st louis comes into this game having lost their last 8 world series road games. hmmm . . . . . 8 losses in a row? the cards should be right in their comfort zone. they'll be sending their best streak-buster to the mound tonight; reyes was the starter in two slide-stopping games (august 5 and september 27). his unevenness vs the mets in the nlcs might have been at least partly the result of inactivity; reyes had pitched only once in 19 days (and for less than an inning) before his nlcs start. he had decent command of his fastball vs new york but none whatsoever with the changeup; if he's getting the latter pitch over for strikes, i think the rook can give the cardinals a chance.
verlander really stumbled down the stretch, compiling a 5.82 era / 1.80 whip after august 1 (10 starts). during that stretch his hits allowed (76) were more than twice as high as his strikeouts (36). he was only so-so in his nlds start (game 2) -- 5.1 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 5 ks -- and he wasn't much better in game 2 of the alcs: 5.1 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, a walk and 6 strikeouts. he's allowed 3 hr in 11 innings this postseason, all on the road. verlander is vulnerable to left-handed hitters, who batted .279 and slugged .462 against him; for that reason i hope the cardinals start j-rod in left (fat chance --- he last started on september 24), with duncan at dh --- two solid left-handed bats. more likely taguchi will start in left field; whoever it is, the cardinals have a good chance to put up some runs tonight.
but so do the tigers; might be a slugfest.
i've got a family affair to attend, will be watching the game from there but won't be near a computer. so the overflow threads are up early; just migrate over when the active thread gets to 550 comments or so. tigers chat on SB Nation at Bless You Boys; elsewhere at Detroit Tigers Weblog and Motown Sports.