It's daunting, no doubt. The Tigers are back in the belly of the baseball beast, with the odds and the noise and the Yankees lineup stacked against them.
The Tigers have been here before, although not exactly here before. They've won big games in Yankee Stadium, but not a decisive Game 5, not with this much at stake. The revived Yankees have home field and history on their side tonight, but home field and history don't win games, usually.
Pitching wins games. Sluggers win games. The Yankees might have a bit more, but the Tigers have more than enough, which is why they headed to New York on Wednesday unfazed, even mildly defiant. This isn't the Game 5 they'd planned for, because without the rain that halted Game 1, Justin Verlander would be on the mound.
But there's faith in starter Doug Fister, and it's well-founded. And there's faith in the heart of the lineup, really, the heart of the team — Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. Hey, as the old adage goes, you have to beat the beast to be the beast. If the Tigers win, they head to Texas for the ALCS. Lose and they head home.
"I like the challenge," Cabrera said after the Tigers lost Game 4. "I know the New York fans want to put a lot of pressure on us, but that's part of the beautiful game we've got right now. It's a tough place to play, but you can't control that. We got a lot of confidence."