Getting ready for Game 3

Every decision our skipper, Jimmy Leyland, makes has a purpose behind it. It’s all about matchups, bottom line, just like against the Yankees. If it had been the Mets in the World Series — they have a lot of left-handed hitters — and it probably would’ve matched up a little bit different. But now we have the Cardinals, so I’ll be pitching in Game 3. We have four legitimate starters going out there who are capable of helping us win.

I’ll be pitching at the new Busch Stadium for the first time. I think if I go out there and look around me and see the guys playing behind me, I’ll feel pretty comfortable. It’s tough to get a feel until you get out there on the mound. It won’t take long for me to adjust. If you ask a pitcher, we all recognize mounds that we like a little bit more than others. Once again, of course, I’ll be pitching on the road, but it’s a mind-set of going out there, taking it all in and getting rid of it all. They’re not friendly environments. Never played in St. Louis before, so I really don’t know what it’s like there. But I think that if you can pitch in New York on the road, you can pretty much pitch anywhere. Comerica275

It’s been a long wait for us this week. I think the biggest thing was that it just opens up time for more phone calls to family and friends. I spent a lot of time on my cell phone. It really actually kind of helped in the off-the-field preparation stuff. Now, it’s time to get that on-the-field preparation stuff finalized today.

It’ll be interesting facing the Redbirds, because there are Cardinals fans in Wichita. They’re a Midwest team, and not very far in Wichita. I will have a following in St. Louis. As soon as people find out that I’m going to be pitching in St. Louis, if they can get tickets, they’ll be there. If they’re friends of mine, I don’t think I’ll have anybody rooting for the red of the Cardinals.

It kind of hit last night how close the Series was to starting. I was checking out the NLCS score while I was picking up my brother from the airport. Instead of it being an 8-0 blowout, where you know who’s going to win late in the game, it was a 1-1 ballgame going into the eighth inning. It’s nice to know, because I was either going to be pitching at home or away. For me, it was a lot different. There were certain guys, I think, who had a better idea when they were pitching for sure. I wasn’t one of them; I was either at home or on the road. Since the last regular-season series against Kansas City, I’ve been wondering where I’d be starting each time, where I’m supposed to pitch and who I’m pitching against. It makes it exciting. Typically, in the regular season, you always know who you’re pitching against. But every single time I’ve started in the postseason, I haven’t known for sure. It’s been fun. Now I have to be ready to hit in Game 3 at Busch.



    Nate, looking forward to your game three start. i hope you hit one out of the yard. this is the Tigers chance to show the world who has the greatest team and fans in all of baseball! GO TIGERS!!!


    I am sooo excited for you and your family! I can’t wait for Game 3 to come around. Sheila and I (and the kids)will probobly be over at the SWICKS watching you pitch a lights out game….We have been praying for you and the rest of the team to stay healthy, or get healthy (Casey) and to prove to the World what this team is made of! You have had an awesome year and I cant wait to see the Celebration!!!!!!

    GO TIGERS!!!!

    Don MacNeil


    Nate, You have nothing to worry about. That your skipper has the utmost faith in you to handle a hostile enviornment (like Yankee Stadium)is quite a vote of confidence. Haven’t missed watching one of your starts this year, and it seems you and Pudge seem to be in a zone on the field. It’s just a game of catch, right? Only on a big stage. If you continue as you have been sucess is the only outcome. Enjoy the ride, we will be rooting for you!


    St. Louis is a great city, I played there for a baseball tournament. You are the best, just keep doing what you have been doing.

    your #2 fan from Rockford MI, behind piston



    Nate the Great:
    I agree with jperrin. Leland must think an awful lot of you to start you in someone else’s backyard. I have the utmost confidence in you. Thanks for bringing the roar back. I couldn’t have asked for better role models for my son. You all have lifted our spirits and united an entire city. We are all behind you boys and can’t wait to see you win the whole thing.

    GO Get ’em Tigers!!


