Series: 2-0, San Francisco
Time/Place: 8:00 p.m., Comerica Park
Ticket info: World Series tickets can be found at TiqIQ
SB Nation Blog: McCovey Chronicles
Media: FOX, Tigers Radio Network
I have to admit I'm feeling a little cranky in the hours before game 3 of the World Series. I spent a couple of hours listening to MLB Network radio on SiriusXM this morning. I had no idea there is only 1 team in the World Series. Apparently, that team is not the Tigers. It was 2 hours of showering praise on the Giants.
Not that the Giants don't deserve it, they have outplayed the Tigers in the first 2 games. They earned their 2-0 series lead.
But the baseball pundits are forgetting and/or ignoring the Tigers are a different team (as in a BETTER team) when playing at Comerica. The Tigers won at a .617 clip in Detroit this season and are undefeated at home in the 2012 playoffs.
This series is far from over.
The Tigers offense:
Why are the Tigers in an 0-2 hole? A lack of offense. How can the Tigers take the series back to San Francisco? Lots of offense.
If the Tigers' bats wake up, the series heads back the west coast. If not...well, it's going to be a long off season.
The series is in Detroit for the next 3 (we hope) nights and facing right-handed pitching the next 2, the Tigers will have Andy Dirks in right, Quintin Berry in left and best of all, Delmon Young will have his outfielder's glove hidden and will DH.
This is a far better offensive and defensive lineup than the Tigers were forced to run out on the field in games 1 and 2. But as happy as I am to see the .322 hitting Dirks and the pesky ThunderClap back in the lineup (and Young not scaring us silly in the outfield), they aren't true difference makers.
Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are, but have yet to impose their will on the Giants. Cabrera is hitting just .200 with no extra base hits, but does has a .429 OBP due to being pitched around. But Fielder is hitting a mere .167 with a lone single and has a Raburn-esque .286 OBP in the 2 games. If Fielder can get his powerful bat going, the Tigers' offense will take off with it.
The Giants have played damn well. They have also been damn lucky. How lucky? The 3rd base bag is narrowly trailing Pablo Sandoval for the MVP award, while the 3rd base line is also in the running. When Barry Zito manages an RBI single against Justin Verlander, and Doug Fister is nearly decapitated by a line drive, you know bounces aren't going your way.
The media is playing up the Giants ability to to do the little things. Which the Giants have, to great effect. The Tigers are making little mistakes which have snowballed into a pair of losses.
So how do you battle the bounces not going your way? By playing good baseball. Period.
Sanchez has to throw strikes, the bullpen can't walk bottom of the order hitters, the defense has to be a factor by being a non-factor, eliminate the base running mistakes like those we saw in game 2, and the Tigers' batters have to go the plate with a better plan than "If Vogelsong's pitch is south of 8 Mile, SWING!"
This Tigers team is only 2 games removed from a dominant series sweep of the Evil Empire. If they play as they are capable, such as the they did against the Yankees, there's no reason why the Tigers can't sweep their 3 World Series home games.
The weather will be a factor:
At first pitch the temperature is expected to be in the mid-low 40's, dropping into the 30's later in the evening. It's not a big of an advantage as some make it out to be, as the weather isn't exactly tropical off San Francisco Bay. But the team which handles the chill better will have a definite advantage.
Why does FOX hate Detroit?
FOX spent billions on MLB and World Series broadcast rights. With such a huge investment and getting record low ratings in return, FOX has decided to get their money's worth by cramming countless network promotions down viewer's throats. Their corporate synergy will reach an annoying high during tonight's national anthem when FOX sitcom star, Siri user (looks out window, asks her iPhone if it's raining) and well-known Giants fan, Zooey Deschanel, gets the honor in a city with a peerless music history and a rabid fan base. It's a completely tone-deaf move by the FOX decision makers. In other words, it's par for the corporate course.
Home, sweet home. The Tigers make this a real series with a game 3 victory as Sanchez allows 1 run in 7 innings for the win and Prince Fielder makes his presence known by going yard.