PREGAME: So here it is, win or go home or whatever other cliches you choose to use. I’m in a much better state of mind thanks to the counseling session that took place in the Game 4 Aftermath comments.
This preview is pretty thin. First, I’ve covered the Tigers starter Justin Verlander as well as Cards starter Jeff Weaver. Second, everyone understands the consequences. Third, I’m pressed for time at the moment. I do plan on giving the live-blog thing a shot tonight (just check in this spot). I’ve never done it for fear of jinxing the team. But really, I think we’re beyond that now.
The good news is it looks like the rain has stopped.
CF – Granderson
LF – Monroe
SS – Guillen
RF – Ordonez
1B – Casey
C – Rodriguez
2B – Polanco
3B – Inge
P – Verlander
SS – Eckstein
RF – Duncan
1B – Pujols
CF – Edmonds
3B – Rolen
2B – Belliard
C – Molina
LF – Taguchi
P – Weaver
So pick your Tiger, and let’s enjoy this one tonight…whatever happens.
PREGAME: Let’s get this going already. I’m settled in with my 5 year old Tiger fan. Not sure how long he’ll make it, but he doesn’t have school tomorrow. He’s sporting the 80’s style road jersey with Whitaker on the back (mine when I was a kid). I also dug out a Jeff Weaver bobblehead I had from his days as a Tiger. I’m not into destruction of stuff, so I just stuck him in the freezer. Irrational? Of course, but you know desperate times and all.
Bottom of 1st: Anybody else getting that Rick Ankiel feeling?
Well the no hitter is intact. Verlander threw 20 balls that inning. Yeah there were a couple borderline pitches, but Verlander did nothing to earn them. It’s got to get better from here right? Right?
After 2: Seriously now, McCarver spent 3 innings talking about Zumaya throwing to 3rd a couple games ago, and he’s saying Inge should have come home with a runner on third and 2 outs? There’s really no harm on the Inge play, just Eckstein getting an extra base. If he doesn’t get there, Eckstein is at 2nd anyways. I just hate that Molina and Eckstein are killing us.
Top of 3: Well, we hadn’t seen the baserunning error yet…
Bottom of 3: Sean Casey just ran down somebody. Really, why was Pujols running? La Russa makes mistakes too.
As painful as this game has been from a Tigers perspective. They are only down a run. It doesn’t seem like it, but the Tigers are very much in this game. And Verlander has really settled down.
Top of 4: Thank you Edmonds, Duncan, and Casey. What do you know, this is a whole new ball game.
Bottom of 4: Seriously, just bunt every single time against Detroit. The whole pitching staff has got it in their heads now.
That hurts. The Cardinals open the door for the Tigers, and the Tigers give it right back because a pitcher can’t throw a ball. And McCarver, did you see how deep Guillen was playing? He had no shot at Taguchi, and he took a look before throwing to first.
Middle of 5: A nice at-bat by Granderson giving Verlander a little extra time in the dugout. Unfortunately it was followed by Monroe who is all about the home run right now. He’s dead pull and dead upper cut. I’m not sure why they’re throwing him anything on the inside part of the plate – but it isn’t really hurting them either.
On another note – and there is bitterness involved in this – I hate Tony La Russa’s batting gloved hands. Why the batting gloves? It’s not like they are insulated. If your hands are cold, just wear regular gloves or put your hands in your pockets. Pet peeve of mine. It bothers me when Chuck Hernandez does it also.
Middle of 6: The Tigers are down to 9 outs. They caught a break (on a very well hit ball by the way) but Pudge was carved up easily. Sigh.
Bottom of 6: That squibber that Molina hit that fell in, have the Tigers had one of those cheapies the entire series? Meanwhile Verlander has really pitched great since that first inning. He hasn’t allowed a walk and the 5 hits he allowed were all singles. I wanted Rogers in this game, but Verlander’s pitching hasn’t been the problem. Now of course there is the argument that Rogers can actually field his position, but you can’t say he’d have been put in the same situations.
Top of 7: Nifty play by Pujols and Weaver. Polanco can’t buy a hit. And what the hell did Thames do to Leyland. Gomez. Why Why Why!
Bottom of 7: Really, a hit for Eckstein that is normally a routine play? What are the odds. At least Rodney had the good sense to pitch around Wilson to get to Pujols.
Well, another run. Tigers have 6 outs to get 2 back with the top of the order coming up.
On another note, did you notice how emphatically Pudge waved off Rodney on that tapper in front of the plate?
Bottom of 9: A good at bat by Ordonez resulting in an out (see how Wainwright fielded the position) and a good at-bat by Casey resulting in a double. McCarver questions the pinch running move, and I understand his reasoning, but if Leyland is regretting taking Casey out I can live with that.
Then a horrible check swing on a 2-0 pitch by Pudge. Oy.
Now as I type this Polanco has 2 strikes on him, my heart is pounding. Polanco gets a walk on a verrrrry close pitch. My goodness. Come on Brandon.
And that’s that. Brandon got him last night, too bad he couldn’t get him tonight.