World Series Game 4: Aftermath

At this point I’m not even sure how to process what transpired tonight. I’m not sure what feels worse, the fact that the Tigers are down 3 games to 1 or the fact that it is exactly where they deserve to be. In terms of pitching and offense, the game was pretty much even. The Tigers had 10 hits and 3 walks while the Cardinals had 9 hits and 5 walks. The difference once again was the Tigers inability to make plays on defense.

The telltale inning of course was the bottom of the 7th in which the Tigers needed 5 outs to get out of the inning. First was the flyball where Granderson slipped. It’s hard to get too upset at Granderson. He just lost his footing. What are you going to do? The Tigers still had a chance to get out of it before Rodney threw the ball 100 feet to first base in a situation where 60 feet would have been sufficient.

And as frustrated as I am with Rodney, all of his other throws were phenomenal. He picked up back to back strike outs to end a 1 out, first and third rally. He picked up a routine flyball and 2 strike outs in the subsequent inning. He pitched well, but it was all undone because of 2 plays. One that was out of his control and one that he literally had in the palm of his hand.

Some other notes from tonight’s game:

  • The offense perked up with 13 baserunners tonight. Sean Casey and Ivan Rodriguez combined to go 6 for 8. Granderson picked up a double, and by the end of the game he’d even managed to lay off the curve ball. Polanco is the only starter still hitless, and he’s had a couple of hard hit line drives at people the last 2 games.
  • What did Marcus Thames do to Leyland? He’s the best bat on the bench and he gets passed over in favor of Alexis Gomez?
  • I think the cut by Inge was the right play. The throw would have been close to getting Taguchi, but I think it would have been a couple feet up the first base line.
  • That throw that Molina made to try and nab Carlos Guillen was pretty incredible.
  • Scooter? For the kids (all those kids in ET who are still up at 9:30)? Fox continues to not get it. Stop with gimmicks and give us more baseball.
  • McCarver made a big deal of Monroe not making the play on Eckstein’s game winner. I really don’t know what else he could have done.
  • Do you think Miles scores if he’s running from 1st instead of 2nd? I don’t actually know. I’m just wondering how large that passed ball on the Encarnacion strike out was.

With the season on the line, the Tigers could turn to their veteran pitcher who hasn’t allowed a run in the postseason. Instead they’ll turn to the rookie who has struggled in 3 straight starts. I understand Leyland’s reasoning that other guys besides Rogers will need to get wins for the Tigers to have a chance. And I understand that Rogers’ success has all come in Comerica and that he’ll be ridiculed mercilessly in St. Louis. But if the Tigers lose game 5 and Justin Verlander contributes to that loss, it’s going to be a long off season saying, “What if?”

The Tigers needed this game. They had one of their more favorable pitching match-ups in a game that could have pulled the series even. Being down 2-1 in the series they had little margin for error and that margin is gone. I’d be a fool to like the Tigers chances at this point. I know that the 1968 Tigers were in the same situation against the same team, and won the series. Sure, I’ll hold out hope until that last out is recorded, but that hope far surpasses my expectations at this point.

What others are saying

Detroit Tiger Tales

The only hope now is a repeat of the comeback in the 1968 World Series. Such a comeback is very unlikely especially given how poorly they are playing. Justin Verlander, who seems to be out of gas, goes against Jeff Weaver tomorrow. Weaver was not too sharp in game 2 so there is some hope there. A lot of people think they should go with Kenny Rogers tomorrow but I don’t think it matters. If they are going to come back, they need 3 wins and Verlander is going to have to pitch one of those games. It doesn’t really matter if it’s game 5, 6 or 7.

Mack Avenue Tigers: A Detroit Tigers Blog » World Series Game 4: No mas

I’d like to say there’s some reason to be optimistic. But really, there’s not. The Cardinals just seem to be playing with much more poise, and the Tigers seem to have all but lost any of that cool poise we saw most of the season. I just don’t see them coming back to win the World Series from a 3-1 deficit and no poise.

