After losing two games in San Francisco, the Tigers are home facing a couple of certainties, one of which is this: If it somehow turns out that they stage a comeback and win the World Series, they’ll have to do so in San Francisco.
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The Tigers have not scored a run since the ninth inning of Game 1, and even those were pointless runs as they were trailing 8-1 at the time.
The bats have disappeared. Sure, Justin Verlander wasn’t himself in Game 1, but the pitching has been stellar and given up just four runs in the last two games. The offense has not done anything, literally.
The Tigers managed just five hits tonight. They grounded into two inning-ending double plays. They didn’t score a single run with the bases loaded in the fifth inning as Quintin Berry struck out and Miguel Cabrera, in a situation where the best hitter in baseball has to step up, popped out.
The Tigers get back at it tomorrow in what could be their last game of the season. Losing this series didn’t seem like an option after the way they took care of the Yankees in the ALCS, and getting swept had to seem like an impossibility. But that’s where we are, one loss from letting the Giants celebrate a World Series title in Detroit. Right now, at the very least, the Tigers should at least play for making them go back to the west coast to win it all.
First pitch from Comerica Park is scheduled for 8:07 tomorrow.
Brandon Crawford made a nice play on a Miguel Cabrera ground ball to start the bottom of the eighth inning. Prince Fielder, the $214 million man, struck out on three pitches. Delmon Young reached on a Crawford error to keep the inning alive, but Andy Dirks struck out.
It’s baffling, really. The Tigers hitters take pitches right down the middle and swing away on pitches in the dirt. They’ll have one more chance in the ninth with the bottom of the order coming up.
Joaquin Benoit pitched a scoreless eighth, and whoever is coming in for the ninth (probably Phil Coke) will need to do the same for the Tigers to have any chance in the ninth.
Anibal Sanchez did all you could ask of him. But once again the Tigers are on the verge of losing because of a lack of run support. Sanchez pitched seven innings. He gave up two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out eight. He threw 117 pitches and all signs point to him not coming back for the eighth inning.
The Tigers failed to put any runs on the board again. Prince Fielder flew out on the first pitch he saw, Delmon Young grounded out and Andy Dirks worked a walk to chase Ryan Vogelsong from the game. The Giants brought in Tim Lincecum to face Jhonny Peralta and Lincecum got him to line out to right field.
The Tigers scoreless streak has reached 15 innings and watching this has to be maddening for fans as the Tigers pitching has once again kept them in the game but the offense has failed to produce even a single run.
The Tigers had exactly what they wanted. The bases were loaded with one out. Quintin Berry struck out, but that’s OK because Miguel Cabrera came up and had a chance to be a hero. Unfortunately, the triple crown winner popped out to shortstop and the Tigers once again left men on base.
That had to be one of the most disheartening at-bats of the series, as Tigers fans everywhere had to expect Cabrera to come through. The Tigers scoreless streak has now reached 14 innings.
Anibal Sanchez set the Giants down in order in the fifth inning and looks to have found the groove he has had since the beginning of September. Problem is, Sanchez has thrown 87 pitches and may not last past the seventh inning. So once again, the Tigers are going to have to turn to their bullpen. With that in mind, they’re probably going to need four or five runs to have a chance at winning this game and keeping themselves alive in the series.
The meat of the Tigers lineup could do nothing in the fourth inning as they haven’t scored a run since a meaningless Jhonny Peralta home run in the ninth inning of Game 1.
If you’re one of the Tigers fans who wasn’t concerned coming into this game, it’s time to start worrying about what’s happening to this lineup. If they don’t pick things up, the Giants could be World Series champs in about 26 hours.
Just when it looked like the Tigers might have something going, another double play ruined everything. This time it was Quintin Berry, someone you’d never expect to ground into a double play because of his speed. But he hit this ball sharply to second base and the Giants turned it. The Tigers had men on first and second base with one out and Miguel Cabrera standing on deck. It’s starting to look like the Tigers are never going to score a run.
Anibal Sanchez bounced back from a shaky second inning to set the Giants down in order in the third. Rick Porcello was warming up in the bullpen while the Tigers were batting in the second, but Sanchez came back in and pitched well. He was helped out by Buster Posey, who with two outs, swang at a 3-0 pitch and popped out to Prince Fielder in foul territory.
Once again an inning goes by and the Tigers bats stay silent. Delmon Young hit a ball a long ways but chose the wrong part of the field as Comerica Park’s center field swallowed it up.
Rick Porcello was warming up in the Tigers bullpen and may be getting ready to come into this game after Anibal Sanchez labored through the second inning.
The Giants got a one-out RBI triple from Gregor Blanco that scored Hunter Pence after Sanchez walked Pence on four pitches to start the inning. After Hector Sanchez struck out, Brandon Crawford delivered a two-out single that score Blanco.
Sanchez looks like a completely different pitcher than he did in the first inning. Everything he threw in the first looked smooth and in the second everything he threw looked wild. Hopefully he’s not rattled and can settle back in for the third.
Quintin Berry walked and was followed by a Miguel Cabrera single before Prince Fielder grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Needless to say, this is not what the Tigers needed. The situation was exactly what the doctor ordered, but the Tigers highest paid player couldn’t deliver. One good note, they got Vogelsong to throw 22 pitches in the first inning.
Anibal Sanchez looks like he has a very smooth delivery tonight as he retired the Giants in the first inning after only allowing a two-out bloop single to Pablo Sandoval, who is now 6-for-8 in the series. He got out of the inning by striking out Buster Posey.
Hopefully Sanchez stays in good form as he has for the last month and a half. But now it’s time for the Tigers bats to make something happen.
The Tigers return to Detroit and the friendly confines of Comerica Park tonight for Game 3 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. And some home cooking is just what this team needs.
The Tigers did little more than just show up for the first two games in San Francisco. Game 1 saw Justin Verlander implode and Game 2 saw the bats completely disappear. Tonight, Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers hitting need to get going if this team hopes to have a shot at winning a World Series title.
Sanchez has been good this postseason, posting seven shutout innings in his last start at Yankee Stadium in Game 2 of the ALCS.
The Giants counter with Ryan Vogelsong, who despite being labeled the number two starter on the Giants roster, has pitched like an ace this postseason. Vogelsong is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three starts.
The Tigers bats usually show up at Comerica Park, and some early runs could help build confidence and propel this team back into the series. Austin Jackson and Quintin Berry are leading off tonight, and them getting on base in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder is the key to getting this Tigers machine rolling. Andy Dirks is back in the lineup and Delmon Young slides back into his designated hitter role with the series shifting to American League rules.
First pitch from Comerica Park is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. on Fox.