World Series Game 1 Aftermath

Did any of us really think the Tigers would win 11 straight playoff games? Probably not. But did any of us think that the Tigers would be so completely shut down by Anthony Reyes, the weakest link in the Cardinal rotation who was pitching in game 1 more due to circumstances than performance? Definitely not.

I don’t know whether or not the week long layoff impacted the hitting. What I did see was a team that was very aggressive early in the count against a pitcher that didn’t have a put away pitch. It’s one thing to attack Danny Haren early who has the great split finger when he gets ahead in the count. Reyes didn’t have that pitch. What he did have was a fastball that Tiger hitters said had a lot of movement.

The Tigers didn’t have an answer for Reyes, nor an answer for the Cardinals. In both other rounds the Tigers offense seemed to “answer” when the other team scored. After the Cardinals scored 3 in the 3rd, the Tigers answered with 3 outs on 13 pitches. After the Cardinals scored 3 runs in the 6th, the Tigers answered with an 8 pitch inning.

The Tigers offensive woes were enough to keep me from getting too upset about an error filled 6th inning. Hopefully they got that out of their system in a game that was for the most part out of reach. And as for Verlander, while I didn’t want him starting game 1 for a host of reasons, this was still a match-up that favored the Tigers. He wasn’t the reason the Tigers lost because 4 hits isn’t going to win you many games. Leyland said he was too tentative and not attacking the strike zone like the Tigers pitchers have done consistently in the series. That may have been true, but 100 pitches in 5 innings has been the M.O. for Verlander as of late. This time he actually allowed fewer baserunners and fanned more batters and generally looked better than he has – at least up until the messy 6th inning.

Losing game 1 isn’t the end of the world for the Tigers. What it does is do is put all the pressure on the Tigers to win tonight. The Cardinals were hoping for a split, and they’ve been assured of at least that. The Tigers now have the pressure to make sure the series is all even come game 3.

What others are saying

Viva El Birdos :: A St. Louis Cardinals Blog

1 down, 3 more to go. But the road ain’t easy. ’68 the Cards won games 1, 3, and 4 and then went on to lose the 5-7 to the Tigers. And this ’06 version looked pretty tame after losing game one to the heavily favored Yanks before winning their next 7 to get here. This team still has a lot of fight in it, I’m just glad the Cards could set the tone by punching the big boy square on the jaw. Now it’s time to brace ourselves and see how well the Tigers can counter.

The Gas House Gang » Cardinals Take Game One in Blow Out Win

This was a game even I was writing off. Anthony Reyes came in to pitch as a stop gap because of how long the Cards series went with the Mets and not only did he keep us in the game, he exceeded expectations. He ran into trouble in the first inning and gave up a run, but then he didn’t give up a hit until the seventh inning. In all, the Tigers managed only four hits and a single walk. Not too bad for a rookie with a pretty poor ERA.

Mack Avenue Tigers: A Detroit Tigers Blog » World Series Game 1: YEESH! Reyes stifles Tigers

Don’t get too upset over this one. Of course you want to win Game 1, and you want to win games in your own stadium, but everything can change in day. The only thing that’s changed is that St. Louis has a 1-0 series lead. Otherwise, the Tigers maintain all the advantages they had before. Just gotta keep playing games and see if they win out.

Detroit Tiger Tales

This series is not going to be the easy series many of us thought. The Cardinals have just won a game everybody thought would belong to the Tigers. Scott Rolen (homer and a double) may be breaking out of his slump. Things are looking up for the Cardinals. Unlike the Oakland series, the Tigers will have to work for this one. Tomorrow night it will be Kenny Rogers versus Jeff Weaver. This is another matchup that would appear to favor the Tigers but we were reminded tonight that this doesn’t matter too much.

TigerBlog » Blog Archive » Tigers Face Uphill Battle in Game One

Ugly, ugly, ugly. Anthony Reyes at one point put down seventeen straight Tigers and two big innings by the Cardinals were the difference. Craig Monroe did give the Tigers a run on a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth but it didn’t matter much. It’s just hard to believe that this is the first time the Tigers have lost in two and a half weeks.

Most Valuable Network – Roar of the Tigers » World freakin’ Series Game 1: Reyes the Roof

A bad loss, because it was frustrating to see Verlander show such vulnerability, and it was frustrating and a little scary to see the bats revert to that end of the regular season form. No. We went through that once already, we DON’T WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN. About the only good thing you can point to is the bullpen, which managed to flip through almost everybody, but almost everybody was perfect.

FLAT CATS – 10/22/06 – The Detroit News Online

So the Tigers’ seven-game winning streakhas endedand the battle is joined. They swear they knew what they were getting into against the Cardinals and Pujols, and were prepared for it. We assume they won’t wait around any longer to show it.

DREW SHARP: There are no true favorites in baseball

The Tigers’ discomfort in their new role as favorite son showed, but perhaps they can find solace in the realization that if they keep this up in Game 2 tonight, they will become the underdog once again.

STLtoday – Sports – Columnists

La Russa has a different dog in the race now. An underdog — hungry and fearless and persistent. An underdog that squirms under the bottom of the backyard fence to break free and run away and chase down big cars from San Diego and New York. This underdog is still barking.

