The Tigers continued to play sloppy ball today in an excruciating 5-4 loss to the Cardinals in game 4. They took a 3 run lead in the top of the 3rd but it slowly got away from them. I'm sure you all saw the game so I'll just comment on some of the key players and plays.
Curtis Granderson slipped and fell on the wet grass which allowed a lead off double by David Eckstein in the 7th. You really can't fault Granderson on that one. Blame the wet grass. He actually made a nice recovery to keep it a double rather than a triple. Fernando Rodney then bare handed a bunt by So Taguchi and threw it into right field. It should have been an easy out but he rushed it unnecessarily. It was the 4th fielding error by a Tiger pitcher in the World Series so far. With two out, Preston Wilson then knocked in the go ahead run. A lot was made of Brandon Inge cutting off the throw instead of letting it go through but I didn't think there was a realistic chance of getting the runner at the plate at that point. The throw looked like it was a bit offline.
In the 8th inning, Joel Zumaya struck out Juan Encarnacion on a ball in the dirt and it got by Ivan Rodriguez for a passed ball. This allowed Aaron Miles to get to second. He scored on a double by David Eckstein. Tim McCarver made a big to do about how Craig Monroe misplayed the ball but it really wasn't a bad play in my opinion. The reason he didn't get to it was because he was playing shallow with a runner on second. Otherwise, it would have been a routine fly ball. If you have to blame anybody, blame Pudge for allowing the passed ball.
The Tiger pitching was not bad but they were wild again and walked 6 batters. That's 19 walks in 4 games. Bonderman was electric at times, not so good at other times but kept them in the game. Leyland took him out at the right time. Despite the two runs, Rodney did not pitch poorly (although he fielded poorly). He got them out of a jam in the 6th by striking out two batters with runners on first and third. He struck out two more in the 7th but was hurt by the lucky double and his own misplay.
Offensively, the mighty Casey had a big day going 3 for 4 with a homer. Rodriguez also snapped out of his slumpby going 3 for 4 with a double. Inge added a single and a double.
The only hope now is a repeat of the comeback in the 1968 World Series. Such a comeback is very unlikely especially given how poorly they are playing. Justin Verlander, who seems to be out of gas, goes against Jeff Weaver tomorrow. Weaver was not too sharp in game 2 so there is some hope there. A lot of people think they should go with Kenny Rogers tomorrow but I don't think it matters. If they are going to come back, they need 3 wins and Verlander is going to have to pitch one of those games. It doesn't really matter if it's game 5, 6 or 7.