Jeff Riger: Is Game Four A Must Win For The Tigers?

Tigers fans everywhere will tell you that tonight’s game four of the ALDS is a must win for Detroit even though their team is up two games to one. Why? Easy! Nobody in their right mind would want to have to go back to New York and play a deciding series game in front of the Yankee faithful in the Bronx — plus every Detroiter is thinking, “party tonight in the downtown.”

And to tell you the truth, I agree with everybody who feels this way. I hate the Tigers’ chances if they lose tonight and would be forced to face Ivan Nova once again on Thursday, a guy who dominated Detroit in game one.

So you know how I think and you know how you think, but what about the Detroit skipper Jim Leyland? Leyland was asked about the chance to clinch a trip to the ALCS in front of the hometown fans and he responded like you would assume he would.

“I’m not going to put that pressure on anybody” Leyland said. “We have to win another game, whether it’s here or New York, whatever happens. Everybody acts like all of a sudden that this opponent (the Yankees) isn’t real good. This is one of the great teams in all of baseball. It’s not easy to beat this team.

“I’m not going to put a lot of emphasis–sure, we want to win it tonight. You know, would be the perfect scenario to win it in front of your home crowd? Would it be great? Would it be the gingerbread and all that? It would be beautiful. I’m not saying we have to win this game or the series is over. We’re going to play the game tonight and try to win it. The Yankees are going to play it and try to win it. If they win, then we go there and they’ll feel real good because it’s in front of their fans. We gotta win one, they gotta win two.”

So everybody has spoken — you, me and the Skipper. There is no one else to hear from. So let’s play ball and celebrate afterward with a trip to the ALCS!


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