Delayed Reaction: ALCS Game 2

There’s nothing to be said about this game that you haven’t already thought to yourself since Nelson Cruz‘s moonshot off Ryan Perry.

Here’s thing about the last couple of games (and a few in the ALDS): the Tigers’ abysmal hitting is turning what under normal circumstances would be solid, if not stellar, pitching performances by the starters.

Justin Verlander wasn’t anything close to brilliant in Game 1, but the man only yielded three runs. Same for Max Scherzer who was dominant in chunks of Game 2.

I want to be upbeat about the possibility of three straight home games and maybe by the morning I will be. It’s just that Doug Fister can deliver a superb outing in Game 3 and the Tigers could still lose, 2-1.

They need hits from more than Ramon Santiago and Don Kelly, and more than harmless flairs to the outfield by Victor Martinez, and more than just Delmon Young’s name in the lineup if they have any intention of making this a series.

But you already knew that.

2 Comments

  1. Maybe Don Kelly needs to lead off and play right the rest of the way. Move Ajax to ninth until he gets his confidence back although its probably too late. Let VMart catch for one game tomorrow. Perhaps having to catch will take his mind off hitting ’cause he is clearly not right. Alex can DH. He’s out of gas and needs a blow. We’re in a crossed fingers mode at this point but the Rangers just look too deep. Ogando is to Texas what Zumaya was to the Tigers in ’06.

  2. Chuck: It’s definitely too late for Jackson, at least this year, to regain his confidence – a shakeup like that would have been better off midway through July or August. I’m intrigued by swapping Avila and Victor to let them respectively recoup and regroup, but I’m much more comfortable sticking with the best all-around AL backstop for a must-win playoff home stand. Clearly neither is hitting to their potential, but Avila has saved more than one run in this series on defense, in 1-run games (thinking games 3 and 5 of the ALDS) and we can’t afford to lose that aspect of his game. The Rangers definitely look deeper, as they have all year, in the ‘pen – but the heart of their lineup will lag at Comerica like it has all year, too (i.e., their run production, slugging, and OPS drop by margins of 15-25% on the road). Defensively, we’ve got to hope Fister continues to pitch contact strikes that roll or fly in our favor. The rest of the staff and pen getting in done, at least to the extend that they’re keeping us in a position to win. Offensively I’m not sure there’s much we can do that Leyland hasn’t already tried all season. Honestly, I think they’re plan and simply in a collective slump – couldn’t come at a worse time, but not indicative of any inherent problem – and we’ll just have to hope they pick it up tonight.

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