DETROIT - Plenty of empty seats at Comerica Park as we prepare for the first pitch in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
Fans must be heading over here from Ford Field after the Lions game.
Tickets were still available this morning. There were lines at the ticket window.
Fans were given white towels to wave, which is a dubious choice of color, considering that their team is down 2-0 in games. I would have gone with blue.
Former Tiger Delmon Young heard some boos upon being introduced. He must have been thinking, “At least I’m not Joba.”
We could hear the “O” during the anthem. Orioles fans are represented here, though not in the same numbers as the series at Wrigley Field.
Miguel Gonzalez is scheduled to pitch Game 4 if necessary. He wants the ball, but he also wants the Orioles to clinch today. It’s got to be a strange feeling.
“It is,” he said. “I’m rooting for my boys every time we’re out there, and hopefully if we do clinch today, I’m going to be excited no matter what. There is always going to be more. I’m going to get my opportunity when it comes.
“I know I had my ups and downs at the beginning of the season, and then toward the end, feeling a lot better. So, I’m confident and I’m just going to go out there and do what I do best.”
Gonzalez was expected to start Game 3 before manager Buck Showalter chose Bud Norris.
“Everyone knew that (Chris) Tillman was the one that was going to pitch the first game, and then after that we didn’t know who was going to be after,” Gonzalez said. “I wish the best for Bud. I know he did a great job this season, so I’m happy for him and I’m going to root for him.”
Norris hasn’t pitched in the postseason. Gonzalez faced the Yankees in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS and allowed one run over seven innings, with no walks and eight strikeouts. The Orioles lost 3-2 in 12 innings.
“You know, I pitched in the playoffs in Mexico and I was fortunate to pitch against the Yankees in 2012, so I think it’s going to be not as stressful as it was my first time,” Gonzalez said. “I know what to expect and what to do out there.”
Showalter provided a laugh in the interview room today after fielding the first question, which went like this:
“Buck, what lessons if any, might you have drawn from your 1995 Division Series experience when you managed the Yankees with a 2-0 lead on the Mariners? What might you be applying to today’s game and series?”
As you may recall, the Yankees lost that series and Showalter lost his job.
“You thought all night about asking that question first, didn’t you?” Showalter replied.
“How old are you? I’m 58. I can’t remember what happened yesterday, much less ‘95. That was a 2-3 format, right?”
Showalter has never advanced to the Championship Series, having lost in the divisional round in 1995, 1999 with the Diamondbacks and 2012 with the Orioles.
“We all learn,” he said. “If I had known how good Mariano Rivera was going to be. He pitched a lot in that series. I remember all the grief we took for putting him on the roster. And maybe we would have had (Derek) Jeter. They weren’t ready for it then.”
Update: We’ve got a pitchers’ duel in Detroit.
Bud Norris has shut out the Tigers on two hits over five innings. He’s walked one, struck out six and thrown a wild pitch. He’s at 83 pitches.
The Orioles have two hits off David Price through five innings. He’s thrown 69 pitches, the last nine to Nick Markakis, who struck out looking.