Tigers-Giants Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 23, 2012
Jim Leyland and the Detroit Tigers found out the hard way that rest means rust in the World Series. Six years ago, their last Series appearance, they lounged around for nearly a week before getting wiped out by St. Louis. This time, while once again waiting for the National League opponent to be decided, they stayed busy by working on bunts, playing against their instructional league team and letting ace Justin Verlander throw to hitters. ''Well, we just tried to come up with something,'' Leyland said Tuesday. ''It wasn't like in 2006, where some people would indicate we sat around happy to get there, not doing anything, eating bon-bons.'' ''That wasn't the case. We ran into bad weather problems in Detroit, so we were really handicapped,'' the manager said. ''So this time we've done some things to try to keep us from being idle for four or five days. I definitely think it affected the last World Series.'' Verlander will start Game 1 on Wednesday night against Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants, fresh off another stirring comeback and a Game 7 win Monday night over the Cardinals. ''I feel like I haven't played in over two months when you clinch so quick like this and have to wait for the other team,'' Tigers reliever Jose Valverde said. Not quite that long. ''What is it, eight months of baseball? What's five days?'' Tigers star Prince Fielder asked. Said Zito: '' I guess we can hypothesize for a while on how prepared they are, being that they haven't played these high-intensity games.'' The Tigers made it easy on themselves, sweeping the Yankees in the AL championship series. They traveled to San Francisco on Tuesday and held a late-afternoon workout at AT&T Park. ''I loved it because it means we're in the World Series,'' Tigers catcher Alex Avila said. ''Someone asked me that question after we won and I was like, `Would you rather if we had lost some of those games?' It doesn't really matter to me. We did everything we could to stay mentally sharp.'' The Giants had no trouble in that department. They've been on quite a wild ride this October, first overcoming an 2-0 deficit to beat Cincinnati in the best-of-five division series, then escaping a 3-1 hole to beat the defending champion Cardinals in the NLCS. ''You have to throw it all away because it could work in either team's favor,'' Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said. ''We've been playing every day, so guys might be a little more tired, whereas they've got more rest. Then again, we've been playing, so we've got our timing, where they might not.'' And this little fact: Three times in the past, the World Series has matched a team that went to Game 7 in the LCS against a club that swept its series. In all three instances, the team coming off a Game 7 win breezed to the championship. Boston swept Colorado in 2007, St. Louis chased Detroit in five games in 2006 and Orel Hershiser and the Dodgers beat Oakland in five games in 1988. ''We're fine. I think we're in the groove and feeling good,'' Giants ace Matt Cain said. Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera has gone both routes in early rounds. The Tigers slugger was a rookie with the Marlins in 2003 when they rallied past the Chicago Cubs to win the seven-game NLCS and went on to beat the Yankees for the title. This time, the Tigers gave themselves five off days. ''It's very different. In `03 we came from behind like San Francisco did this year,'' he said. ''We have to focus on what we can do. We can't focus on, `OK we haven't played, we're going to get down.' It's tough. We have to be ready to play tomorrow and we'll see what happens.'' Leyland and Giants manager Bruce Bochy both hoped to be a quick study. There's not a lot of history between these longtime franchises - they've never met in the postseason, and have played only 12 times since interleague action began in 1997. ''I don't really know the Giants that well. I'm kind of getting a crash course on them,'' Leyland said. ''But to be honest, when they were down 0-2 going into Cincinnati having to win three games, for me that was unbelievable. So nothing surprised me when they got to the championship series after I saw what they did in the divisional series,'' he said. Likewise for Bochy. ''I'll have to learn a lot about them real soon, to be honest,'' he said Monday night. ''I know what a great club they are. And we know all about the guy we're going to be facing opening day and their whole staff,'' he said. ''They swept the Yankees. That tells you how good they are.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Westbrook doesn’t want trade, will think about extension

Chargers don’t know if Joey Bosa will report to camp

Report: RG3 to be given four out of five first-team reps

Chris Sale says White Sox put business over winning

Report: Peterson likely entering last season with Vikings

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Chris Sale’s so-called ‘apology’ was anything but

Ten hottest golfers heading into 2016 PGA Championship

Five NFL sophomores poised to break out in 2016

Tre Mason's family concerned about RB's mental health?

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker