:18 pm

    Another intriguing lineup from Mr. Golden Touch. I certainly can’t defend dropping Guillen in the lineup. Now we have 4 right-handed hitters stacked against one another for Duchscherer or Kalero to face late in the game. Also, Omar’s been terrible as a DH this year (but very good when playing a position). But thank the good Lord that Ramon is playing today.

    Let’s hope Harden leaves that fastball up early and we can get out to another lead. I like that feeling.

  8. Pete

    October 13, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    Here’s my question: why can’t Major League Baseball tell us what time each game is going to start (I mean actually start, not when FOX goes on the air) and then stick with that time? Why is that too much to ask?

    Tomorrow’s game is listed at 4:00 on ESPN.com and 4:30 on mlb.com. I suspect this means the game will actually start at around 4:50 (assuming espn is just wrong), but who knows? Earlier this week the start time for Game Four was listed as 8:00.

    As for tonight’s game, I guess I take MLB at their word that it was moved up because of weather concerns. The Mets game was going to be in prime time no matter what, but they could have had two games at 8:00 (as they were going to do on Wednesday had the NL game been played). I agree with Charley SG that this decision shows a lack of respect for the fans. But we should expect nothing less from MLB.

    Anyway, I’m taking a redeye from Los Angeles to Detroit tonight and will be IN THE HOUSE for Game Four. This will be my first Tigers game this year and I am beyond excited. I dropped $600 on the plane ticket and another $100 or so for the game ticket, so I really, really, really hope it doesn’t rain. Or snow.

  9. Kurt

    October 13, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    Pedro Gomez just said on ESPN that Duchscherer is unavailable due to pains in his neck, so each team lost a key setup man.

  10. Andrew

    October 13, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    Does anyone know of another sport that doesn’t publish the schedule for the entire round of the playoffs ahead of time? MLB seems to be the only one. Yeah, baseball is affected by rain whereas football, hockey, and basketball are not.

    But is it too much to ask for the entire schedule for each series ahead of time? I think it took until about Tuesday (or late Monday) just to know the times for the games in Oakland.

    And people wonder why fewer and fewer folks watch the baseball playoffs each year. You can’t watch what you don’t know about.

    Geez, talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

  11. J

    October 13, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    Before everyone starts ripping Leyland again, Guillen is batting 5th not 6th as cited above.

  12. Andrew

    October 13, 2006 at 3:56 pm

    J – where did you see that? I just copied and pasted from the Free Press’ website here.

  13. Kurt

    October 13, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    Both Beck (http://beck.mlblogs.com/) and Knobler (http://www.mlive.com/tigers/weblog/) have Guillen fifth.

  14. Kurt

    October 13, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    For those unable to watch/hear, Rich Harden started off with seven straight balls, and three of the first four to Granderson were in the dirt. He’s been kinda moving his throwing arm around too, looks uncomfortable.

  15. Joel

    October 13, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    Bases loaded, two outs. If only Neifi was batting second today…

  16. Travis

    October 13, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    3 up 3 down in the 3rd. We have had very few of those so far in this series. I would love to see about 6 more!!

  17. Kurt

    October 13, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    Harden seems to have worked through his problems, but at least it got his pitch count up.

  18. Travis

    October 13, 2006 at 5:35 pm

    Well, we wasted that leadoff double. I really thought we would knock Harden out in this inning. He’s already up to 61 pitches thru 3.

  19. Travis

    October 13, 2006 at 5:42 pm

    Hot Damn! Another 3 up 3 down for Kenny. Looks like the Gambler is dealin’ again. Now let’s get some runs.

  20. NR

    October 13, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    He made Chavez look like he’s never swung a bat before…

  21. Jeff in Lakeland

    October 13, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    I think Rogers and Polanco have some competition going as to who can the Athletics daddy. From what I can tell they both qualify…

  22. Jojo SunDevil

    October 13, 2006 at 6:20 pm

    Curtis Monroe? Yall here that we got a player named Curtis Monroe.

    Hope Zumaya is ok.

    Come on Kenny!

  23. Darrin

    October 13, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    Of course, at this point in the postseason I’m trying to figure out if I’m watching the MLB playoffs, or if I’ve somehow gotten caught inside the fantasy world of a Detroit Tigers fan.