The Daily Fungo: I’m Speechless

Call me an idiot or a pathetic optimist but I can’t see the Tigers season ending Friday night at Busch Stadium.

Oh. Tigers Fans. Honestly, We’re Sorry. – Deadspin

On a night when Every. Single. Break. went the Cardinals’ way, on a night when Tigers fans had to have been ripping out their eyebrows, on a night when the Cardinals’ spikes were made of diamonds and the Tigers’ were made of Vasoline … the Cardinals have taken a 3-1 lead in the World Series and are one game away from winning the World Championship for the first time since 1982. We cannot imagine how difficult that game must have been for Tigers fans.

Cardinals Diaspora

Oh baby…one game away. Let’s see it on the big board.

Maybe its the dense layer of fog from the damp fall day gathering in my head (or, uh, the fog from something else), but I’m having a hard time collecting thoughts on the game.

Get Up, Baby! » Game Four Liveblog Hijinks

The Cardinals did some terrible things with runners on base, and Suppan was far from perfect, but the Tigers just made more mistakes. I’ll take a win any way it comes–let’s keep The Cheat out of this series the old fashioned way, yeah?

DREW SHARP: Tigers haunted by ghost of Flood

The Tigers have orchestrated enough resurrections to make Lazarus envious, but perhaps they’ve run out of miracles.

This game was theirs.

CODE RED! – 10/27/06 – The Detroit News Online

This was a game they had. It also was a game they had to have. And then, in the flash of key miscues, it was gone, a horrific crusher that will not be easy to overcome.

STLtoday – Sports – Columnists

They left this ballpark Thursday night knowing that barring a monumental miracle of their own, they’d basically handed the Cardinals this Series with a non-stop flow of self-destructive nonsense.

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers: Cardinals Comeback — The Hardball Times

n a lot of ways, this was the best game of the 2006 World Series. You had the Tigers, who were down 2-1 in the series, come out hitting the ball and taking an early three-run lead. Then you saw the Cardinals come back and take the lead—only to have the Tigers tie it up, then give up the lead again. In the first three games, the team that was leading after the fourth inning ended up winning every game.

38 Comments

  1. Bob S.

    October 27, 2006 at 1:37 am

    How in the hell do you justify saving Rogers for a game 5 that might never come?I think Leyland’s been reading too many press clippings about his genious for pulling the right strings.

  2. Bob S.

    October 27, 2006 at 1:40 am

    Which is,of course,greater than MY genius for numbers.That would be game 6 we may never see.

  3. Jeff M

    October 27, 2006 at 2:33 am

    I’m not sure what feels worse, the fact that the Tigers are down 3 games to 1 or the fact that it is exactly where they deserve to be.

    Well said.

    It’s hard to get too upset at Granderson. He just lost his footing…And as frustrated as I am with Rodney, all of his other throws were phenomenal.

    Agreed.

    McCarver made a big deal of Monroe not making the play on Eckstein’s game winner. I really don’t know what else he could have done.

    It looked like Monroe was playing pretty shallow. That’s the only thing I’d question, thoug he probably had a good reason. The rest of his effort was top notch.

    That throw that Molina made to try and nab Carlos Guillen was pretty incredible.

    Yeah, it was. Guillen was out.

    The Tigers needed this game.

    I don’t think I stated it here, but I stand by my previous opinion. They would have been much better off if they won Game 4, but as long as they win one game in St. Louis, I like their chances.

    Of course, now the “if they win in St. Louis” is up to the rookie with a weak arm, so I definitely won’t be comitting to that weekend hotel room in Detroit. :(

    How in the hell do you justify saving Rogers for a game 5 that might never come?

    It’s not too hard. Being down 3-1, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. and MLB are the only ones that benefit from a 6 game series rather than a 5 game series. The only way that it is worthwhile to bring in Rogers is if you can skip Verlander completely. That would only happen if you had a couple more rainouts.

