World Series: Tigers vs. Cardinals: Kenny Rogers = Shutout Inningsby Brian Borawski
October 23, 2006
Kenny Rogers’ scoreless inning streak in the 2006 post-season is now 23 innings and counting after eight scoreless innings in Game 2 of the World Series. Not too bad for a pitcher who had given up 20 earned runs in 20.1 innings prior to 2006. The Tigers needed a lift after a tough Game 1 loss and they got one from their ace tonight. He actually out did himself this time, holding the Cardinals to two hits in eight scoreless innings. Only one time did a baserunner even reach second base off of Rogers, and that was in the first inning in the 3-1 win. Of course, Todd Jones almost blew the game in the ninth, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
The record for scoreless innings in a single postseason is 27. In 1905, Christy Mathewson threw three complete game shutouts to help the New York Giants beat the Philadelphia Athletics in five games.
Craig Monroe got the Tigers started in the first inning. A first pitch solo shot off of Jeff Weaver put the Tigers on top 1-0. Then in that same inning with two outs, Magglio Ordonez singled and Carlos Guillen drove Ordonez home with a double to make it 2-0.
I’ve seen a lot of Weaver in the past and he’s a pitcher who can come unglued pretty quickly. If there’s one positive I took from this game from the Cardinals’ side is that he held things together pretty well and at least gave the Cardinals a chance to get back into this game. He even got out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth inning. He did get into trouble again in the fifth inning. Guillen struck again with a one out triple. Weaver then struck out Ivan Rodriguez to make it two outs and it looked like Weaver might get out of this jam, but Sean Casey drilled a solid single to bring Guillen home to provide the Tigers with an insurance run.
If Kenny Rogers was the man of the hour, Carlos Guillen was a close second. Guillen reached base four times and was a home run short of hitting for the cycle. He was involved in two of the three Tigers runs and outside of the home run by Monroe, he had two of the three Tigers extra-base hits.
Former Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell didn’t give Todd Jones the nickname “the roller coaster” for nothing. He put Scott Spiezio and Albert Pujols down in order in the ninth, but Scott Rolen kept the inning alive with a single. An error by Jones on Juan Encarnacion’s weak grounder and a double by Jim Edmonds gave the Cardinals their first and only run of the game. Jones then hit Preston Wilson to load the bases, but he finished things up when he got Yadier Molina to ground into a fielder’s choice at second base to end the game.
I think I make predictions just to make myself look silly. In my World Series predictions, I thought the Tigers would win Game 1 and lose Game 2. Of course, I was wrong on both accounts. What I wasn’t wrong about was the end result. This series is headed back to St. Louis tied at one game a piece and it’s still anyone’s series. Similar to the Tigers heading into their series with Yankees, the Cardinals were almost written out of this series from the very beginning. Now, with the Cardinals ace, Chris Carptenter, set to start Game 3, it looks very likely that the Tigers could fall behind in this series once again before it’s all said and done.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.