ALCS Game 3 Recap: Detroit Tigers 5, Texas Rangers 2

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Detroit Tigers 5, Texas Rangers 2  Box Score

“He makes a ballpark look small.”  Joe Buck got it absolutely right.  Miguel Cabrera came to life, and not an inning too late, to help lead the Detroit Tigers to a 5-2 Game 3 victory over the Texas Rangers Tuesday evening.  The Tigers first baseman will be remembered for his no-doubter to left in the 7th.  I’m more excited about the double in the fifth.

Before the middle innings, it looked as if we were going to be watching the same ole story.  First off, early runs against.  Doug Fister started the game by giving up three straight hits.  Who didn’t think we were in for a long night after that?  Luckily enough, Fister got Micheal Young to bounce into a double play.  The Rangers barely touched him the rest of the night.

Fister just kept pounding the inside of the strike zone, and Texas never could seem to hit him.  After the opening three hits, the Rangers only spread out four through the next seven innings.  And if it wasn’t for a shoulder block by Yorvit Torrealba to knock the ball out of Ramon Santiago’s glove , Fister would have only given up one run.

The same ole story could be used to describe the second inning.  The Tigers got runners on first and second with one out.  As has happened way too often in the post-season, no one scored.  After back to back strike-outs, the runners didn’t even get to advance.

The home run by Victor Martinez was obviously a big hit, but it was a solo shot.  Again, nothing to show for getting runners in scoring position.  That’s the area the team has struggled the most against both the Rangers and Yankees.

Enter Miguel Cabrera in the 5th.  The all-star first baseman hit a rocket barely fair down the first base line to score Austin Jackson.  Not only that, there were two outs.  It was a giant hit.  Not in terms of distance, but in terms of bringing a team back to life.  The crowd was in full throat again after that.

We didn’t have to wait long for the second biggest hit of the game, which was by probably the 3rd most valuable player of the tilt.  It has always seemed (rightly or wrongly) that as Austin Jackson goes, so goes the Tigers.  In the 6th, that rang true again, as Jackson hit a two out single up the middle to make it 4-1.  Earlier in the inning, Jhonny Peralta hit a big fly for the third run.

That wasn’t the only hit of the night for Jackson.  He finished the game 3-5, which hopefully will spark something.  With Delmon Young missing the game, Magglio Ordonez out for the year, and Alex Avila no where to be found, the Tigers need the additional support that Austin can provide.

The 5th run was the ball that might still be flying through Detroit.  Talk about a “no doubter.”  The hope has to be that Cabrera can keep the big hits coming.

As for the pitchers, Joaquin Benoit finished 2/3 of the eighth in fine fashion.  After throwing a lot of pitches in Monday’s game, Benoit only needed 10 pitches to deal with those 2 batters.  Jose Valverde, in typical fashion, gave up a lead off double in the ninth.  But he was perfect after that, thanks to the gloves of Miguel Cabrera and Don Kelly.

There is still no telling what will happen in this series.  The Tigers were victorious in one game.  They still needed to win 3 of the next four.  But, let’s not underestimate the importance of momentum.  If Rick Porcello can keep it going on Wednesday, we’ll get to Verlander at a 2-2 series tie.  I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that.