ALCS Game 3 Preview/Live Blog

How about a victory song/dance/video!?!?!?!1

 

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Update 10:36: COKE STRIKES OUT IBANEZ! TIGERS WIN! TIGERS WIN!  Just one win away from the World Series!!!!

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Update 10:30: Verlander gave up a solo home run to Nunez, then got Gardner to ground out and was sent off to a very loud ovation from the home crowd.

Leyland brought Coke in to face Ichiro, who was dispatched easily then Tiexiera works a 2-2 count with a few foul balls before singling up the middle.  Coke then faced Cano, the 0 for 29 in the playoffs Cano, who breaks out of his slump with a line shot single to the opposite field.

Leyland Stays with Coke for Ibanez, as he has to stay with the lefty.

Verlander gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 8 1/3 innings pitched to continue his dominant post season.

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Update 10:08: Verlander is coming back out for the 9th, Benoit and Coke warming up in the bullpen.  If Verlander gets Nunez, then Gardner, he will face Ichiro, if Gardner reaches, good chances Leyland pulls him for Coke.

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Update 10:00: Verlander breezes through the 8th, will be coming back out for the 9th with 115 pitches thrown.  Nunez, Gardner and Ichiro are due up so you have to imagine that Leyland at least gets Coke, a lefty, up in the ‘pen as Gardner and Ichiro have been working Verlander well and Ichiro has the only 2 hits off him tonight.

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Update 9:45: Verlander gave up another hit to Ichiro, this time leading off the top of the 7th but was able to get Tiexiera to fly out, Cano to strike out and Ibanez to line out to Fielder.  He is at 101 pitches through 7, you have to imagine he can get through 8 and MAYBE pitch the 9th, but in this cold, you may just want to get him through the 8th inning and not risk anything, however, depending on who you go to in the pen, it could be a risk.

If Leyland does go to the pen, using Coke against a lefty and Benoit and Albuquerque against the righties would be fine by me…who says you can only have 1 guy close out the 9th?  Just get the outs and take the win.

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Update 9:28: I’ve figured out why all Yankees games take forever, no matter what.  When the hitters aren’t hitting and not even working the count, Girardi makes a pitching change every 14 seconds.  I can’t imagine anyone is even left in the bullpen for Girardi at this point, I also wouldn’t be shocked if this was his strategy to cool Verlander off between innings to try to get to the Tigers bullpen by any means necessary.

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Update 9:12: The Tigers tacked on a run in the 5th on a line drive double by Cabrera to Granderson in Centerfield.  It was a play that Granderson could have possibly made or at least held him to a single but he misread it and that was apparently one of the concerns that Dombrowski had with Granderson when he was still a Tiger and why he was willing to trade him.  At least according to Knobler, Morosi and Beck, one current and two former Tigers writers.

Verlander is still dealing, 80 pitches through 6 innings, 1 hit given up.  2-0 Tigers.

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Update 8:35: Delmon Young led off the 4th inning with a home run to put the Tigers up 1-0 then Hughes walked Dirks, then came out of the game with a back issue.  This has to benefit the Tigers as they have seen most of the Yankees bullpen multiple times already this series and the arms have to be getting tired.

Ernie Johnson, the announcer for TBS, then made a Dixie Chicks reference right before Jackson ground out to end the inning after they provided Verlander the 1 run lead he will need.

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Update 8:15: Jackson singled and got over to third on a bunt and wild pitch and Cabrera worked a walk but the Fielder lined out sharply to Granderson for the third out and no damage done to Hughes yet.  Maybe the bottom of the order can get things going.

In the top of hte 4th Verlander finally gave up a hit, to Ichiro after he and Gardner both worked the count well.  But then Cabrera made a great running catch while playing in the Tiexiexra shift.  He looked like a fat drunk guy running from the cops in a park during the jaunt to the 3rd base stands but made it and made the catch.

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Update 7:48: Justin Verlander is on a mission.  As John points out in the comments, Verlander has not allowed an earned run outside of the lead off home run in game 1 of the ALDS.  That was 19 innings ago.  I wonder if Cabrera has been teasing him with his World Series ring from 2003, talking about how the Hall of Fame prefers WS winners and he’s already got his (this is a personal theory).

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Update 7:25: Verlander eases through the first on just 9 pitches which is a good sign as the Yankees usually work him pretty good and push that pitch count up early.  In the bottom of the inning the Tigers got a 1 out single from Berry, then a two out walk from Fielder but an easy fly out from Young to end the inning.

The two things to take away from the first inning are a low pitch count for Verlander and a stressful, high count for Hughes.

Also, reports that Leyland may use Valverde if a save situation presents itself in game 3 and that is a very bad idea…the Comerica crowd will boo him mercilessly and that isn’t going to help him get back on track at all.  Wait until the fourth game if you must, Mr. Leyland.

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The Tigers send ace Justin Verlander to the mound tonight to try to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the ALCS.  The Yankees counter with Phil Hughes, a once promising prospect who has turned into a middling pitcher after some arm issues the past few seasons.

The Tigers line up for tonight is pretty standard against right handed starters:

Jackson, CF

Berry, LF

Cabrera, 3B

Fielder, 1B

Young, DH

Dirks, RF

Peralta, SS

Avila, C

Infante, 2B

However the Yankees have finally made some significant moves to try to kick start their anemic offense, plugging Brett Gardner, who hasn’t started since April 17th into the leadoff spot and benching Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher, but still leaving Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Mark Tiexiera in the line up, who are also major parts of the problem:

Gardner, LF

Ichiro, RF

Tiexiera, 1B

Cano, 2b

Ibanez, DH

Martin, C

Chavez, 3B

Granderson, CF

Nunez, SS

Nunez replaces Nix at Shortstop, covering for the missing Derrik Jeter, who did not travel with the team.

Justin Verlander held the Yankees line up to .229 in his career with 58 strike outs and the way this team is going and the way Verlander is pitching this post season, he could be in line for a very impressive game.

The way the Tigers have played at home this season, expect the Tigers to take game 3 and either game 4 or 5 and do not let this series head back to New York.

Expect updates throughout the evening during this important game 3.

Comments

comments

9 Comments on "ALCS Game 3 Preview/Live Blog"

  1. straight dealing…..since he recorded his first out of the postseason 0 runs!

  2. That’s a great stat John! Hadn’t realized that, but unreal.

  3. hi. can the tigs please beat up phil hughes NOW!

  4. nice shot of the packed smoking section at Comerica

  5. Pretty sure Delmon is trying to either play his way back onto the Tigers next year or play for a decent free agent contract…and Hughes is coming out, that has to be good for the Tigers

  6. I know you Chicago people cant see it, but the cars salesmen on the Wally Edgar commercial can not throw a football properly

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