    P.S. I have tickets to game 6 and I want to go downtown and party all afternoon, but I can’t honestly expect Leyland to care about that.

  4. Andrew

    October 27, 2006 at 7:17 am

    That one hurt. I didn’t cry when the Tigers clinched a playoff spot. I didn’t cry when they beat the Yankees. I didn’t cry when Magglio put us in the World Series with the walkoff homer.

    I felt like crying at the end of last night’s game. Fortunately I was too ticked off to cry.

    Did you see the look on Monroe’s face in the dugout after striking out in the 9th? Man, I felt for that fella. Almost makes a “catch of the year” type play to keep the game tied and then is made to look silly by the Cardinals closer. You know he was looking for some redemption at the plate.

    We are in a heap of trouble having to depend on a rookie with a spent arm. If Verlander could just give us 5 innings of 1 run or fewer ball we’ve got a chance.

    I don’t know how Leyland can get the boys up emotionally after that loss. That’s his job and he has done a good job of it all year. I just didn’t like the resigned looks of the guys in the dugout last night.

    If they lose I hope it is not a blowout. That would leave more of a bitter taste in my mouth than if they lost by a run or two (as long as it isn’t a shutout where the lose 1-0 or something).

  5. Dave from 'The ATL'

    October 27, 2006 at 8:52 am

    I believe, the World Series pressure has revealed weaknesses in our defense. Lack of experience shows-up more under pressure. Rodney has to make that play at first. Monore makes that play in the regular season!

    His first step at the crack of the bat wasn’t ‘back’ it was ‘forward’ and that’s all it took to miss that line-drive. Monroe should’ve had it. Wilson (STL) would’ve had it as he showed all night.

    Bottom line is that I’ve said since this series started that STL is NOT the underdogs. These guys are playoff tested and it certainly showed last night.

  6. Tiffany

    October 27, 2006 at 8:59 am

    Agreed with your comments, just a word about Fox last night:

    When they were showing the game summary, with the Tigers up 3-0, they put up an Interesting stat:

    “The Game 4 winner has gone on the lose the World Series the past 2 appearances.” (I’m paraphrasing)

    excuse me, but WTF? Why would they show that? And then when STL was ahead, there was no mention of that phantom stat.

  7. Dave from 'The ATL'

    October 27, 2006 at 9:02 am

    By the way, Monroe looks spent.

    Good point Bilfer about Marcus… What’s going on there? Why isn’t he playing?

  8. charlie

    October 27, 2006 at 9:04 am

    hi bilfer

    i hope you don’t mind me adding this article…i think it says a lot from ESPN

    ST. LOUIS — To the tens of baseball fans who are watching the lowest-rated World Series in history, hang in there. It’s almost over.

    Only nine innings and one more victory separate the St. Louis Cardinals from their first World Series championship since 1982 … and the Detroit Tigers from a long, painful offseason of watching Tom Emanski instructional fielding videos. And if the expected downpours take a breather, that championship could come as early as Friday evening.

    Morry Gash/AP Photo
    The Cardinals could be jumping into each other’s arms in front of a jubilant Busch Stadium crowd as early as Friday night.All those not living within the shadow of the Gateway Arch raise your hands if you thought the Cardinals would be leading this Series, 3-1, after four games. Raise your hands if you even thought the Cardinals would have a win in this series after four games.

    It was the great Nuke LaLoosh who once told a TV reporter, “A good friend of mine used to say, ‘This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.’ Think about that for a while.”

    It rained here earlier in the day, but only briefly, and not hard enough to cause another postponement in this waterlogged World Series. In a cold, steady mist, the Tigers once again turned Nuke’s simple game into a messy and crippling 5-4 defeat. Now it isn’t a matter of if the underdog Cardinals will win this thing, but a matter of when.

