World Series Game 3: Aftermath

It’s not so much the loss that is troubling. I actually expected Detroit to lose this game just based on the pitching match-up. It’s that once again they looked so incredibly bad in losing.

Here’s the list of Tiger highlights:

  • Neifi Perez comes off the bench and makes a nifty double play to retire the side in the 8th inning.

Yeah. That’s it.

Meanwhile the lowlights:

  • The Tigers never had a runner touch 2nd base. (thanks T) The Tigers had one baserunner in scoring position all night.
  • No Tiger reached a 3 ball count. In fact no Tiger saw more than 5 pitches in an at-bat.
  • The Cardinals scored 2 runs in the 6th inning without a hit.
  • The Cardinals added a run in the 8th with the benefit of one single.

The tough thing, okay one tough thing, is that Nate really gave the team a chance. He recorded his first 1-2-3 inning since the 2nd inning of his September 21st start. He allowed 1 base runner in the first 3 innings and that was a 2 out walk.

But oh those walks. Four of the five baserunners who scored reached base via the walk.

Now Chris Carpenter deserves credit for making the Tigers look so bad. At the same time, the Tigers spent a significant part of the stretch run tipping their cap to the opponent. They have to find a way to get things going against Jeff Suppan tomorrow.

The series is far from over, and I like the Tigers chances with Jeremy Bonderman on the mound tomorrow night. But the offense has to do something, anything. Even making Jeff Suppan throw 15 pitches in an inning would help. Another offensive display like tonight’s and it won’t matter how many runs Bondo allows.

And as for the Joel Zumaya throwing error. It was a questionable decision exacerbated by a horrible throw. If the throw is on the money, it’s much less of an issue and with Pujols running a triple play isn’t a ridiculous notion.

I’ll append the wrap-up of other people’s thoughts in the morning.

What Others Are Saying


Nate Robertson’s Gum Time: Good pitching beats good hitting

Good pitching beats good hitting. I know that. When I’m out there and I’ve got all my pitches working, I’m going to give my team a pretty good chance to win. I had three pitches I was throwing for a strike tonight. I lost a few because of grip reasons. Chris Carpenter made pitches. He had four pitches for a strike, and the way he was throwing tonight, it was going to be tough to score on him.

Mack Avenue Tigers: A Detroit Tigers Blog

But I’m not throwing in the towel. At this point, it could be a 3-0 Cardinals lead. St. Louis has been the better team in the Series. Detroit has had underperforming defense, awful offense, and pitching that could be better. But the Tigrer are only down 2-1 in the Series? That doesn’t sound like it’s time to worry yet. It sounds like if they play Tigers baseball, they claw right back into things. And if they don’t, we’ll just be stuck congratulating St. Louis on a job well done before the weekend.

Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass: World Series Game 3

I still think the Tigers are in good shape and should be able to steal tomorrows game with Bonderman matching up against Jeff Suppan. Before the post-season I questioned Bondermans make-up and said he was going to be a complete disaster or he was going to come-up big and establish himself as one of the premier young pitchers in the A.L. and so far he’s been the latter, pitching extremely well in the Series clinchers in the first two rounds. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling a little worried about the Tigers and the direction this Series is heading, but I still believe in this team and expect them to come up big tomorrow night.

TigerBlog » Blog Archive » Tigers Lose Game Three

A lot of people dislike Tim McCarver as an announcer. Prior to tonight, I didn’t mind him too much. I wouldn’t say I’d put him in my top ten, but I thought he did a good enough job. That was until he decided to make the point, about a dozen times, that Joel Zumaya shouldn’t have thrown to third base when he fielded a comebacker with runners on first and second in the seventh inning. The two runs that scored opened the game up but didn’t turn out as neccesary. Regardless, we understood that he should have went to second base the first time. And if we didn’t, we certainly got it the tenth time.

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers: Carpenter Dominates — The Hardball Times

One has to imagine that the Tigers’ bats will wake up eventually; however, this chart illustrates the possibility that there isn’t a whole lot of time for them to do so. The clock will tick all the faster if Jeff Suppan can translate his NLCS dominance into success in Game 4.

DREW SHARP: Tigers seem to be wilting under Series’ pressure

But what’s truly disquieting is how a team that thrived on the late-season pressure of possibly blowing a 10-game divisional lead or coming scarily close to falling behind, 0-2, to the Yankees in the division series isn’t responding to the expectations of life on the game’s grandest stage.

