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
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.
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.
Call me an idiot or a pathetic optimist but I can’t see the Tigers season ending Friday night at Busch Stadium.
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.
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.
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?
The Tigers have orchestrated enough resurrections to make Lazarus envious, but perhaps they’ve run out of miracles.
This game was theirs.
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.
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.
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.