    The Tigers finally hit the ball, but the catching and throwing part? Not so much. For that they can blame themselves, as well as the Cardinals, who continue to grind down the Tigers into baseball mulch.

    But the most debatable development of the day, aside from the Tigers’ inability to stay on their feet, make a simple throw to first base, or block a pitch when it counted, was Detroit manager Jim Leyland’s decision not to start Kenny Rogers and his clumps of “dirt” in Friday night’s Game 5.

    Not too much is at stake. Only elimination.

    Leyland has his choice of right-hander Justin Verlander or left-hander Rogers. Verlander is a rookie. Rogers is an 18-year big-league veteran. Verlander lost the Series opener and has given up six, four, three, two, six and six earned runs in his last six starts. Rogers hasn’t given up a run in his last 23 playoff innings. Verlander’s velocity was alarmingly below normal during his five-inning stay in Game 1. Rogers has been unhittable. And did I mention the Cardinals have struggled against lefties?

    But Leyland, who has a World Series ring of his own and 1,164 big-league victories, is willing to risk his team’s postseason life on a rookie — the rookie of the year, but a rookie, nonetheless. He’s going to start his team’s best regular-season pitcher, but not the guy who is pitching the best right now. Check that — who is pitching as well as anyone in the history of playoff baseball.

    Asked if there was a chance he might reconsider, Leyland didn’t hesitate.

    “Absolutely none,” he said. “I’m not going to pitch him in this atmosphere.”

    “This atmosphere” is Busch Stadium, where Cardinals fans caused this mammoth structure to actually sway during their comeback win Thursday night. In fact, if you administered baseball IQ tests, Cardinals fans would be Mensa members. They don’t miss a thing, including opposing starters who throw shutout inning after shutout inning with a suspicious brownish-yellow substance on their pitching hand.

    That’s the atmosphere Leyland is worried about, and understandably so. Rogers would hear things from the crowd he hasn’t heard since he shoved a TV cameraman in 2005. Some of it would be witty, some of it crude. But does Leyland want to survive to play a Game 6, or protect Rogers’ eardrums?

    When Leyland first put together his World Series rotation, it made perfect sense to start Rogers at home in Games 2 and 6. Each of Rogers’ three playoff wins this season have come at Comerica Park. He’s money there.

    But nothing, especially this Series, makes sense anymore. Nothing against the immensely talented Verlander, but I’d rather take my chances with Rogers.

    “If we had to win one game, if it was the seventh game, I’d pitch him,” said Leyland. “We have to win three games.”

    But not all at once. To get to Game 6 you first have to win Game 5. Don’t you want your best pitcher for that? Right now that pitcher is the controversial Rogers.

    Of course, none of that matters if the Tigers don’t remember how to catch and field. They were on their way to tying this series when reliever Fernando Rodney grabbed So Taguchi’s sacrifice bunt with his bare hand and threw the ball over a leaping Placido Polanco, who was covering first on the play. Yao Ming couldn’t have caught the thing.

    This was the same seventh inning that center fielder Curtis Granderson slipped and fell on the damp grass as David Eckstein’s fly ball dropped for a “double.” It was the inning that a Tigers’ 3-2 lead turned into a Cardinals’ 4-3 advantage.

    And in the decisive eighth, with the scored tied, Tigers catcher Pudge Rodriguez saw a Joel Zumaya wild pitch slip past him, allowing Aaron Miles to move from first to second. Eckstein then stroked a two-out, line drive double that just scraped the top of left fielder Craig Monroe’s outstretched glove. Miles scored. Cardinals won.

    “Well, obviously it was a little bit of a freak inning,” said Leyland.

    Well, obviously it’s been a little bit of a freak World Series. The Cardinals, now hitting .220, are thisclose to a champagne shower.

    Think about that for a while.

  9. Dave from 'The ATL'

    October 27, 2006 at 9:06 am

    Tiffany,

    Very interesting I didnt’ notice that….The reason is that Joe Buck and Tim McGarver are total HOMERS, which make FOX total HOMERS!

