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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Tigers' lineup changes?

ESPN.com

Thanks to Pablo Sandoval, the San Francisco Giants took a 1-0 lead in the 2012 World Series. Do the Detroit Tigers need to shake things up in order to even things up? Our experts discuss that, and Thursday's pitching matchup, in Triple Play.

1. What do the Tigers take from Game 1 that they can use the rest of the series?

Eric Karabell (@karabellespn), ESPN Insider: Nothing, really. It's just one game, and all the Tigers really need in San Francisco is a split, which still can happen. Tigers manager Jim Leyland shouldn't even consider using Justin Verlander in Game 4. If the Tigers learned anything, other than that Sandoval can hit pitches off the plate, it's that they can no longer use Jose Valverde. At all.

Doug Glanville (@dougglanville), Baseball Tonight: Offensively, the Giants are going to swing the bats. They are not trying to work walks, and Detroit should work on using that aggressiveness against them.

Christina Kahrl (@ChristinaKahrl), SweetSpot: If there was any question about whether the Giants were above their weight class, the Tigers just took one to the chin to prove otherwise. The Giants' advantages on defense and in the bullpen will make scoring late hard, and given that the Tigers are their exact opposite with all their good stuff up front in the rotation or the lineup, they need to get ahead early or they'll be in a world of hurt. Watch to see whether Leyland adopts a few early-game one-run tactics to (over)compensate.


2. Any lineup changes you'd like to see for Game 2?

Karabell: Nope. The Tigers have a good lineup, and while they were better against right-handed pitching this season, I wouldn't switch anything. Delmon Young is a defensive liability, but I'd leave him in against the lefty. It's not like the Tigers have an All-Star looming on the bench. Leyland isn't the type to overrate one bad game, and I wouldn't, either.

Glanville: The Tigers have a lot of weapons to use; I think they just need to stay the same and make their adjustments earlier in Game 2. The Giants seem to have it working well, especially the top part of the lineup. They could consider swapping Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco around to try to get them going.

Kahrl: I'd love to see Brandon Belt move up to the fifth slot for the Giants. Pence can be every bit as inspirational from the 6-hole. The Tigers need to let it ride. They had shots against Barry Zito; no need to panic in the wake of Sandoval's date with history in Game 1.


3. Madison Bumgarner vs. Doug Fister. Whom do you like?

Karabell: I picked Zito to win and for the Giants to take the series on Wednesday's Baseball Today podcast, but expecting Bumgarner to deliver the same performance is asking a little bit more. He struggled in September and so far in October, and although he might have fixed a mechanical flaw, that's what the Tigers said about Valverde, too. Fister should thrive in the bigger ballpark. I have to think the Tigers will hit better and have a better shot at their split.

Glanville: I like Fister for Game 2. He's got a bit more finesse and will not be an attacker like Verlander. When I say the Tigers should make the Giants pay for their aggressiveness, he's the kind of guy who can do it.

Kahrl: Fister, but this should be more of a pitching duel than Game 1. Then again, after watching one man's romp at Verlander's expense and an ugly reminder that Valverde just isn't going to get ironed out with a pep talk and some side work, how could it not be?