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ALCS Game 5: Rangers at Tigers

Oct 13, 2011, 7:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Justin Verlander starts today with the Tigers' season hanging in the balance.

The Texas Rangers have three shots to wrap up their second consecutive American League pennant, and if they pull that off, what an accomplishment for a franchise that had never previously made any noise in the postseason. The only AL team to win back-to-back pennants in the last 17 years? The Yankees, who won four straight from 1998-2001. That's select company right there.

Of course, standing in the Rangers' way today is a guy by the name of Justin Verlander, who is really going to need to come up big to keep the Tigers' season alive. Not only does Verlander need to pitch with effectiveness, he needs to pitch with efficiency because Jim Leyland has said neither Jose Valverde nor Joaquin Benoit are available after appearing the last three days out of the bullpen. Yikes.

C.J. Wilson, meanwhile, gets the ball for Texas, and the lefty ace hasn't exactly sparkled this postseason. Wilson has failed to reach the sixth inning in either of his two starts this month. Now would be an opportune time for the pending free agent to make a big-time statement, don't you think?…

AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – GAME 5
TEXAS RANGERS at DETROIT TIGERS
Where: Comerica Park
Gametime: 4:19 p.m.
TV: Fox
Radio: WSPZ (570 AM), XM 178
Weather: Rain, 68 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from LF

STARTING LINEUPS
RANGERS
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Michael Young

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  1. natsfan1a - Oct 13, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Go, Tigers! They never said it was going to be easy (whoever they are).

  2. FS - Oct 13, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    WOW is Young going to become a legend this month?

  3. sjm308 - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    This is probably an idiotic comparison since we are a NL team but if you look at the Tigers starting lineup, there are just two positions where I think they are stronger then we are (Not Counting Pitcher)I would take Jackson in CF and Cabrera at 1B. I am guessing the Desmond haters will also want Peralta but I will keep Ian. This doesn't mean we should be in the playoffs next year but its neat to see how we stack up. Texas, not so much.

  4. gonatsgo - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    For me it is also nice to see teams in the play offs that we have handled well, maybe not always but at least sometimes — ( Brewers, Cards) — or teams that got knocked out that we have handled well (Braves, Phils). It's kind of a measuring stick and the Nats are growing up. I think we won the season series with the Phils and at least tied it with the Braves – don't know exactly with Brewers and Cards, but I think we swept one of those teams.

  5. SCNatsFan - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    sjm, the Tigers strike me as a team that will fade to back to mediocrity pretty fast while I really do believe the Nats have a chance to be like them in the next year or two. Will be fun once we arrive to that group of teams. I just don't know with the economy devistating Detroit how they will continue to spend $ on big mane players unless mgt has decided to not worry about that and accept the losses; still, with them and the Lions I bet this is upbeat as taht town has been in years.

  6. natsfan1a - Oct 13, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Yay, Tigers are heading to Texas! Hope you were at the game and having fun, Dawn. :-)

  7. ehay2k - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    I am not wild about spending a ton of cash to get CJ Wilson.I do not want to trade good prospects or pay a lot to get Upton/Spahn, both head cases albeit of a different type. We need a good leadoff bat in CF, not a great one. Just one that gets on base and can run once he gets there. That alone is worth 1/2 run per game. We will also have a better glove at first, and Laroche should hit next year closer to his career average. Plus a full year, or at least better than two thirds, of Zimm.Maybe a 3-4-5 pitcher, assuming we re-sign Wang and that only one of Detwiler, Peacock, and Milone makes it. A couple of bench guys, and we can maybe make a run at the playoffs with what we have, plus maybe a trade before the deadline.You can buy all the star players you want to get a WS team, but looking at the Yankees, Sox and Phillies has convinced me that we need to take another, more sustainable, path.

  8. FS - Oct 14, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    I am totally on board with trading for Spahn. After all he bring a resume with 363 wins and a 3.09 career ERA.

  9. Dawn - Oct 14, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Natsfan1a, actually watched this one in the comfort of a local pub with my husband. We live a few hours from Detroit, the place was almost as loud as Comerica Park last night. Thrilled the Rangers didn't clinch and the Big Cats live to fight another day!To the posters comparing the Nationals and Tigers, it is hard to draw comparisons with all the injuries Detroit has suffered this postseason, The team you are watching is not the one that performed so well all season. After watching both Nats & Tigers games pretty much evenly, the biggest difference? The Tigers have a more consistent offense. The Nats are better defensively. While you are watching Santiago, Kelly and Inge play great defense now, they didn't start most days, they are forced to now.SCNatsFan; The team has stayed competitive since their 2006 appearance in the World Series, I'd say that wasn't fading into mediocrity. You also have to realize, the Tigers are Michigan's team not just Detroit. People travel in droves to support them, the Lions and the Red Wings. The people of Detroit don't want pity, they are hardworking, vibrant and pretty passionate about life. Good blog post in the Detroit News by Chris McCosky (Oct 6th) that totally reflects my viewpoint.

  10. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Sounds like it was a fun night, Dawn! Thanks for sharing your insider perspective on the team, and for the lead on the blog item , which I turned up after some Googling. Speaking only for myself, I'll try to keep that in mind in the future. Like the lady sang, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. :-)

  11. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Also, Nelson Cruz is really starting to get on my nerves. Judging from the look on Verlander's face after witnessing that little "100" pantomime, I'm wondering whether Nelson may be plunked by him at some point in the future. Perhaps in a Spring Training game, if they face each other, or in some blowout…

  12. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Oh wait. That won't work, because they're in different ST leagues. Okay then, a 2012 season blowout it is. :-)

  13. Dawn - Oct 14, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Ha! I'm sure Verlander noticed Cruz, he will not deign to acknowledge it. Now Phil Coke, he might buzz his tower if he gets a chance…and relish it.:-) Watched the few games Pudge played for the Rangers in 2009, most of the Rangers players seem like great guys. Hamilton is kind of quirky, CJ Wilson seems more like Clip and Stor, less like Marquis and Lannan. Young is a peach, Andrus plays full of joy, like Miguel Cabrera with the Tigers.

  14. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    I think I'm biased against TX because I was rooting for the Rays when they faced each other in postseason games. I wasn't a big fan of the antler/claw thing, but it seems like they've toned it down in that regard. I did see Wilson on TWIB one time and the segment featured some sort of charitable endeavor that he started for kids (can't recall the specifics). Young seems like a good guy, too. If memory serves, they've moved him all over the place on the field, and he put team over himself. Geez, this is making it kinda hard for me to demonize them… ;-)

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