RED ALERT! – 10/25/06 – The Detroit News Online

Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter completely silenced the Tigers, holding them to three hits in eight innings as St. Louis belted Detroit, 5-0, on Tuesday to grab a 2-1 series lead. The Tigers pitch better than anyone, generally. But no one was outdueling Carpenter on this night, not Nate Robertson, not the aura of Kenny Rogers, not anybody.

STLtoday – Sports – Columnists

A few days ago, it sounded like so much clever posturing from a manager trying to shift the burden off the shoulders of his ballclub. The Tigers came into the World Series justifiably believing they were supposed to be the stars of The Greatest Baseball Story Ever Told 2.6. Yet as we traveled deeper and deeper into this chilly Tuesday night, who among us hasn’t begun to reconsider the validity of Leyland’s words and contemplate who really does deserve top billing?

ESPN.com – MLB/PLAYOFFS2006 – Crasnick: Pudge, Tigers swinging dead wood

The Cardinals lead the Series two games to one even though they’re hitting .196 as a team. That’s because the Tigers have scored a total of five runs and are batting .185 as a team.

22 Comments

  1. T.

    October 25, 2006 at 12:10 am

    “The Tigers never had a runner touch 2nd base.”

    Hey Bilfer, Brandon singled in the 3rd and was then sacrificed over to second by Robertson. He made it to third on a wild pitch. Not that this is any consolation.

  2. Adam

    October 25, 2006 at 12:32 am

    How about Sean Casey going 2 for 3? That’s the only good one.

  3. ron

    October 25, 2006 at 12:32 am

    Don’t worry,fans. This is 1968 de ja vu.

  4. Adam

    October 25, 2006 at 12:57 am

    So I guess that means we’re going to lose 10-1 tomorrow. Dang.

  5. Adam

    October 25, 2006 at 1:01 am

    Oh, and by the way. To this point, St. Louis has outscored us 13 to 5 and outhit us 19 to…17? Wait. We have 5 runs on 17 hits. Sweet deal.

  6. Nick G

    October 25, 2006 at 1:18 am

    Let’s get those bats going for Bondo!

  7. Joey the K

    October 25, 2006 at 2:45 am

    We’re just lulling them into a false sense of confidence!

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  9. Charly Streetgang

    October 25, 2006 at 5:58 am

    Maggs hit the ball hard. Casey’s looking good. Monroe has already came through this series. Guillen too. Granderson needs to find his play off swing he had earlier and Pudge needs to step up. That being said, I predict a Tigers offensive explosion tonight. They are due for starting the game of with a 5 spot.

    Game 3: Tigers 11 Cards 4

    Dial it in folks.

  10. Andrew

    October 25, 2006 at 8:15 am

    Charly, you must have had more coffee than I did this morning :). I didn’t expect to see such gleeful optimism this morning. I would be happy if the Tigers put up 5 or 6 of your predicted 11 runs.

    I know it is obvious, but last night watching the game I was SO bummed out about Granderson and Polanco’s O-fers. Right now you are practically guaranteed that 2 of the first 3 guys you send out to lead off the game are OUTS. Hard to get the offense going with that.

    We might have only lost 5-0 last night, but it felt like we took more of a drubbing than that just because it was looking like we would have a hard time scoring 3 runs to win 3-2 and when the Cardinals increased the lead to 4-0 I said to myself that that was the ballgame.

    I have not seen anything from our offense this series. Are the Cardinals pitching that well or did our bats go cold with the week of rest? It’s like we lost the fire we had.

    I wouldn’t mind the losing so much if we didn’t look so pathetic swinging the bats.

  11. Bobber

    October 25, 2006 at 8:15 am

    “So I guess that means we’re going to lose 10-1 tomorrow. Dang.”

    Yeah, but how about Verlander pitching (and winning) Thursday and again on Sunday?

    That’s something to look forward to!

  12. Bobber

    October 25, 2006 at 8:29 am

    Did I mention that those are complete games?

    In fact every blessed game from here on in would be a complete game for Tiger pitching.

  13. Kyle J

    October 25, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Weather doesn’t look promising for tonight. If the game is delayed until tomorrow night, I assume there would be no travel day and games 6 and 7 would be Saturday/Sunday? In that case, Suppan wouldn’t be able to pitch twice in the series–only two days of rest between games 4 and 7.

    http://www.mlive.com/weblogs/c.....tml#198104

  14. Joey C.

    October 25, 2006 at 11:38 am

    Charly I think you’re prediction is crazy…but I like it!

