Detroit Tigers Return Home Licking Their Wounds Before World Series Game 3

Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IOctober 26, 2012

Justin Verlander
Justin VerlanderDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

If the Detroit Tigers aren't careful, they could find their season over on Sunday night, wondering what just happened.

So far, in two games, the San Francisco Giants have played with the momentum and adrenaline that comes from advancing from sudden death on Monday night and have taken control of the series before the Tigers even had a chance to get their feet under them.

Giants lefties Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner have held the Tigers offense in check, specifically keeping Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to a combined two hits in the first two games.

Meanwhile, the Giants have been hitting, including Pabo Sandoval's historic three home runs in Game 1.

The Tigers should be concerned right now. The pitching matchups in the first two games greatly favored them, and yet they return home down two games to none.

Tigers ace Justin Verlander has to be a big concern for Detroit. The only other time that Verlander was in the World Series was in 2006 against the St. Louis Cardinals (0-2 record with a 5.73 ERA). Verlander was a rookie at the time and didn't pitch well in his two starts.

It isn't so much that the Tigers lost the first game, but that Verlander's attitude and demeanor was so disappointing on the mound. His body language gave everyone a clear indication that he was upset about not being able to put the Giants hitters away.

When Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones came out to settle Verlander down, Verlander was obviously upset that the coach had even come out to the mound. The next pitch was a home run to Sandoval.

He lost his cool, and it showed. Detroit can't have its ace act like that.

Can the Tigers come back? Certainly. If they have shown one thing this postseason, it is that they are a resilient bunch. But they haven't been down in a series yet.

And they will have to do it against the Giants' best two pitchers, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain. The Tigers are only hitting .167 through the first two games, and they have pushed across only three runs in the series.

If the Tigers can push the series to Monday night, they will have Verlander there waiting, hoping to put his World Series demons behind him.