By: Pat Caputo
Despite the Tigers’ 8-3 loss to the Giants in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday, it is far from over. A win tonight and the Tigers will take home field advantage in the series and everything will be fine. But unlike the A’s and the Yankees in the American League portion of the playoffs, the Giants are not prone to giving away games. If Game 2 is to have a different result for the Tigers, these three things must happen:
1. Doug Fister have to pitch well. The Tigers have been fortunate their bullpen has not hurt them too badly in the postseason, despite Jose Valverde’s two blown save situations. That’s because their starters have gone seven or more innings regularly, at least until Justin Verlander’s subpar outing in Game 1 Wednesday. The Tigers need Fister to re-establish that pattern tonight.
2. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder have to get untracked. On paper, Cabrera and Fielder are the best No.3 and No.4 hitters, in combination, in baseball. They must live up to their reputation in this series, or the Tigers have little chance to win it.
3. If the Tigers get runners on base early in this game, they need to score. An overlooked reason for their Game 1 loss was not scoring after putting two runners on base in the opening inning.