Following 5-3 Tigers victory in Game 2, all eyes turn to Verlander in Game 3. JV has had the most impressive season of his career, and has had great success in high-profile games. Without question, tonight’s game in Detroit will be the most important game of the season. In order for the Tigers to win, Verlander will have to find his rhythm early and avoid 3-1 and 3-2 counts. The Yankees are patient, professional hitters who love to foul off pitches and drive the opposing pitchers pitch count up. With Benoit and Valverde throwing over twenty pitches in last night’s game, it will be important for Verlander to pitch deep into the game. If Verlander pitches the way he has all year long, Detroit will enter Game 4 with a chance to clinch the series.
Opposite of Verlander will be Cy Young co-candidate (in New York’s eyes only) C.C. Sabathia. While many baseball analysts are touting Sabathia’s two innings of work, he wasn’t as strong as he looked. Sabathia racked up four strikeouts in those two innings, but two of the four took place during a torrential downpour, making it nearly impossible for hitters to have a quality at-bat. Look for Sabathia to struggle in a hostile Comerica Park against the dangerous Tigers lineup.
Here are 3 reasons why Tigers fans shouldn’t panic:
- It’s only 1 game! If my memory serves me correctly, Detroit lost Game 1 of the 2006 ALDS against the Yankees, but won the next 3 to take the series. The Tigers won the season series against the Yankees, including 3 straight wins in Detroit. Sure, we would all feel much more comfortable being a game up rather than a game down, but this series is far from over.
- The game wasn’t as lop-sided as the score indicated. Alburquerque made a mistake to Cano that cost 4 runs in the form of a grand slam. In the first inning (Friday), the Tigers made several defensive mistakes that could have easily prevented the first Yankee run from scoring. Eliminating those 5 runs makes it a 5-3 score. Although the result is still a loss, a 2 run loss sounds much better than a 6 loss.
- Miguel Cabrera. He knows what it takes to succeed in the postseason. In 2003, Cabrera won the World Series while playing with the Florida Marlins. His dangerous bat and past postseason experience will spark a dangerous Tigers offense before this series is over.
Before we throw in the towel, let’s wait and see what happens in Game 2. The Tigers battled are season long, and I guarantee they won’t go down without a fight.