Yes, being down 0-1 isn’t as ideal as winning the 1st game. But let’s give credit where it is due, and Ivan Nova was exceptional. Frankly, I think most Tigers fans underrated Nova’s ability, and he showed the world last night that he is a quality pitcher as well. The Tigers are down but certainly not out. Have we forgotten that in 2006, the Tigers lost the first game to the Yankees as well?
Today’s game is obviously important. Going down 0-2 against the Yankees would be a tough task to overcome. With this being a virtual must win, the Tigers send Max Scherzer to the mound against Freddy Garcia. Not necessarily a marquee match-up, but talent wise, the Tigers have the pitching edge.
A couple factors that could affect this game:
Pitch count. The Yankees are famous for making pitchers work. If Scherzer is going to be successful today, he is going to have to throw strike one. Not really coming up with anything genius here, but it would be better if the Tigers could stay out of their middle relief against the Yankees. If Scherzer is out by the 5th or 6th inning and the Yanks have the lead, its going to be difficult to come back. With the back end of their bullpen, the Tigers need to be ahead going into the 7th.
Defense. This could be a big factor this series, and throughout the playoffs if Detroit advances. Detroit isn’t exactly the best defensive team in the world, and running out an outfield that consists of Ordonez and Young isn’t ideal. But the Tigers are doing what they have to in order to score some runs. The Tigers looked shaky defensively from the get go, and they need to be better the rest of the series. If anyone doesn’t need extra outs, it’s the Yankees.
Mean Gene Lamont. I’ve never been a fan of Lamont. I don’t have the numbers on it, but I swear there can’t be too many third base coaches that get guys thrown out at home plate. There is being aggressive, and there is being stupid. Gene seems to walk a very blurred line in that regard. He does have to be careful that he isn’t too conservative to try and make up for Avila getting thrown out however.
Who scores first? If the Yankees take the lead 1-0 in the bottom of the 1st, it certainly doesn’t mean the game is over by any means. Especially with this Tigers team that has shown it can come back when it is down a few runs. Mentally however, I think it would help if the Tigers could get on the board first. If the Tigers go down early by a couple of runs, the pressure is really going to be turned up. The Tigers also can’t take the foot off the pedal if they get up early either. A lead against the Yankees is always tentative, and the offense needs to provide better at-bats throughout the entire game than they did in game one.
Prediction: Tigers win this one 5-4.
I think the Tigers bats bounce back a little and Scherzer gets through 6 giving up 4 runs. From there, our bullpen takes over and finishes off the Yankees.
I’m not pressing the panic button yet, although I am keeping it close by if they go down early.
This could be a real good sports day in Detroit. Lions playing against the Cowboys, and Tigers vs. the Yanks. Let’s hope we all have a happy Sunday.