    Don’t get me wrong–the Tigers are a quality team and they belong in the playoffs. But Kenny Rogers 0 ER in 15 innings? Curtis Granderson 1 strikeout in 30 At-bats? This postseason is starting to look less like baseball games, and more like a Hollywood movie entitled “Angels on Our Shoulders: How the Detroit Tigers Did Everything Right To Win the World Series.”

    Enjoy. This sort of crazy run (like the White Sox in ’05, Red Sox in ’04, and Marlins in ’03) can be fleeting.

  24. Pete

    October 13, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    Bad call at third base last inning. Probably cost us at least one run. Hopefully it won’t matter.

  25. Lou

    October 13, 2006 at 7:07 pm

    At the start of the year, I would have believe Rogers was possible for 10-15 wins. But, these two playoff starts are just incredible. You have to think that if he can put together one or two more great post-season starts like this, he’s going to increase his hall chances tremendously.

  26. JTGoBlue

    October 13, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Piniella has been spot on in assessing one of the keys to this series — the substitute middle infield for the A’s of Scutaro and Jimenez. When you consider what the Tigers have gotten out of Polanco, while the A’s have been zeroes … that’s a huge advantage.

    Well, that and Frank “A-Rod” Thomas.

  27. Pete

    October 13, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    Sweet Lou, let’s not get carried away here. Kenny Rogers has had a nice career, and I’m sure glad he’s on the Tigers right now, but he is NOT a Hall of Famer.

    JT, good point about their middle infield. They are missing Crosby and Ellis, which is kind of like the Tigers having Guillen and Polanco hurt and having to start some combo of Santiago/Perez/Infante every day. Jimenez and Scutaro are utility guys, not everyday major league players.

  28. JTGoBlue

    October 13, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    beauty

  29. Lou

    October 13, 2006 at 7:32 pm

    Three and 0. Awesome.

  30. JTGoBlue

    October 13, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    This team is so kissed by fate … probably more than any team since the ’88 Dodgers. Mags is nothing special this series, Guillen has been versatile, but not sensational … and Polanco is Mickey Hatcher. Move Monroe back to second, and he has a perfect psuedo hit-and-run single in the first and the insurance homer. Santiago gets a lot of play at SS and Rodney turns into Zumaya lite. Plus, the A’s are hurt everywhere.

    Can’t imagine Bonderman not closing this out Saturday … so we’ll have a week of pre-World Series hype … about the Tigers of all people!

  31. NR

    October 13, 2006 at 7:37 pm

    15 IP…. no runs allowed for the gambler.

  32. Mike

    October 13, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    This is straight up amazing. AMAZING. Did any of you really think 3 weeks ago we’d be up 3-0 in the ALCS? If so, you’re a much smarter man than I am.

    I’m 21 years old. So I was born the year after the 84′ World Series team. Only 2 during the 87′ Playoffs. This is incredible for me and anyone else my age. Much much much better than any of the Red Wings playoff runs, or the Pistons run in 04.

    Pops always told me postseason baseball was like nothing else. And that this was a baseball town. Didn’t believe him until now. Father knows best.

    Bondo will close this out. Go TIGERS.

  33. Bob S.

    October 13, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.The infield defense was outstanding today-let’s hope Santiago plays tomorrow.
    That blown call at third base is another example of why baseball needs a video review.These games are too important to let a calls like that stand.
    And the second period is starting.Great to have the Wings and the Tigers playing on the same day in October for a change.

  34. Steve

    October 13, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Well that was a great game,

    Pete are you staying with Neifi or Family?,

    Kenny Rogers is looking like the signing of the year with the start he had, the last two big wins and the mentoring of the staff.

    I also think a major turning point in the franchise was when they sent UU to the Phillies. This got rid of a head case reliever, made us look, develop other options in house and F/A with Heart-attack Jones along with brining a solid glove,bat at second base and a truely decent hard playing human being. I think Polanco is one of those guys that we all know that every one likes and has no real detractors. Quiet and steady.

    I hope we can lock this up Saturday, have a warm front come in next week and a great series with what ever NL team we get.