    Another thing they did is show a replay of the ‘throwing out of the first pitch’. We didn’t get a chance to see Spark and Tramm throw out the first pitch in DET.

    It’s always this way with Detroit, whether it be hockey, football, basketball…..no love for the M-town in the national spotlight. We’re just that cold, drab city with a bunch of crime. It’s brutal!

  10. Dave from 'The ATL'

    October 27, 2006 at 9:10 am

    ESPN is ripping baseball viewership right now because they dropped baseball for next year!

    Okay ESPN we get it…..Frigin’ NASCAR is the wave of the future. Whatever! Good baseball fans don’t follow the flavor of the day anyway clowns! Baseball’s been around for over a hundred years and we’ll keep watchin’ no matter how many times you remind us that nobody’s watching this World Series! Man, this gets me ‘steamed’!

  11. Kyle J

    October 27, 2006 at 9:20 am

    Win tonight, and then you have to like our chances with Rogers in game 6. If we win, it will be interesting to see what LaRussa does with Carpenter–pitch him on short rest (assuming it happens tomorrow) to try to end the series or save him for a game 7.

  12. Joey C.

    October 27, 2006 at 10:11 am

    Larusa will save him for seven.

  13. Joey C.

    October 27, 2006 at 10:16 am

    If the Tigers go on to lose tonight, their playoff run will end up looking like a microcosm of their regular season:

    A shaky, yet promising start; an long period of brilliance; a total collapse when it counted most.

  14. Coach Jim

    October 27, 2006 at 10:38 am

    I am not in favor of moving Rogers up in the rotation. We need to win the next 3 games, not just the next 1. He will of course win one of those games. Does it really matter if our “lock” wins game 5 or 6? Robertson and Verlander need to win their starts also, no matter which order they come in. Here’s the PRACTICAL reason you do not do that: keep the guys on their 5-day rotation. If you move Rogers up then he’s on a 4-day rest and Verlander would be on a 6-day rest. I am in favor of pitching them when their arm is conditioned to respond.

    I don’t blame anyone for the BREAKS that ALL went St. Louis’ way. It’s not that our players aren’t trying hard, or don’t have enough talent, “dem’s just da breaks.” Don’t blame one or two guys because they were involved in plays that broke down. Bondo totally fooled Eckstein to lead off the game, yet the weak dribbler was so weak he beat it out for a single. The pitcher did his job, the 3rd baseman did his job, “dem’s just da breaks.”

  15. Chris J

    October 27, 2006 at 11:08 am

    That loss last night was the most horrible, gut wrenching loss yet this year. I can’t imagine them being so close and pissing it away in a worse fashion. Ugh.

  16. Greg

    October 27, 2006 at 11:22 am

    I agree with not moving up Rogers … we need to win games that we won’t pitch at some point.

    But my question is about the Cards. Why is LaRussa pitching Weaver and not Reyes? I think that is a big break. Beat Weaver again, then we just need two home wins (including one where Rogers will pitch).

  17. T Smith

    October 27, 2006 at 11:59 am

    I also have to agree with the rotation decision. The damage is done. Bondo should have started game one, and game 5 should be his game, not Verlanders. But it’s done now. I know a lot has been said of going with Rogers. But honestly, I don’t think Rogers would weather the storm. He pitches with his head & emotion…I don’t think he would perform well (to the tune of his familar 8 plus run post-season ERA) if he went out there tonight with people screaming and booing about his cheating, hygiene habits, etc. etc. and everything short of throwing rotton vegetables to the mound.

