2012 World Series: Why Detroit Tigers Need to Start Justin Verlander in Game 4

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2012 World Series: Why Detroit Tigers Need to Start Justin Verlander in Game 4
Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
Can Justin Verlander save the Tigers' season?

The Tigers go into Sunday night with their season on the line and everyone knows who should be getting the ball for Detroit.

Justin Verlander.

Somewhere between tonight and tomorrow morning, Tigers' manager Jim Leyland has to be thinking about making the switch.

It would be short rest for the Tigers ace right-handed pitcher, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Down 3 games to none after the 2-0 loss Saturday, Detroit is a team in desperate need of a spark, anything to hold on to.

Either Verlander pitches on three days rest or he pitches on 155 days rest on Opening Day next season.

This is nothing against the Tigers' scheduled starter Max Scherzer. Scherzer is going to have to win a game for you in this series, but it shouldn't be Game 4. This is simply looking at the series realistically.

Pitching hasn't been the problem for the Tigers in the series. Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez have done their jobs against the Giants.

Now it is up to Verlander to extend the season for the Tigers.

The Tigers had their chances in Game 3 and continued to struggle with men on base. Prince Fielder came to the plate with two runners on and hit into a double play. Detroit had the bases loaded in the fifth inning and Quintin Berry struck out—then Miguel Cabrera popped out against Giants' starter Ryan Vogelsong.

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If Verlander takes the mound Sunday night, you can imagine the fans being excited knowing their ace is coming back on short rest to save the season. The combination of Verlander stepping up and the Detroit crowd facing elimination might be enough to bring some energy into the lifeless Tigers lineup.

Before this World Series started, everything looked to be set up in the Tigers' favor.

The pitching matchups favored the Tigers in the first two games. Detroit was rested and ready. The Giants, coming off of an emotional comeback Monday night, were having to start the series less than 48 hours after advancing into the Series, scrambling to find a Game 2 starter.

Since Pablo Sandoval's first-inning home run in Game 1 off of Verlander, the Tigers have seemed to play tentatively and the Giants have seemed to play with an air of confidence.

Can Detroit win four straight games? Certainly. If that means handing the ball to the best pitcher in baseball for Games 4 and 7, even better.

Justin Verlander has to save the Detroit Tigers' season.

The question is, will Jim Leyland give him the chance?

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