SEEKING THEIR FIRST World Series crown in 28 years, the Detroit Tigers will count on formidable pitchers to cool off hot-hitting San Francisco when the championship showdown begins tonight.
Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven final features a Giants’ squad bidding for a second title in three seasons against a Tigers team longing to erase the memories of a 2006 World Series loss to St Louis under similar circumstances.
The Tigers, who swept the New York Yankees to win the American League title, have a six-day lay-off entering the World Series, just as they did six years ago when they came out flat and fell to the Cardinals in five games.
“We wanted to change what we did last time,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “Last time we just sat around for six days.”
Detroit played intersquad games Sunday and Monday waiting for the Giants to take the National League title, San Francisco winning three games in a row when facing elimination to advance for the second play-off series in a row.
The Tigers have had time to rest their pitchers and organise them exactly how they want for the World Series while the Giants had not even pondered who to send to the mound until advancing less than 48 hours before game one.
“It was draining. Seems like every series is draining,” said Giants catcher Buster Posey. “There was so much riding on every pitch. But it ended the way we wanted it to end. We’re happy to be at this point. We’ve got another series.”
The Giants ousted defending champion St. Louis by outscoring the Cardinals 20-1 over the last three games and that powerhouse batting line-up will face Tigers ace pitcher Justin Verlander in the World Series opener.
“I think we learned our lesson from 2006 and we’ll approach things a little differently this time,” Verlander said.