ESPN.com – MLB/PLAYOFFS2006 – Crasnick: Tigers go from juggernaut to just plain not

It was the all-around lousiness of their play Saturday that seemed so striking. They didn’t hit, pitch or field, and manager Jim Leyland flunked his biggest test of the evening by getting cute with Albert Pujols. In a span of two hours and 54 minutes, the Tigers went from prohibitive World Series favorites to looking flatter than the bill of Reyes’ cap.

SI.com – MLB – Nate Silver: The Baseball Prospectus angle on Game 1 – Sunday October 22, 2006 12:58AM

Yes, there were a couple of ugly moments along the way, most obviously Brandon Inge’s uncharacteristic defensive miscues. The game got away from the Tigers, however, for one reason and one reason only: they quit taking pitches while the Cardinals kept working to set up good at-bats. In the first inning, Reyes threw 22 pitches: nine balls, and 13 strikes (five of which were put into play). Then, for the next seven innings combined, Reyes threw only 14 balls — against 53 strikes. That’s just 2.4 pitches per Tiger batter in the second through eighth innings, and barely more than one ball for every second at-bat.

8 Comments

  1. Pete

    October 22, 2006 at 11:28 am

    Billfer, good coverage of Game One. I’m not too down about the loss, and I think Kenny and the boys will bounce back tonight. I would just like to second the comments by others yesterday that Santiago should sit and Casey should play first. Santiago is 0-for-9 in the postseason and a career .227 hitter; I would rather not have such an automatic out in the starting lineup for such an important (notice I did NOT say “must win”) game. Of course we all know how stubborn our manager is, so I fully expect to see Casey DH-ing and Santiago in the lineup tonight. Hopefully it will not matter.

  2. Jacob

    October 22, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    I think I counted something like ten Tiger batters going down on two or less pitches. But it was just a monumental collapse from everybody. The bullpen sort of came through, but the pitching was off. The defense was a parade of errors. Bad decision making from everybody. One of the worst games all season. I am left feeling completely empty this morning.

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  4. Jason

    October 22, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    Game 1 was like the games the Tigers routinely played in the infamous 43-119 season. Reassuring thought for tonight… they can’t do worse.

  5. Andrew

    October 22, 2006 at 1:53 pm

    Well, now maybe the Tigers have had a chance to let the heads get back down to earth. A whole week of hearing how great and unbeatable you are might cause you a bit of overconfidence no matter how hard you try to stop it.

    Now, lets hope that the boys got all of that miserable play out of their systems after last night.

    Was Reyes that great or were the Tiger hitters that bad? Like Jacob said above, I saw a lot of 1 or 2 pitch at bats that made me sicker than the poor pitching performance by Verlander.

    By the way, as much as we lament folks like Neifi and Santiago for their offensive prowess – when in the world is Pudge going to start hitting? Talk about an automatic out. Thank goodness he brings more than offense to the Tigers with the defense and handling of pitchers that he does behind the plate.

    After saying all of that I want to make it clear that I firmly believe the Tigers will turn things around and put in a great performance from here on out. I just think maybe they bought into a little bit of that “the Tigers will win the series in 3 games” baloney that was flying around before the series started.

    I was nervous going into the game for 1 main reason – ESPN and the national pundits picked the Tigers to beat the Cardinals “easily.” We all know about their similar prediction they made about the Yankees.

    Where are those Yankees now?

    Watch out Tigers. Halloween came a little bit early this year and spooked us all. Lets hope the kids that were masquerading as Tiger players last night turn the uniforms back over to the guys that beat up on the Yankees and A’s.

    Last night we got tricked. Tonight with Rogers pitching I hope we get a treat.

    Go Tigers!

  6. j

    October 22, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    Unless Santiago was going to have 6 RBI’s last night I dont see the reason to focus on his performance. Playing sound defense is crucial as the Tigers are going to have to get hits from more than 2 players if they are going to win a game. Everyone relax…A win tonight will cure everything.

  7. T Smith

    October 22, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    I still think it all rests on Kenny Rogers. He alone has the power to turn the tide, or, hasten the Tigers slide.

    “Did any of us really think the Tigers would win 11 straight playoff games?”

    Watching this team and understanding how they tick, I sometimes I think it would be easier for the Tigers to win 11 straight than it would be to win 3, lose 1, win three, lose one, etc. You win series, obviously, by employing the win three/lose one model. It’s certainly easier than sweeping the table. But for some reason, it’s just hard for the Tigers. I don’t want to dwell too long on a weakness of this team — but I’ll throw it out there and move on. This team is very vunerable to the highs and lows. It seems very hard for them to just lose one. Losing last night was a huge blow. The “unexpected” loss presents a huge test to the post-season character of this team. They simply need to shake it off, and I hope they can shake it off. I think they can, but it falls squarely on the shoulders of Kenny Rogers. If he comes out tonight to pitch, I think the Tigers will win this series.

    If he falters tonight, we may be headed toward an unrecoverable, downward spin, and we could be in for a very disappointing series.

    Go Kenny. We need you buddy.

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