Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ALCS Game 3 - Top Performers

Ok, so we didn't cover it in the blog this weekend because I was out in Oregon with the Wife, but Texas took a 2-0 lead in their series with the Tigers winning Game 1 on the strength of some rain delays and getting the first true walkoff Grand Slam in postseason history (see last week's article on Robin Ventura for the history of the almost walkoff Grand Slam) from Nelson Cruz to win Game 2. Tonight the series went back to Detroit and the Tigers turned the ball over to ex-Mariner Doug Fister, the same guy who won Game 5 against the Yankees, and he delivered once again as the Tigers won 5-2 to bring Detroit back within a game at 2-1. That said, here's a rundown of our top performers from Game 3:

3) Jose Valverde - Papa Grande pitched around a leadoff double to Josh Hamilton and threw a scoreless 9th inning to seal Detroit's first win of the LCS. Valverde has now been on the mound for the conclusion of all four of Detroit's postseason wins. This marked his 3rd save of the 2011 postseason, and including his regular season saves, he is now a perfect 52 for 52 in save opportunities this year. Valverde's performance tonight was that much more impressive because it came on the heels of a 2 inning appearance last night in Game 2.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com

2) Miguel Cabrera - The AL Batting Champion hit .344 with 30 home runs and 105 runs batted in during the regular season. However, he entered play tonight just 5 for 23 with 1 home run and 3 rbis in the first seven games of this year's postseason. With the Tigers in desperate need of a win, Cabrera came up big delivering a 2-out rbi double in the bottom of the 5th giving Detroit a 2-1 lead, and hammering a Koji Uehara offering deep into the left field bleachers to lead off the bottom of the 7th giving the Tigers lead some extra cushioning. The home run off of Uehara marked the first time this series that Detroit had scored against the Rangers bullpen snapping a streak of 13 consecutive scoreless frames from Texas relievers. Cabrera also made a nifty diving stop at first in the 9th to take a hit away from Adrian Beltre.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com

1) Doug Fister - When the Tigers acquired Fister from the Mariners in late July it didn't exactly make headlines. Fister was 3-12 on the year, and 12-30 halfway through his third Big League season. But Fister went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA down the stretch (shades of 1998 Randy Johnson), won Game 5 against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium, and tonight pitched the Tigers back into the series. Pitching in front of the home crowd for the first time this postseason, Fister held a tough Rangers lineup to just 2 runs on 7 hits in 7 1/3 innings and didn't walk a batter as he won his second straight playoff start.
Photo Credit: zimbio.com

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