Last night's loss was a sucker punch to the gut, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism regarding the Tigers' chances in the ALCS. In case you are feeling a bit blue, here are ten reasons to feel better.
1. Justin Verlander dominated the A's in game two of the ALDS, only to see the A's score in the ninth inning. The Tigers lost 1 to 0, but overcame the disappointment and won the series. The Tigers can bounce back from a loss, even with the game in hand. The Jose Valverde experiment provided plenty of training in recovering from a bullpen implosion..
2. Justin Verlander is pitching game three. He has pitched 28 consecutive scoreless innings, last allowing a run to Seattle on September 18. If momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher, then the Tigers have momentum.
3. The series is tied. Each team has an even chance of winning the series. There was a roughly one in four chance of winning the series after game three of the ALDS. This situation is not as dire.
4. The Tigers now have home field advantage, with three games at Comerica Park.
5. Miguel Cabrera's health is improving. He crushed one just foul to right field in game one. He cleared the green monster in game two, and drove a ball 400 feet for an out. He is smiling, and may be ready to put the offense on his back.
6. Jhonny Peralta has returned without rust. He is 9 for 20 with three doubles and a home run in the playoffs. He can play shortstop without worry, since most outs are by strikeouts these days.
7. Speaking of which, the Tigers' pitchers just set the record for most strikeouts in consecutive postseason games.
8. Victor Martinez's hot second half has carried over to the postseason, with a batting average over .400, four doubles, and a home run.
9. Justin Verlander!
10. The Tigers have Don Kelly. Don is always smiling, you should be too.