Cards pounce on Tigers in Game 1 

October, 21, 2006
10/21/06
11:43
PM ET
Anthony Reyes pitches the game of his life (so far, at least), and the Tigers show their inexperience as the Cardinals win a laugher.

After a shaky first two innings, Reyes morphed into a strike-throwing machine once the Cardinals gave him a little breathing room. He was trying to work off his changeup his first time through the Tigers' order, a bizarre approach for any pitcher not named Jamie Moyer (or Doug Jones, I suppose). But in the bottom of the third, he went to the traditional approach of pitching off his fastball, spotting it extremely well for the next six innings, working on the outside corner early in the count and coming inside with either his fastball or breaking ball if he got ahead, with only the occasional changeup to finish a hitter off.

Tigers starter Justin Verlander had sharper secondary stuff than he'd had in his two earlier starts, but continued to have trouble with command that cost him, particularly in his last inning. He had a good pitching plan, but didn't execute as consistently as Reyes did, hanging a two-out, 2-1 changeup to Chris Duncan (who swung and missed at roughly 183 changeups Saturday night, but hit the one hanger he saw) that knocked one run in and led to two more when Albert Pujols came up and murdered a slightly misplaced fastball, crushing it to deep right.

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