    Hi Nate,
    So great you guys are in the world series!!! The weekend you beat the Yankees, I attended an all woman’s christian retreat in mid Michigan. Everyone was so excited about the Tigers, they gave us updates in the chapel services and the guys who were there to do the dishes for us ladies, would post the score on handwrittten notes beside the dishroom for us to see. We were staying at youth camp(which opens it doors for adult ladies in October) with no access to radio or tv. It brought us all together to celebrate our state and our Tigers in such a fun way. The Tigers have been such a joy to so many of us . Just want to say bless you boys.

    A big fan in Troy, Mi


    Matt: Huh?

    Think about it. The logical progression of the rotation is as follows:

    1 – Verlander

    2 – Rogers

    3 – Robertson

    4 – Bonderman

    5 – Verlander

    6 – Rogers

    7 – Robertson

    So…Leyland appararantly trusts Nate enough to have him as the logical Game 7 (if necessary) starter. I don’t see that as him being screwed over.

    That said, good luck Nate and good luck Tigers. I have no doubt you guys can bring a world championship home to Detroit.



    Dannnng Nate i was really hoping you would be pitching game 1 because that is the game i am going to. It ***** i waited and waited to call the ticket broker for the tickets but you guys announced it so late i just had to guess which game you would be pitchin. But it will be cool watching you bat.

    Your #1 fan from Rockford, MI

    -im in front of joe because i love you more than he does =]



    Oh and that would be kinda *** if joe loved you cause ya know hes a guy and everything haha.

    Im a girl by the way.



    Nate, I hope you enjoy every minute of this experience. I was hoping to see you at pitch at home, but hey, that’s what HD-TV is for! I visited St. Louis earlier this year – seems like a great place to see a game. I like this matchup because of the original teams and the friendship between the managers.

    Thanks for being such a fun and positive person and bringing Big League Chew back into the mainstream, (have you landed an endorsement deal yet?), and to all the guys on the team, stay healthy, happy, and bring home the trophy!

    -Yvette 🙂


    It sounds like Leyland basically screwed you over for two other guys.

    Posted by: Matt | October 20, 2006 06:59 PM

    Matt, You must be an NL Spy. Nate’s Nation Counter Espionage Service (NNCES) is aware of this. We’re ‘sticky’ people.

    Hello Nate, A little pre-series hiberNateion is OK.

    Seems like Nate and LOS TIGRES and Nate’s Nation are ready to go!!

    One pitch, one batter, one out, one at bat, one inning, one game at a time. Jim Leyland is a smart Manager. That is good strategy and tactics.


    Best of luck, Chris


    Go get ’em in game three Nate! EVERY time I’ve questioned Leyland’s decisions, I’ve been WRONG. I would have stayed with the same rotation that got us through the first two rounds, but that’s the beauty of it all. EVERY time I’ve wondered why he’s doing something, I’VE BEEN WRONG. Clearly, Leyland knows what he’s doing and while I question it, I have NO DOUBT it will turn out right. 2006 is the year of the Tiger! By the way, I’ve really enjoyed reading your thoughts during this amazing run. I just turned 40(ouch!) but this summer I’ve felt like I was 16 all over again. Thanks to you and the entire team for picking up the spirits of a lot of Tigers fans who have suffered a long time.
    Pitch your heart out and embrace the moment like I know you will.








    Hey Nate,

    This play-off season has been SO EXCITING. My hope is that you and all the other guys will continue to play Tiger baseball and take care of the Cardinals. You guys can win no matter where you are playing, so GO GET ‘EM TIGERS and BLESS YOU BOYS! You have made us HAPPY fans all season. Now on to the World Series. PLAY ON!!!!


