The city of Detroit came alive last night. The 43,000 fans in attendance were loud and energetic throughout the three-hour game. They were on their feet for every two-strike pitch and booing every Yankee at-bat. It was an experience I will never forget.
As emotional as the fans and players were last night, there is still plenty of work to do. While this afternoon's game is not a must-win, you can bet the Tigers really don't want to head back to the Bronx to face Chien-Ming Wang again.
Today's starting pitchers:
Jeremy Bonderman (14-8, 4.08) vs. Jaret Wright (11-7, 4.49).
Since Jeremy Bonderman has arrived, the city of Detroit has been waiting for him to take over and become the ace of this staff. His pitching arsenal has received plenty of praise and his talent is most certainly there; however, he's struggled at times this year.
As Bonderman enters today's game, he has the benefit of watching the previous two Tigers' starters handle this highly-regarded Yankees' lineup. If Bonderman is to succeed this afternoon, he'll need to do two things: use his fastball to set up his off-speed pitches like Justin Verlander did on Thursday and, like Kenny Rogers was able to do last night, get ahead in counts early.
Jaret Wright's longest outing this season was just 6 1/3 innings. The Tigers have handled the Yankees' bullpen well thusfar, so, the earlier Wright leaves, the better.
The Tigers went back to the same lineup they used in Games 1 and 2. The Yankees have made some drastic changes to their lineup. Jason Giambi has been benched and A-Rod will bat eighth. Also, Melky Cabrera will play for the first time this series.
Today's game can be seen nationally on FOX. It can be heard locally on WXYT-AM (1270) and WDFN-AM (1130).
Television coverage starts at 4:00 p.m. with the first pitch scheduled for 4:30 p.m.