World Series notebook: Detroit Tigers lineup could get relief vs. right-hander in Game 3


Ryan Vogelsong will start Game 3 for San Francisco as the World Series shifts to Detroit. (Ben Margot/Associated Press)
October 26, 2012

With San Francisco left-handers Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner having dominated the Detroit Tigers in the first two games of the World Series, the Tigers have to hope they can find some sort of offense when they host Game 3 on Saturday night. The odd part: The Giants may actually provide something of a solution by rolling out Ryan Vogelsong, a right-hander.

The Tigers hit just .190 against Zito and Bumgarner in the first two games, including just two hits in their 2-0 Game 2 loss. But all season, they have hit right-handed pitching better. The Tigers have a .275 batting average against right-handers, with a .337 on-base percentage and .434 slugging percentage. Against lefties, those numbers drop to .253/.329/.395.

Prince Fielder, the slugging first baseman who is 1 for 6 in the World Series, feasts on right-handed pitching. He hit 24 of his 30 homers off right-handers, and his on-base-plus-slugging percentage is 1.017. Against lefties, it drops to .808.

Manager Jim Leyland told reporters here Friday that he would insert left-handed hitting corner outfielders Quintin Berry and Andy Dirks into the lineup. Delmon Young figures to move from left field, where he is a liability, to his traditional role as the designated hitter as the series uses American League rules for the first time.

The Tigers also hit significantly better at Comerica Park than they do on the road. Their regular season slash line at home: .278/.342/.451. On the road: .258/.327/.395. They scored 60 more runs at Comerica than they did away from home.

Temperature drops

After game-time temperatures in the 60s for Games 1 and 2 in San Francisco, the forecast calls for lows in the 30s for Game 3 Saturday night.

“It’s cold, but I mean, this is the World Series,” Leyland said. “It’s cold for everybody. It’s cold for the fans. The beer is cold. Everything is cold. It’s great. Enjoy it.” . . .

While Vogelsong has been perhaps the Giants’ most consistent postseason starter — 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA over three starts, all of which San Francisco won — the Tigers counter with Anibal Sanchez, the former Miami Marlin who has been nearly as effective. Sanchez lost a tough decision to Oakland in the division series in which he allowed two runs in 61 / 3 innings, but he came back to throw seven scoreless innings in Game 2 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees. He has not pitched since that game on Oct. 14.

Record-low TV rating

The Giants’ shutout drew a record-low television rating for Game 2 of the World Series.

The game on Fox earned a 7.8 fast national rating and 12 share, down 12 percent from last year’s St. Louis Cardinals-Texas Rangers matchup. The previous low was an 8.1 for the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays series.

Fox said Friday that the rating was up 3 percent from the Giants’ rout in Game 1 on Wednesday. That game received a 7.6 rating, a record low for a World Series opener, and a 12 share.

— Associated Press

Barry Svrluga is the national baseball writer for The Washington Post.
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