    We’re in a hole. What can we do? We need to fight. And we need 25 guys believing we can do it. That’s Leyland’s main job now. Go with Verlander (certainly not optimal) and keep him on a VERY short leash. I mean, 1, 2 runs tops. Have Ledezma ready. This isn’t a powerhouse lineup (expect for Pujols) and they don’t hit lefties. Ledezma can go for the majority of this game if Verlander gets in trouble. We win tonight, and we’ll feel a lot better going into Detroit with Kenny. We win tonight, and our chances are good we make it to game 7. We win tonight, and are chances are very good we WIN game seven, and WIN the series. We just need to WIN tonight!!! If I were Leyland, I wouldn’t be going over too much film today, I wouldn’t be studying Weaver’s game plan, etc., etc. I wouldn’t be bogging the guys down with infomation, like cramming for an exam. Everyone knows what to do. We just need to get some emotion and confidence back. That’s all we need to win. I would simply try to pump the guys up.

    Honestly, if we WIN tonight, I think we will win the series. BuCarver et. al are right. All we need is just one win (after the the lull of last night’s demoralizing defeat) and momentum will shift back our way. Guaranteed.

  18. Kurt

    October 27, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    I, too, agree with keeping Rogers in his spot. If Verlander finds a way to win, Rogers at home all but guarantees going to 7 and seeing what happens.

    I think it’s as much a case of Leyland protecting his players as any strategical thinking, though.

  19. Andrew

    October 27, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    I just looked at the radar for St. Louis. It doesn’t look good for a game tonight. If they play with a slop of a field just so they can stick to the schedule as close as possible I think it’s a mistake.

    If Leyland is having the players watch any videos today, I hope it’s something inspirational like Braveheart or the Boston Red Sox come-from-behind 3 straight wins against the Yanks.

    I think Leyland’s job today is motivational speaker. He’s gotta be going around the clubhouse cracking jokes and slapping arses to keep the boys loose.

    As far as ESPN and the supposed “rest of the nation” not watching baseball, I quote this from Field of Dreams –

    The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.

    Let’s Go Tigers!

  20. Kyle J

    October 27, 2006 at 1:18 pm

    The weather.com forecast looks promising. Looks like the rain is supposed to stop right around game time.

    http://www.weather.com/weather.....undeclared

    As unbearable as last night’s loss was, I’m getting a renewed sense of hope. The bats did wake up last night. This team has bounced back innumerable times already this year. The media’s writing us off. If Verlander can pull it off tonight, it’s anybody’s series.

    Of course, once I start thinking about what great position we’d be in if we’d won last night, the optimism fades pretty quickly.

  21. Ken from Cincinnati

    October 27, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    I LOVE the fact that Rogers is not pitching tonight. One, if the hostility got to him and he crumbled under the pressure, Rogers reputation would be ruined and so would his confidence for next season. The satisfaction St. Louis would feel would be too much for me to handle. All emotion aside, I feel this is the best strategic move too. You can say all you want about having to win a game 5 to get to a game 6, but I want the best possible plan to win the series, and this is it. Weaver has proven to be their most vulnerable starter thus far, and so you want our most vulnerable starter to face him. You definetely want Rogers when facing any of the other three, especially Carpenter. Although I’m not sure whether LaRussa plans on pitching him in game 6 or 7. Either way, if we have to pitch Verlander to win the series, and we certainly do, then put him up against their weakest starter. I thought it was a no brainer. Go Tigers!!

  22. PaulO

    October 27, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Ken, I’m right there with you. Verlander tonight, Rogers in Comerica, and the entire pitching staff in game 7. Time for the old cliche – “we play ‘em one game at a time.” All we can do is win tonight, then think about tomorrow. Let’s go, boys.

  23. NR

    October 27, 2006 at 1:44 pm

    They’ll win tonight. They have to. No way a couple of bounces don’t go their way for once tonight. The luck has to even out eventually. Not only did they have all of those defensive… problems… last night, but they were definitely very close to having at least four or five more hits. Maggs almost got there a couple of times, Polly hit the ball hard, and Inge was thisclose to a HR. Shoot, even Bondo gets a single if he hits that ball just a couple of feet further to the left. A couple of those balls have to drop in their favor tonight. There’s no way Eckstein gets lucky again tonight like he did last night. Let’s just hope Verlander has a little left in the tank.

