The San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers—both of these franchises have been in business for more than 100 years, but the two tradition-laden clubs have never met in the World Series. Detroit has won 11 American League pennants, winning the World Series four times. The Tigers last won the Series in 1984 and lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. Since 1900, the Giants have 19 pennants, appearing the World Series 18 times, winning six, the most recent coming just two years ago when they defeated the Texas Rangers in 2010.
Texas has Detroit outmanned in quest for World Series
Courtesy of Doug Fister, the Detroit Tigers survived their must-win game last night in Detroit. Now down, two games to one, the Tigers must find a way to win three more games with a makeshift lineup and getting just two more starts combined from Fister and ace Justin Verlander. So, where will the third win come from?
For the Rangers, the formula seems fairly simple: Win Games 4 and 6, which means avoiding seeing Fister again in Game 7.
Yet Texas hasn’t exactly set the baseball world ablaze with starting pitchers this series either. And now manager Ron Washington will ask Matt Harrison to keep the Tigers at bay tonight in a matchup of No. 4 starters. Both Harrison and Detroit start Rick Porcello were 14-9 during the regular season.
However, the real story for the remainder of this series will be the health of the Tigers and just how much of the load Miguel Cabrera can carry. Delmon Young, who injured his rib cage earlier in the playoffs, was taken off the roster for the ALCS. After Magglio Ordoñez suffered a fractured ankle, Young was placed back on the roster. That’s how few options the Tigers have for outfielders, especially those who hit from the right side, which is a nice commodity to have with the Rangers starting three lefthanders in this series.
Last night, the situation worsened with the oblique injury to DH Victor Martinez. The slugger hurt himself on a home run. He labored around the bases and appears to have trouble swinging from the left side, presumably the right side as well. That we will find out today.
The bottom line is that the Tigers pitchers — other than Fister and Verlander — cannot silence the Texas bats. So it may not matter how thin the Detroit lineup is in games they don’t pitch. What will be critical is that the Tigers find a way to score runs in games that Fister and Verlander pitch, assuming the Tigers can even get to a seventh game.
This doesn’t look good for Detroit. Expect the Rangers to wrap this series up sooner rather than later.
It’s not every series that the final deciding game is a rematch between two relievers from Game 1. But that is what this series has been about. Two teams, the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees scrambling and shuffling pitching staffs after a rainout early in Game 1.
So Doug Fister of Detroit and Ivan Nova of the Yankees will start tonight’s Game 5 after starting the re-start of Game 1 on Saturday.
Both pitchers’ outings were similar in that they were fairly sharp a couple of times through the order, then ran into trouble the third time through. And relief pitchers allowed all their runners to score damaging their ERAs. Obviously, the most crushing blow was the Robinson Cano grand slam off Al Alburquerque that added three runs to Fister’s ERA.
But let’s throw that out the window for Game 5. Game 1 means nothing now.
Without a rooting interest in this series, I love the fact that the series lies in the hands of a pitcher (Fister), who in July, was 3-12 toiling for a last-place Seattle team; and Nova, who began the year as the Yankee’s fourth starter and had a 5.82 ERA after the first month.
The Tigers couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity to close the series out at home. They’ve won two nail-biters while the Yankees have won blowouts. Even though Detroit closer Jose Valverde has had a couple of days off, it is dicey at best relying on him again in this series. He just hasn’t been sharp and has lived too close to the edge. If Game 5 goes down to the wire, the Yankees will prevail.
The only way the Tigers can win is to put the game out of reach early with big innings. That’s not likely to happen either. With these two lineups, the Yankees are the ones likely to mount big innings as they have proven thus far.
Game 5 winner will be New York and the Rangers will pack their bags for the Big Apple.