Tigers feel confident at home

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Tigers feel confident at home

DETROIT --- The Detroit Tigers may be down 2-0 in the World Series, but players have hardly lacked the confidence needed to overcome their early deficit.

Their cool -- even though they know 14 of the last 15 teams to win the first two games have gone on to a World Series title -- lies in their dominance at Comerica Park this season.

As tough as the task appears to be, Tigers players sounded confident on Friday afternoon they can rally in time to yet again save their season.

Detroit, which is perfect at home in the postseason, has won 54 of 85 games played at Comerica Park this season, including eight straight.

The World Series resumes at 5:07 p.m. on Saturday when Detroits Anibal Sanchez faces the Giants Ryan Vogelsong in Game 3 of the World Series.

Everybody is going to be relaxed, Sanchez said. We know we are home, we play really good here. Were going to keep doing the same. We need to make some runs. But tomorrow is going to be a different story. They won (at) home. We need to win at home.

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Sanchez should have added an extra really when he spoke about how well the Tigers play at home.

Even though Comerica Park has played as a pronounced pitchers park in years past, Detroit has excelled here offensively this season. The Tigers averaged 4.85 runs per game at home and boast a .278.342.451 slash line compared with 4.11 runs away from Comerica and a .258.327.395 line.

Triple crown winner Miguel Cabreras home and road splits were as significant as his teams. Of Cabreras 44 homers, 28 occurred in Detroit. Cabrera had 1.095 OPS at home compared with .913 on the road.

Home cooking might just be the remedy Tigers hitters are looking for after they produced only three runs and 10 hits in the first two games of the World Series. Thus far, Detroits offense is hitting .167 compared with the Giants .258 average.

Catcher Alex Avila believes the root cause is the teams level of comfort.

You get to sleep in your own bed, and youre just a little more familiar with your surroundings, a little bit easier to go through your routine Avila said. Thats probably the biggest thing, being able to go through your routine. Being comfortable allows you to have confidence. It definitely helps when people are not yelling that you suck.

Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is excited about the prospect of fan energy being on the side of his team. Having witnessed the electric display put on by the Giants faithful at AT&T Park in the first two games of the series, Jackson cant wait to see what Detroit has in store for his club. The Tigers drew more than 3 million fans this season, an average of 37,383 per contest.

Its an unbelievable atmosphere, Jackson said. You feed off that, that fan energy. You feed off that, and its just unbelievable when you go out there and you can feel that the fans are with you.

Dan Hayes is the White Sox Insider for CSNChicago.com

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

SAN FRANCISCO — At some point over the last month, the Giants quietly stopped playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the late innings of games they trail. 

It’s unclear exactly when it started, or who made the decision. A number of team employees, surveyed over the past week, had noticed. But nobody knew the exact details. Perhaps the longtime staple of AT&T Park was shelved on July 9, when FanGraphs dropped the playoff odds to 0.00 percent for the first time in a lost season. Maybe it was during a bad loss before that or a bad loss after that. You can take your pick. This season has been filled with so many of them it’s hard to keep track. 

Friday’s stood out, in part because this was the kind of night where Journey briefly made sense. The Giants gave Jeff Samardzija a 4-0 lead in the first inning against a Padres team that spent the early innings kicking and throwing the ball all over the field and making mistakes on the bases. It was 5-1 after three innings. By the sixth, the Padres had tied it. By the seventh, they had the lead. By the eighth, it was a three-run lead. 

Before the bottom of the eighth, the in-stadium crew played Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” for a crowd of a few thousand. Last weekend, Huey Lewis was the fill-in for Journey. On Wednesday, a game the Giants actually came back to win, the scoreboard played a singalong game to “Happy Together” by The Turtles. 

On this night, the Giants actually would come back. Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth, tying the game and sending it into extras. The Giants had trailed by three with one out remaining, but the momentum provided by Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Gillaspie was just a blip. The Padres scored three in the 11th off George Kontos, who has pitched five times over the last eight days and was supposed to get a night to rest. 

Kontos was the last to give up runs in a 12-9 loss, but hardly the only one. Samardzija took blame after failing to get through five with a big early cushion. That put pressure on the tired bullpen, and the relievers blew it over and over again. The Padres scored runs in six consecutive innings at one point and had 20 hits. 

“We couldn’t stop them,” Bruce Bochy said, shaking his head. 

Nothing can apparently stop this skid. The Giants are 37-61 and six games behind the Padres. They are much closer to the No. 1 draft pick than they are to fourth place in their division. 

“Don’t Stop Believin’” survived the 2013 season. It survived 2015 and the second half of last year. Nothing can survive this season.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — A few hundred, maybe a few thousand, stayed to watch the Giants late Friday night. The Giants did not make it worth the effort. 

Conor Gillaspie’s two-out homer in the ninth sent the game to extras, but the Giants lost 12-9 in a game that lasted nearly five hours. The Giants had trailed by three with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. They tied it. Instead of carrying that momentum over, they suffered yet another demoralizing loss. 

They have dropped both games of this series and they trail the Padres -- who had 20 hits -- by six games in the race for fourth place. Those are facts. Here are five more, mostly from earlier, when a young man harbored dreams of leaving a ballpark before 1 a.m. … 

—- Hector Sanchez took Jeff Samardzija deep to lead off the fourth, and at this point it’s flat-out hilarious. Sanchez has seven homers this season and three have come against his former team. He hit two homers at AT&T Park in 296 plate appearances as a Giant, and the fourth-inning blast gave him three in 11 plate appearances as a Padre. He also doubled in a run and singled. It’s an all-time revenge tour. Just go along for the ride. 

—- There were a ton of scouts on hand to watch two starting pitchers who could move in the next 10 days, and they left disappointed. Trevor Cahill gave up six earned on seven hits and four walks and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Jeff Samardzija gave up eight hits and five earned in 4 1/3 innings. 

—- I dunno man, it’s really hard getting to five of these every night. Sam Dyson was good again. 

—- Gillaspie's pinch-hit homer was the sixth of his career. He's a hero around these parts, but perhaps Bobby Evans should see if a team out there was watching Friday and remembers his October run. Gillaspie could help a contender. 

—- When MLB inevitably introduces a pitch clock and pitchers start complaining, this will be the game I tell them to sit down and try to watch start to finish.