    Steve

  35. JTGoBlue

    October 13, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    Mike,

    I was lucky enough to be 11 when the Tigers won in 1968, the perfect age to be a fan for life. I was an adult in ’84, and had just moved out of the state, so I felt a bit removed, but no less excited, by Kirk, Alan, Sparky and the boys.
    But this is astonishingly glorious. I’m not sure I wouldn’t take either the ’68 or the ’84 teams for pure personnel over this team, but how can you not be caught in the joy and disbelief over this team’s magic? I live now in Cleveland, and the entire city here mourned when the Indians fell apart in the last week of the ’05 season, when it seemed like everything was in place for a long postseason run. Now, the Tigers are showing Tribe fans what might have happened IF they had won two more games.
    Rogers’ game against the Yankees last week will stay in the top five of my sporting memories … right with Michigan hanging on in the ’98 Rose Bowl, McLain’s 30th victory, Lolich’s clincher against Gibson and the Pistons winning their first title in L.A.
    Now … the “star-studded” Mets loom … more New York hype. Can this month be any more glorious?

  36. Scott

    October 13, 2006 at 8:52 pm

    this was another great performance by Rogers – man, he loves the cool / cold weather. The “sparkplug” of this team is Polanco; the team’s not the same when he’s out of the lineup. Everything’s working right now; the A’s don’t even seem like they’re in it….I also remember ’68; I was 12 – a kid’s dream that summer. By ’84, I’d moved to Florida, with no internet or TV coverage, it wasn’t the same; also felt d-conned, and was an adult by that time. Now, thru mlb.com, I once again could closely follow the ONLY team that’s ever mattered to me. And beating the “awesome Yankees” was so sweet; that made the year right there. Nobody ever stopped to think after Mussina and Rivera they had nothing – even the Big Unit was only adequate this year. Looks like Tigers v Mets in the Series……I love it….. 🙂

    SOCKIT TO ‘EM, TIGERS……. 🙂

  37. Sam

    October 13, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    I grew up in Baltimore a diehard Orioles fan. I have always loved baseball.

    When Angelos fired Davey Johnson, then Pat Gillick, I divorced the Birds.

    I’ve been here since 1990 and I’ve had Season Tix since ’98 for the Tigers and have been to Spring Training 3 of the last 4 years and opening day every year since 1996. No one does opening day like Detroit!

    I split my seats with some friends. In 2003 I went to 7 games, they were 0-6 with a rainout. The Rainout was the highlight of the season as I meet and had a nice conversation with Bill Freehan

    As funny as it is, that might have been the year I gave my heart to the Kittys. I realized at the time how historically bad that season was. Winning 5 of the last 6 that year to avoid the Mets record was awesome.

    Dave Dombrowski has done a great job with this team. He has been the architect of this. If Illitch can keep him here we will have many years of success.

    -Sam

  38. T Smith

    October 13, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    By the way, Bilfer, and all of you who were at the game, Granderson was definately SAFE at third after Polly’s bunt. No question about it, it was a blown call. In the end, it didn’t matter, but bases juiced with no outs would have certainly changed the score in this game.

    I thought it was a good call to have him bunt.

  39. Chris Y.

    October 13, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    “I thought it was a good call to have him bunt.”

    I, personally, would have made them get Polanco out. He was only batting 1.000 v. Harden in his CAREER before that at-bat.

    Whatever, you take chances and some don’t work out. That was a bad idea that didn’t work out. But then it DID, ’cause Grandy was safe.

    Oh, and I am not the AL Manager of the Year (to be). What the heck do I know. Nothing (for rhetoric).

  40. hawk

    October 13, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    Was lucky enough to attend tonights game – it was a blast!! Granderson was no doubt safe at third!! Was Guillen’s chopper to third really fair? Because sitting along the third base line, it seemed to be foul. No big deal – – can’t wait to watch the sweep tomorrow!!! KR is the ultimate competitor – when is the last time we had a pitcher that fought hard not to come out of games?? I think our starters used to look for the hook.

  41. billfer

    October 14, 2006 at 12:09 am

    T Smith – I wasn’t hating on the bunt move. It was one of those understandable moves, just not one I was a big fan of.

