Respectful Insolence

Let’s do this, people

Well, even as a born-in-Detroit Tigers fan, I wouldn’t have expected it, but it’s come to pass. The Tigers have the Yankees on the ropes, having defeated them last night quite convincingly 6-0 to take a 2-1 series lead. All they have to do is to win this afternoon, and the Yankees go home.

How sweet that would be. Even if the Tigers were to be eliminated in the next round, just having the opportunities to send the despised Yankees home in the first round of the playoffs would make the entire season worthwhile. And, with Jaret Wright being the pitcher on the mound for the Yankees, I like the Tigers’ odds:

The Yankees will need starter Jaret Wright (11-7, 4.49 ERA) to help keep them in the game. Wright is making his 10th career postseason start — he went 3-0 with a 4.73 ERA in his first five before going 0-4 with a 12.89 ERA in his last four.

The right-hander has pitched twice with his team facing elimination.

Most recently, he allowed four runs and six hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 12-3 loss to Houston in Game 5 of a 2004 NLDS while pitching for Atlanta.

His other such start came with Cleveland, against Jim Leyland’s Florida Marlins in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. Wright yielded just one run and two hits over 6 1-3 innings and was in line for the win before Jose Mesa blew a save in the ninth inning of a 3-2, 11-inning loss.

“I happen to be involved in another big game Jaret Wright pitched in, Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, and he was lights out,” Leyland said. “We’re going to have our hands full and we know that.”


I remember him then, having lived in Cleveland and become an Indians afficianado. But 2006 is not 1997, and Wright now tends to be unpredictable and inconsistent. Sometimes he’s “lights out,” while other times he’s a batting practice pitcher. If he’s on, he can be nasty to hit against. That’s the reason the Tigers shouldn’t be too overconfident. And, if they lose this game, they have to go back to New York, where their chances would decline dramatically.

It’s time to put the lights out now. Today is their best opportunity. Why? Because Jesus hates the Yankees!

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Comments

  1. #1 raindogzilla
    October 7, 2006

    It would be mighty sweet to see Steinbrenner’s All-Stars- the best money can buy, bite the dust. Especially, if Alex Rodriguez takes a called third strike for the final out.

  2. #2 Dawn
    October 7, 2006

    Well, Orac, it’s the top of the 6th in game 4 right now, and the Tigers have the Yanks on the ropes…I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will knock them out soon! Go Tigers!!!

  3. #3 Prup aka Jim Benton
    October 7, 2006

    Ahem! I think SOMEONE has been predicting a Mets-Tigers Series for months. (In fact, he accused you of performing weird operations on the Tigers back in April.

    I’m not surprised, they have a damn good team and a great manager. They have to go through the Athletics, and the Mets have to come up with 5 more wins, but it should be a great series.

    Now if you only liked Turkish food… (I’ve been meaning to make a bet with you if they both make it to the Series, and there are a couple of great Turkish restaurants nearby.

  4. #4 Dawn
    October 7, 2006

    Prup…a Mets/Tigers matchup would cause a lot of strain in my house…I’m surrounded by Mets fans. But at least I can gloat at work on Monday over all the Yankee fans. :)

  5. #5 Greg P
    October 7, 2006

    Neither a Tiger nor Yankees fan, but 2-1 is not “on the ropes.”

  6. #6 Dawn
    October 7, 2006

    Greg–I wrote that comment when the Tigers were beating the Yankees 6-0 in the 4th game; since it is a best of 5 game series, I considered that on the ropes. In a best of 7 game series, you are right. Now that the Tigers beat them decisively, I can gloat. (Orac…sorry; I’m rarely an obnoxious sports fan, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to brag about being a Tigers fan without people laughing at me….)

  7. #7 Orac
    October 8, 2006

    Neither a Tiger nor Yankees fan, but 2-1 is not “on the ropes.”

    How about 3-1 in a five game series?

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