The Detroit Tigers start their three game homestand of the 2012 World Series tonight at Comerica Park, down two games to none. They need to win four of five in order to avoid their second World Series loss in six years. It should be noted the Tigers were heavy favorites in both series.
Game 1 in San Francisco was a definitive loss. Their ace, Justin Verlander was rocked for 5 runs over 4 innings and the Tigers bullpen had no luck either, giving up three more in a 8-3 loss. Game 2 could have gone either way, with the Tigers making solid contact against the Giants’ worst pitcher Madison Baumgardner, but solid defensive play and the lack of any sustained offensive effort left the Tigers shutout for the second time in the 2012 playoffs — they’d only been shutout a total of three times during the regular season, best in the Majors.
The Tigers’ futility in Game 2 was indicative of their struggles during the regular season: solid starting pitching, dead bats. They received no production from their big guys on the corners – Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder both went hitless. Tigers’ starting pitcher Doug Fister kept up his end of the bargain, giving up one run through six innings but their offense was unable to help. Actor Jeff Daniels tweeted it succinctly:
O Doug Fister, carry thy hitlessly challenged brethren.
— Jeff Daniels (@Jeff_Daniels) October 26, 2012
The good news for the Tigers is that the DH rule is back in effect and the lineup that carried them this far will be back on the field. Lineups have not yet been released but it’s likely Delmon Young will be back in the DH spot, with Andy Dirks in left field to match up against Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong.
The Tigers will look to RHP Anibal Sanchez to right the ship tonight in Detroit, and if he competes anywhere near the level of his last start, they will have a fighting chance. In his Game 2 start against he Yankees in the ALCS, Sanchez went seven innings, giving up no runs on 3 hits.
Game 3 is tonight at 8:07 EST on FOX.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com