There was a game on July 31st of this season in which the Tigers lost to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-3. Rays pitcher Casey Fossum struck out 10 batters and Tampa Bay had 14 Ks overall. The Tigers also committed 4 errors. It was more than likely the worst game the Tigers had all season. It also brought a lot of Tigers fans to the realization that the way in which Detroit played the game resulted in performances every now and then that looked downright awful.
Tonight was kind of like that night in Tampa Bay, except the Tigers are on the national stage in the WS and they were facing a former NL Cy Young winner and very good pitcher in Chris Carpenter. A combination of hacking and overall poor hitting (only getting 3 hits) made for an easy win for Carpenter, who had some very good stuff this evening, and put Detroit in a semi-desperate situation going into game 4 tomorrow night.
Also like the 4 errors committed on July 31st, an error by rookie pitcher Joel Zumaya (that felt like it could have been 4) stretched the Cardinals lead to 4 runs instead of 2 and changed what could have been a huge double play into a no out, 2 run inning for St. Louis. It was the third error by a Tigers pitcher in the 3 games and more costly than the botched pickoff throw by Verlander in game 1.
On a positive note, this was being pointed at as the worst pitching matchup of the series. While Nate didn't do too bad, Carpenter was just phenomenal and really set the stage for the win tonight. Suppan will face off against Bonderman tomorrow night, a little bit better matchup, but in the end we're talking a guy who was very dominant in the NLCS against the Mets.
The Tigers will have to return to what got them to the WS. Granderson, Pudge and Polanco are doing absolutely awful. If they want to have any chance these three guys must do something, quick.
Tomorrow really is a must-win in a momentum sense. Sure, anything could happen, but things get very doubtful quickly.