    And thanks for the clarification on the play at 3rd. He looked safe in real time, but without a replay I wasn’t sure

  42. Darrin

    October 14, 2006 at 12:17 am

    Yes, Granderson was safe at 3rd, but the play was extremely close (even on instant reply) so sometimes you have to cut the umpires a little bit of a break. Meanwhile, last Friday night against the Yankees in the 2nd inning, Pudge was out at third by a mile and was called safe, and I don’t recall any fans on this blog complaining about that call. Bottom line is when you have extremely close plays at the base and extremely close pitches at the dish, you are going to get blown calls. It is part of the game and has to be expected.

    Meanwhile…..EVERYTHING is breaking right for the Tigers this postseason. When they need a strikeout, they get it. When they need a double play, they get it. When the opponent hits a line drive, it’s right at someone. When Leyland puts in a scrub, he gets 4 RBI’s. Enjoy it! Please don’t complain about the umpiring!

  43. Nate A

    October 14, 2006 at 12:22 am

    Wow, another phenominal game from Rogers. Last week he was gettin the Yankees with his changeup. Today, he was freezing the A’s with the wicked curve.

    Very nice plays by Kotsay today. Santiago looked good at SS too.

    Lovin Polanco. Scott is absolutely right, he is the team “sparkplug.” Granderson had three(!!!) walks today and not a single strikeout. Monroe is having a very nice postseason as well.

    That call at 3rd on the bunt was wrong, but I do not want to see MLB going to video replay. The game does not need to slow down even more, and you don’t want everyone questioning every one of your umpires. They already get tape of their performance and review by peers. Besides, judgement calls are final and only the umpire making the call can change it. The issue on that play, the umpire was not in a good position to make the call. He should have been more perpendicular to the throw, not behind the reciving player so that you can’t see the catch.

    All and all, another excellent and hard fought game. Bondo tomorrow for the sweep! Give Zumaya time to rest.

  44. ron

    October 14, 2006 at 1:54 am

    Three down, five to go.

  45. Jeff M

    October 14, 2006 at 2:06 am

    It actually wasn’t that cold, at least where I was sitting in the upper deck behind home plate. The wind was only a breeze instead of a gale. I was expecing much worse.

    It was COLD. Atleast it was until I installed the anti-freeze in my veins 🙂

    I have a wedding to go to, so I’ll miss today’s game. Is it bad that I’m half hoping we lose? I would really like to see the clincher on Sunday.

  46. Bob S.

    October 14, 2006 at 8:06 am

    Put that same call(at third base)in the seventh game of a series where the run is the difference between winning and losing and then tell me we don’t need video review.It’s silly to let blatantly wrong calls possibly determine the outcome of important games.Give each manager one or two appeals per game.Saying it would slow the game down rings hollow in a sport where some pitchers work slow enough for a person to run to the bathroom between pitches.

  47. Cameron in Singapore

    October 14, 2006 at 9:08 am

    Mike…
    That was a great post. I was 5 years old in 1984 and don’t really remember that year at all. I have distinct memories of 1987 though, including the playoff loss. So I’ve been living on that ever since…
    This team is amazing. Even from Singapore they’re exciting to follow!
    Just wish Trammell could be more a part of it…
    Go Tigers!

  48. Kyle J

    October 14, 2006 at 9:34 am

    How about Inge’s great foul ball catch in the first? With a runner on and no one out, that’s the kind of play that can prevent a scoring opporunity. I was sitting behind the left-field pole, so I had a great view of how tough that catch was–it’s one thing to lean into the stands; it’s another thing when you’re running in full stride to get there.

    Glad to see the Cardinals pull it out last night. It’d be great to have a ’68 rematch in the WS.

  49. Marshall in DC

    October 14, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    I was 13 during the ’84 world series and I enjoyed it a bunch. However – at 13 you can’t comprehend what 19 years of sub-.500 ball really means.

    This has been more magical for me as I am just a few years older than most of these kids and I understand the world a bit better. What they have done is downright amazing. This team has been able to find a 6th gear after Roger’s beat the Yanks, and they haven’t let up. I don’t think this team has ever played this well this year. Everyone – down to Gomez for god’s sake – has taken one big step forward.

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