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Don’t count on the NLCS winner being gassed for the World Series

Oct 22, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants' Belt hits a broken bat single against St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Rzepczynski in the eighth inning during Game 6 of their MLB NLCS playoff baseball series in San Francisco

The Cards and Giants are beating each others’ brains out up until less than 48 hours before the World Series starts. Heck, if it rains tonight, maybe to within 24 hours.  As Buster Olney says, this has to be good for the Tigers, right?

For the Detroit Tigers, the drawn-out series between the Cards and Giants is all good, because the rotations of the NL teams will be left in a jumble, the bullpens taxed. The Tigers are lined up and all ready to go with Justin Verlander, et al.

Except the last time they were in the World Series it was set up very much like this. Detroit dispatched the Athletics in the 2006 ALCS in four games, with the last one being on October 14.  The Mets and Cardinals, in contrast, played a seven game series that ended on October 19.  The World Series began two days later, with the Tigers having had a full week to rest bodies and set up the rotation, with the Cardinals in a putative “jumble.”  And the Cardinals ended up winning that series in five games.

It’s quite possible that, yes, whoever comes out of the NLCS will be jumbled. And I imagine that after 2006 the Tigers learned some lessons about how to spend a long layoff (thus the scrimmages they’ve been playing against minor leaguers and such). But if history shows us anything it’s that we can’t really predict how layoffs and frantic run-ups to a series will play out.

  1. historiophiliac - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    What? No recap of the scrimmage games this weekend? I got pics of Verlander taking BP this weekend in my Twitter feed.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      You know we want to know if the minor league players lit up Valverde for multiple hits.

  2. darthicarus - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    There is of course only 2 remaining Tigers from that 2006 team, Verlander (who was a rookie) & Ramon Santiago. So it’s not exactly the same crew sitting around playing Jenga & watching Phil Donahue.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      I thought Infante was with us then too.

      • darthicarus - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        Indeed you are correct, Infante was also on the team. I forgot about him as he only got in 3 ABs for the whole postseason that year.

  3. Francisco (FC) - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Another example are the Rockies, they sat for like… 10 days, then got promptly swept by Boston.

  4. weaselpuppy - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Papa Grande gave a up a run on 3 baserunners…..Brennan Boesch was struck out twice by minor leaguers….

  5. libertynchurch - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Everybody loves an underdog, until you put your money on the table. Tigers doin it this year!

    BTW, I am an old Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford Yankee fan. Gotta give much respect to anybody who beat our
    arses that bad!

  6. passerby23 - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Rest or no rest, the Tigers starting pitching has been dominant and the edge has to be given to them. The Giants have swung the bats a bit better, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. For my money, I’ll take the Tigers in 6 games.

  7. critter69 - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    When I was in college (early 70s), there was a board game (yes, pre-video) for playing MLB games. Since I was a Giants fan, I ALWAYS played the Giants. When I was playing a late 60s version of the game, I put McCovey and Mays in 6th and 7th in the batting order (where they were usually in the top half of the batting order) – it was the ONLY way I could win any games, especially against the trolley dodgers and Yankees (yes, interleague play was being played before interleague play), or even such a lowly team as the Astros (and they WERE very lowly back then).

    Sometimes it takes an unorthodox manner of playing the game to win.

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