  24. Joey the K

    October 27, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    Losing stinks, giving games away hurts.

    Dave I was thinking the same thing about them not showing Sparky or Tram throw out the first pitch in Detroit!

    Ok, we pound Weaver tonight, ride the Kenny train on saturday and go for it all in Game 7!

  25. Walter

    October 27, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    Bill, as usual your site does the best job of any blogger today because you lay out all sides of the story for everybody to see. I sincerely hope Verlander is not as tired as everyone seems to think he is. He has awesome stuff when he’s on. Also, the Tigers’ bats are awake again and Detroit could have a big night against Weaver. Just take it back to Motown and get it done there.

    Detroit Tigers Weblog and Tiger Tales are together on our main page today.

    Best of luck tonight,
    Walter Roark (editor)
    http://www.baseballnooz.com/
    (All baseball, all the time–over
    230 blog feeds + news sources)

  26. T.

    October 27, 2006 at 2:51 pm

    Do you guys remember the quote from Kevin Millar when he was wearing a mic while warming up for game 4 of the Yankees series. He said something to the effect of, “they better not let us win tonight, because then we have schill and pedro, and then anything can happen in game 7.” I feel the same way about the Tigers tonight. If the Cards want to win this series they better do it tonight, because after tonight we have Kenny at home and then anything can happen in game 7. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start drinking.

  27. NR

    October 27, 2006 at 2:59 pm

    T.- I think we’re all there with you. I have a 6:30 date with my buddy Labatt Blue.

  28. Bix

    October 27, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    Without rehashing all the great comments today, I agree with most of them. And T., I remember that Millar quote too. Let’s get it done tonight, and go home. Then –

    Jake Taylor: Well then I guess there’s only one thing left to do.
    Roger Dorn: What’s that?
    Jake Taylor: Win the whole f***ing thing.

    The media wants the Tigers to quit. I don’t think they will. The Cards think they’re now the team of destiny (can you blame them?), but I think Verlander comes out tonight and has a career-defining performance that he carries with him for the next several years. If there’s ANYTHING left in his tank, how could he not call on it tonight? You want to be The Guy? Here’s your chance. Then we worry about games 6 & 7.

    As for the alcohol — today happened to be “Halloween Dress-up Day” at the local “hot waitress” sports bar…so that’s already under control.

    Go Tigers!
    My Tiger is whoever comes up big tonight. Or Chet Lemon.

  29. Ken from Cincinnati

    October 27, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    My tiger is Justin Verlander…..because he’s about to keep our hopes alive. And my beer is Sam Adams….because it’s about to keep my hopes alive…

  30. Pete

    October 27, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    For whatever this is worth, I think the Tigers will win this series. I think Verlander will pitch a little better tonight and we will score runs off of Weaver. If we can get this thing back to Detroit, I think Rogers wins Game 6 and the momentum and home field advantage carry us to victory in Game 7. (I should also mention that I am insane and do not know diddly-poo about baseball and that my predictions in the three Tigers’ postseason series before each series started were: Yankees over Tigers in 3, then A’s over Tigers in 7, and then Tigers over Cardinals in 5, so clearly I do not know what the hell I’m talking about.)

    Last night’s game was really rough to watch, and I agree with everything that has been said about it. But I am not giving up on this team. Not now. Not until out number 27. Go Tiges!

  31. Mike

    October 27, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    It will be interesting to see how MLB handles the weather in Detroit tomorrow evening: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/foreca.....;map.y=199

    That would be a home field advantage. Could the weather be the reason why MLB and FOX are so cranky with Detroit?

    Chet Lemon rocks! Where is Dave Rozema when you need him?

  32. Joey the K

    October 27, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    SInce we’re talking baseball and beer, I find a drink more during losses than wins, go figure. I had to go get a half rack of Rolling Rock afters last nights game!

