Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thoughts pregame, Game 5, ALCS, Tigers, Rangers

- I'd really be surprised if Justin Verlander doesn't pitch a great game today for the Tigers. He is the best pitcher in baseball, yet there are mumblings that he hasn't lived up to the hype in the postseason. He is a prideful athlete, who will be exceptionally motivated. He also throws 100 mph, has excellent command of his pitches and excellent off-speed "stuff."

- If Verlander does the spectacular, which would be a complete-game victory, the Tigers would go to Texas with a fighting chance in the last two games. With two days off, their big guns in bullpen, Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit, would be rested. The Tigers starting pitching has been very good in this series so far.

- The Rangers are in a prime spot to clinch the series. Their bullpen is ready. Everything is right there for the taking. But should they really want to clinch the series right now? I knew that's an odd question, but consider: If the Rangers win today, they would be off until Wednesday when the World Series begins. Also, they wouldn't play another home game until a week from Saturday. We saw what such extended rest did to the Tigers in '06 after they swept the A's in the ALCS. They came out flat and were never really about to amp it up against the Cardinals in the World Series.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Verlander has not been at his best lately, I wouldn't call it anything close to a slump but not dominating.

As for the Rangers to not clinch because they would not be sharp?

Pat, you know that's the most ridiculous theory of this season. It's balderdash. You have to be just kidding, aren't you? Jeez, I hope.

4:47 PM 

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