Tigers play second fiddle to Lions

Rangers baserunner Yorvit Torrealba slides safely into second base as Tigers second baseman Ramon...

Rangers baserunner Yorvit Torrealba slides safely into second base as Tigers second baseman Ramon Santiago loses the ball during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in Detroit, Mich., Oct. 11, 2011. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:56 AM ET

DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers have to deal with the hangover of following the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.

The Tigers and Rangers played Game 3 of the American League Championship Series Tuesday at Comerica Park.

While the crowd was big and lively, it wasn’t of the same craziness of the Tigers-Yankees series.

The Tigers were down 2-0 going into the game and the Lions have taken over the headlines in the city.

That’s especially evident after the Lions win over the Chicago Bears to run their record to 5-0.

“You should have seen this place after the win,” said Tom Warner of Livonia. “I was at the football game and it was nuts, just nuts. It was so loud, the Bears took nine false start penalties.

“If the Lions keep winning, this city will erupt.” The fans Tuesday at the park were more restrained than they were were coming in against the Yankees. With the Tigers’ 5-2 win Tuesday, they were back in the baseball mode.

OUCH!

Adrian Beltre fouled a ball off his body early on the game.

“He fouled it off his shin. He fouled it higher up the shin, maybe the knee” FOX colour man Tim McCarver said. Sheesh Tim don’t your remember this ditty:

“The heel bone connected to the foot bone. The foot bone connected to the leg bone. The leg bone connected to the knee bone.”

No wonder so many people enjoyed the two-game stint done by former Boston manager Terry Francona earlier in the series when McCarver was gone.

A tweet on the change: “Is Terry Francona Wally Pipping Tim McCarver?” Pipp was the Yankee first baseman that took a day off and was replaced by Lou Gehrig. A lot of fans hope the same will happen to McCarver.

A PLAYOFF FIRST, OFFICIALLY

Nelson Cruz became the first player in Major League post-season history to hit a walk-off grand slam, officially. Robin Ventura sent a bases-loaded drive over the fence to finish a New York Mets victory against Atlanta in the 1999 NLCS, but was swarmed by teammates between first and second. Ventura never made it around the bases and was officially credited with an RBI single.

FOLLOWING THROUGH

Here’s a snapshot of some of the comments the Tigers’ were making during batting practice before the game.

“We’re still in this thing. We just have to start hitting the ball,” third baseman Brandon Inge said.

“We need to come through with some big hits,” Miguel Cabrera said.

“We were in both games, we just need to hit the ball a little better,” utility guy Don Kelly said.

I think the Tigers believe they have to get a few more key hits. They took it to heart on Tuesday, scoring two runs with two out early in the game stringing together five hits with two outs to do it ... Cabrera had two key hits including a home run.He was taking a lot of heat on Twitter and live blogs as fans got down on him because he didn’t have a hit in the first two games. There were some nasty personal attacks including fans that recalled his alcohol abuse problems. Cabrera shut them up in a hurry with his play ... Cabrera hit an 0-2 double that gave the Tigers the lead. Texas’ manager Ron Washington was asked whether he thought about pitching around him. “That’s what we was trying to do,” he said.

IT COSTS HOW MUCH?!

So you think you pay a lot for special event parking for major events. The parking lots around Comerica Park and Ford Field, across the street from each other, are charging $35 and $40 to park. If you want to walk five blocks it’s a relative bargain at $20 ... In this tough economy — especially in Detroit — going to the ALCS is not going to be come cheap. The top ticket price is $170 while the low end is $75. If the Tigers manage to come back and go to the World Series, the top ticket price jumps to $310.

LIPS SEALED

Teams guard their injury problems like someone would guard the sequence codes to the launch missiles. The big news before the game was Delmon Young being scratched with an injury. Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland talked a little about the injury but the questioning continued.

“You’re wasting your time, fellows” Leyland said. “I have no more information. I don’t mean to be rude. I don’t know.” ... Tigers’ Victor Martinez hurt himself on his home run swing. “I was worried a lot,” Leyland said. “But he’s going to be fine.” ... Beltre who took the foul ball off his knee, causing Leyland to say Beltre got “smoked,” and impressing the Tigers’ manager with his ability to play with pain.


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