    This Tiger offense has been ridiculously streaky all year and they hit rough patches that lasted well longer than 7 games. So I’m pretty concerned with what I’m seeing. The one game we did win was due to another Kenny masterpiece as our offense failed to knock in a ton of men on base. Were our bats going well we would’ve scored at least six runs in game 2.

    I was really hoping the Tigers would come in and keep the pedal down, because the Cards arms were tired coming in on the heels of a 7 game series. Instead, we’ve hardly even seen their bullpen. We need to make their pitchers work a little, and we certainly didn’t come close to doing that last night.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to tonight’s 11 run outburst.

    Go Tigers!

  15. Kyle J

    October 25, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    Only real comfort at this point is that the Cardinals haven’t exactly been hitting the cover off the ball, either.

    Tigers through three games: .185/.227/.293
    Cardinals through three games: .196/.304/.320

    If Bonderman comes out throwing strikes tonight (or tomorrow night), I think the game will swing to us.

  16. Andrew

    October 25, 2006 at 1:14 pm

    The Tigers led the league this year (during the regular season) in games they won while scoring 3 runs or less.

    The problem with that stat in this World Series is twofold –

    1. Our offense generated 2 runs in Game 1, 3 runs in Game 2, and 0 Runs in Game 3.

    2. Our Pitching gave up 7 runs in the Game 1 loss and 5 runs last night.

    Can you imagine if Todd Jones had not pulled out the save in Game 2 with the bases jammed? Wow. It would all be over but the crying right about now.

    Current MVP of the series for the Tigers?

    Co-MVP Award goes to Rogers & Jones.

    Yikes. We need some offense.

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  18. Ryan S

    October 25, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    One more positive to take from last night’s game: Leyland finally figured out the proper way to use Neifi. Late inning defensive replacement, then immediately pinch hit for.

    Better late than never…

  19. Bobber

    October 25, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    It’s too bad Zumaya misfired his throw to Inge. I think it’s the type of gutsy move that we see almost never, and obviously the outcome of this one won’t enhance the probability of seeing it again.

    I have to wonder if, when Zumaya lined up third base in his sights, he surprised Inge to the point that it threw his own timing off enough in the execution to bring disaster.

    I’ve seen that happen before.

  20. Matt in Toledo

    October 25, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    There is a lot of discussion about Carpenter and the Cardinals throwing so few pitches. I did some digging, and I think this is more a credit to the Cardinals than a strike against the Tigers.

    The Tigers saw 91 pitches and only swung at 42. That doesn’t sound too “hacky” to me, although I admittedly don’t know what the usual percentage is.

    The Tigers’ batters swung at only 6 of the 29 first pitches they saw. Of the 23 they took, 14 were balls, so Carpenter was trying to get them to bite on first pitches out of the zone, but they weren’t going for them for the most part.

    The Tigers’ batters swung and missed only 7 times all night, and 6 of those were strike three pitches. That’s understandable since if you kind of have to swing at close pitches with two strikes against you. (I know; at least a couple of those third strike pitches weren’t strikes)

    I think the Tigers’ bigger problem is that they have trouble identifying hittable pitches. Consider that of the 49 pitches they watched, 20 were called strikes. I’d love to see those 20 pitches compared to the 42 they swung at. My guess is that Tiger batters go up there thinking they’re going to work the count in such and such a way, and end up being mechanical and predictable as far as what pitches they swing at, and what pitches they don’t. In other words, they’re trying to be patient for patience sake, rather than being patient in order to make sure they’re swinging at the pitches they can do the most damage with.

    Of course, Carpenter had a lot to do with this since he seemed to be making his pitches almost all night.

  21. billfer

    October 25, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    Matt –

    Those are some good points, and when it comes to patience and discipline a couple things are at work.

    One thing is swinging at strikes versus swinging at pitches you can hit. I think part of the Tigers problem isn’t that they are swining at pitches out of the strike zone. It’s that they’re going after pitches they can’t do much with. When you’re down 2 strikes in the count you don’t have a choice. But early on you don’t have to swing at the first strike you see.

    Second, the problem becomes much exaggerated when they don’t hit the pitches they’re swining at well. If they’re getting hits on first pitch fastballs, nobody cares. There’s something to being aggressive with fastballs early in the count, but when the entire team isn’t driving those balls on one night, you have a disaster.

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