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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Odds are diminishing

So you're saying there's a chance ...

Yes, there's still a chance that the Tigers move on to the World Series, despite falling behind the Texas Rangers, 2-0, in the American League Championship series.

"I don't feel as good as Texas does right now, obviously. But we're playing. They've got to win two more. We have to win four. It's that simple," Jim Leyland said after Monday's 11-inning, 7-3 loss in Game 2. "That's pretty simple math."

But the math is starting to turn sour for the Tigers.

After the Game 1 loss, the chances were just south of 50 percent, given ALCS history. In the 41 years of the series' history, the G1 winner moved on 24 times (58 percent). Since it became a seven-game series, the G1 winner has moved on 13 of 25 times, although the G1 loser has won the ALCS seven of the last 11 years.

The numbers just got worse after Monday's extra-inning loss.

Since the League Championship Series went to a seven-game format in 1985, 18 of 21 teams to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the series managed to move on. Both the 1985 ALCS (Blue Jays) and 1985 NLCS (Dodgers) saw teams blow a 2-0 lead, but it's happened just once since then (2004 Yankees).

The upside, I suppose, is that the Rangers won just once at Comerica in six tries during the regular season. The next three games — starting with Game 3 Tuesday night at 8 — are at Comerica Park.

"We’re going home, and like we’ve been doing all season, turn the page, come back (Tuesday), a whole new ballgame, and keep playing hard," said Victor Martinez, dismissing the thought that Monday's loss meant any more or less because of its heartbreaking nature. "Like we’ve been doing the whole year, if we lose 2-1, 3-2 — or 10-1, 10-2 — we’re still losing the game, so we just turn the page. Come back (Tuesday), and it’ll be good. We’re going home."

Monday's starter, Max Scherzer, agreed.

"We’ve gotta take care of business at home. ... These have been very tight ballgames, so there’s no reason we can’t win them," he said.

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