By Steve Ginsburg
DETROIT (Reuters) - The odds are stacked against them but Justin Verlander believes the Detroit Tigers have the talent, temperament and personality to become the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit and win the World Series.
"Obviously it's not another day at the office, but it's not desperation, either," Verlander said before Sunday night's game against the San Francisco Giants.
"Not going to be easy, but we definitely have the team to do it. Our pitching could line up well, and just play the game we've played all year and see what happens."
The Tigers are clearly on the ropes but if they could win on Sunday to trim the Giants' lead to 3-1, Verlander, arguably the game's best pitcher, would start in Monday's Game Five.
Verlander said the Giants were "built on good pitching and defense and scoring opportune runs."
"That recipe has led to postseason success for them thus far," he said. "Obviously it's going to be tough to beat a team like that four in a row, but if anybody is capable of it, we are."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland bristled at suggestions that he switch the line-up around even though his club has been shut out the last two games of the series.
Detroit's two big guns, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, were a combined three for 19 with one RBI in the World Series.
"Everybody talks about lineup," he said. "That's a real big topic around Detroit most of the time.
"Our lineup it what it is, and we're playing in a World Series. I'm not afraid to make adjustments, but down three games to none, it's a little late for changing a lineup.
"We're here, and that's pretty good, the fact that we're here, and now we've got to try to figure out a way to win a game."
Detroit's Max Scherzer, 1-0 with a stellar 0.82 ERA in the playoffs, was facing Giants' Matt Cain (2-2, 3.52 in the postseason) in Sunday night's match-up of right-handers.
Should the Tigers survive and play on Monday, it would be a repeat of the opening game pitching match-up between Verlander and Giants southpaw Barry Zito. San Francisco rocked Verlander and won 8-3 as Zito pitched 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
All 23 teams who have led the World Series 3-0 have gone on to win. Twenty won the series in four straight, while the other three needed five games to win the title.
The Tigers beat the New York Yankees in four straight in the American League Championship Series and Verlander, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner, is hoping history can repeat itself.
"Hey, we won four in a row against the Yankees," he said. "Who's to say we can't do it against these guys?"
(Editing by Julian Linden)