  33. Andrew

    October 27, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    Wow, its nice to see the unbridled enthusiasm here today. Even if it is alcohol induced ;).

    Good point about the Millar quote. Love it! That gets me pumped up to watch the game tonight.

    I would love to see MLB all tensed up about having to play in snow in Detroit tomorrow night.

    Go Tigers!

  34. Bix

    October 27, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    I was always a Chet and Milt Wilcox fan…have become an even bigger Milt fan now that he’s a dockdogs participant :)

    I’ll be wearing the Chet jersey tonight, hopefully it brings us more luck than it did in game 1 :)

  35. Mike

    October 27, 2006 at 5:17 pm

    Milt would give us seven solid, but vanilla innings no matter what the weather.

    The fourth inning will be the key for Verlander tonight.

    BTW, the rain has ended in St. Louis

  36. Bix

    October 27, 2006 at 5:34 pm

    Tonight’s lineups (ESPN news) –

    Det:
    Granderson
    Monroe
    Guillen
    Ordonez
    Casey
    Pudge
    Polanco
    Inge
    Verlander

    StL:
    Eckstein
    Duncan
    Pujols
    Edmonds
    Rolen
    Belliard
    Molina
    Taguchi
    Weaver

  37. Joey C.

    October 27, 2006 at 5:50 pm

    For chrissakes can we please move Monroe out of the 2 hole? I just don’t understand what the hell Leyland is thinking some times.

  38. T Smith

    October 27, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    Ah, yes. There is a lot of entusiasm in the late afternoon blog. I like it. The fans are coming around. I can see an invisible, ubiquitous pepper being waved under the collective nose of the Tiger fan base; the fans are rousing from the seeming “knockout” punch delivered last night.

    Is it unbridled enthusiasm?

    Cool, collected, and with objectivity, I say no. The sentiments expressed above are not the whimsical longings of unrealistic, die hard fans. The Tigers CAN win this series. That said, they can win if they can manage to accomplish one small thing (or seemingly small thing): score early on Weaver in game 5, pad the lead, and hold the lead.

    Now I ask you: how confidant would you be saying the Tigers could pull this off on any given regular season game going against a “.500 team”? (let’s face it, the Cards are no powerhouse). I would say the odds are pretty good.

    If the Tigers can win this game, we have an entirely different series. We have accomplished a number of things. The most obvious being, the series moves to a 3-2 margin going into Detroit. Less obvious to some who don’t have a true feel for the game is the fact that the Tigers would have convincingly turned the tide. The demoralizing loss of game 4 (the nadir point for the Tigers in this series–for so many reasons) is negated with a victory. The Tigers, essentially, beat themselves last night. That’s perhaps the worst sting in the loss last night. Turning the tide on those set of circumstances is no small occasion. Elation, momentum, and renewed hope suddenly propel the team to a Kenny Rogers game 6 at Comerica. Not only does the pitching matchup strongly favor the Tigers, the pitching matchup under those unique circumstances, both for the team, the pitcher, and the fans (de ja vu Game 3 ALDS), renders Cy Rogers virtually unhittable in Game 6. Suddenly, we have a 3-3 series, with a game 7 decider on the horizon.

    May the best team win. Game 7 then becomes the true test game for the Tigers. They will face Carpenter, away from Busch, and with serious momentum. Tough test, and not a give me…but nonetheless…edge, Tigers.

    Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself. This scenario is very plausable, in fact, very likely, if only the first set of circumstances play out tonight. The Tigers must win tonight.

    That said, will the Tigers win tonight? I certainly hope so. I won’t say they will win tonight with the same certitude as the picture I postulate above IF the Tigers win. But I will say, with conviction, that it is not “unbridled enthusium” behind any perdiction that calls for a Tiger victory tonight. And so, by default, it certainly cannot be unbridled enthusium to call for a Tigers world series victory, as well.

    So here it is:

    Tigers in Seven