    You and the rest of the Tiger’s will be fine in this first appearance to the World Series , in 22 years. Jim Leyland has been here before and he will give you guy’s all that is needed in Guidance to the Promised Land against the Cardinal’s. An old classmate from High School called it at thee onset , that we would be making a Re-Run of 1968’s Series , with the Card’s and turned out he was right. You guy’s have had an awesome run and have brought the most pleasure that a team can bring to the Detroit Fan’s and the State of Michigan in bringing us back into the area of Respect and Contention after the 2003 Season’s 119 Losses. I want to extend a Heartfelt Thankyou to you and the rest of the Tiger’s Staff and to let you know that I believe that you will finish what you have all started to the Final Curtain. Good Luck in your Game / Games , and to the Team as a Whole. GO-TIGER’S


  16. Matt

    “It sounds like Leyland basically screwed you over for two other guys.”

    Maybe “screwed” was a little harsh. What I meant is that Nate’s strengths served to bump him to the back of the rotation and sacrifice his personal World Series legacy for the good of the team.

    The way St Louis hits lefties, Nate or Kenny should open the series, but Kenny has to pitch Gm 2 so he doesnt have to pitch on the road later(because he’s bananas). And if Nate opens, then Game 7 goes to a young righty, which Jim would prefer to earmark for Nate, his unflappable money guy.

    Nate will likely only pitch once in the series – on the road vs. the best Card starters – probably lose like he did against Wang, and be an afterthought in the Series – precisely because Leyland thinks so highly of him.

    Nate’s saying the right things, but it’s clear he’s angry, hurt and confused…and has every right to be.


    Don’t listen to that axdiamondbacks goof ripping on Nate. The reason Nate’s pitching Game 3 and 7 (if necessary) is to match Nate up against Chris Carpenter. And that’s the right move, because Nate’s been the Tigers’ best starter since the all-star break, and if he had gotten more run support, would have been a 20 game winner this year.

    It makes no sense to send Nate in Game 1 against Angel Reyes – let Verlander pitch against another rookie – save your best for when you need it – against the other teams best.

    Bottom line: With this starting rotation the Tigers are bringing a better starting pitcher than the Cardinals are in every single game.


    And best of luck, Nate!


    Hey Detroit,

    I just wanted to congrats you guys on making it to the WS. i hope you guys win it in 4 against the cards. they really think they can beat you guys but the truth is, not with the pitching you guys have. even though i am a diehard mets fan, im rootin for detroit now!!! my team may be out but i still can go against our rivalry. dont let the cards beat you, they cant possibly win…they’re supposed to be “hurt” but non of them are, they are just playing mind games, wait and you’ll see…if some little thing happens you’ll see la russa and their trainer come out and stall the game…its all in their heads…just dont let it beat you guys…they like to play those games but it honestly doesnt work…okay good luck to you, detroit!!!

    ♥ jacqueline


    Readers: I received the phone call of a lifetime yesterday. I have great seats to game four in St. Louis. Can anyone let me know how I can get a Tiger Dugout Jacket XL to wear before my flight Tuesday out of Texas. I will pay overnight shipping of course. Apparently these things are on backorder everywhere and I want to show my colors with pride in STL. Please help me. Go Nate.


    Hey Nate, Good Luck in the World Series, especially in game 3. I was downtown today (Saturday) taking in the scene. I saw all those shuttles at Northland as I was catching my bus downtown.


    “We don’t use any excuses whatsoever, but they just beat us in all facets of the game. They hit the ball, and they had good defense overall.”

    I hate to point this out, but it’s almost exaclty what he Yankees and A’s said about the Tigers. Let’s hope we don’t see the same fate as those teams.

    I’ve not been one to say the Tigers will take the series, I’ve been one to say, I won’t be suprprised if they don’t. Of course I hope the Tigers win it all, but I’m keeping my expectations low.

    Bottom line is, this team is fantastic and what’s better is they’ll likely be a team for a years to come, improving with each season. Getting to the post season next year seems very promising. I have my sights set on ’07.


    nate, i wish you good luck in game 3 tommorow. dont let them walk all over you. show them who you are and who the tigers are. just believe and youll get the job done.

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