Game Three of the World Series starts soon with the Detroit Tigers returning home 0-2 down to the San Francisco Giants. The Tigers are perhaps not yet panicking, but absolutely must win tonight. To go 0-3 down would be akin to being forced to follow-on in a test match; teams have won from there (only one in baseball, the 2004 Boston Red Sox), but the numbers ‘500-1’ leap to mind when thinking of odds.
So the Tigers must win today. And although they are down in the series they do have a few advantages.
And in this series it also means that they have the designated hitter back. I am no fan of the DH and I doubt that it’s absence heavily contributed to the Tigers loss in Game One and might have actually helped them in Game Two when Doug Fister got his opposite number to pop out with the bases loaded in the second inning.
Nonetheless, they now have a chance to return to something closer to their usual lineup whilst the Giants benefit little from slotting Hector Sanchez in at number eight as they will be doing tonight.
The Tigers also have a slight advantage in the pitching matchup with Anibal Sanchez going up against Ryan Vogelsong. Both have actually been very good, but Sanchez has looked a bit sharper and I expect him to have the slight edge tonight. Perhaps most importantly for the Tigers though, they have had the travel day in which to regroup.
They looked undercooked in the opening game and as mentioned already they made a few mistakes to give away the second game. But now they have had a day to put that behind them and also arrest the Giants momentum a bit.
All things considered, I think tonight will be another close affair, but not quite as pitching dominated as Thursday’s game. I think the Tigers will be more comfortable and be able to think of the game as a ‘fresh start’ after the two in San Francisco and I think they will come out as winners in a fairly low-scoring game.
They came back from being three games back of the Chicago White Sox in the last two weeks of the regular season, so they have faced considerable adversity already this year. If nothing else we know that they will put up a fight and I think they have the advantages needed to triumph tonight.