Game Three Not Technically A “Must Win” For the Detroit Tigers


September 25, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Let’s not talk about “must win” games until the team is truly in a must win scenario. The Tigers have backed themselves into a corner, and a game four loss would put their shoulders squarely against the proverbial wall, but a 3-0 deficit is still surmountable.

I’m probably arguing semantics here because tonight’s game truly feels like a “tipping” point game – a 3-0 series deficit does make it feel like you’re dead, but 2-1 puts you right back in it – but I despise the over-drama that is often pumped into each and every playoff game. I think everyone knows that a loss would sub-optimal for the Tigers, but teams have come back from 0-3 holes before, and teams will come back again. Just ask the Giants if these types of deficits can be overcome.

And if there’s any 1-2-3 punch in baseball that could bring a team back to pull even from a 3-0 hole, it’s probably Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Doug Fister. Scherzer has been dominant while in the game this postseason and, while Verlander struggled last time, he’s been the best pitcher in baseball for two full years now. It wouldn’t be easy, that’s for sure, but the Tigers have the starting pitching personnel to get the job done.

And if Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers are able to win game three – at home in Comerica Park – then it doesn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to see them winning the Scherzer and Verlander starts to take a 3-2 lead heading back to San Francisco.

This series is far from over, and all teams want and need to win World Series games. What’s the point of putting unnecessary labels on them?