DETROIT -- Neither Max Scherzer nor Matt Cain would go so far as to call the result of Saturday night's Game 3 of the World Series irrelevant, obviously.
It's just that the Game 4 starters didn't see it as having any impact on their approaches for Sunday night.
Depending on what happened in Game 3, the 28-year-old Scherzer either will be pitching to even the Series at two games each or to extend the Tigers' season one more day.
"I've got to give the team a chance to win tomorrow," said Scherzer, who went 16-7 with a 3.74 ERA this season and has allowed a total of one run in two postseason starts. "So regardless of what the series is, it's a must-win game. We're trying to win the World Series. So if we're going to do that, I am going to need to pitch well."
Cain looks at his start the same way.
"It really doesn't [change the approach],'' Cain said of whether the Giants led 3-0 or 2-1 in the Series entering Game 4. "I'm going to go out there to pitch to win and help my team do that. It doesn't change anything."
Cain had a standout season -- 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA -- and unlike Scherzer, the 28-year-old righthander has some idea of what to expect in Game 4, having previously pitched in a World Series. That was Game 2 of the 2010 Series, when he allowed four hits in 72/3 shutout innings in the Giants' 9-0 victory over the Rangers.
Is that experience an advantage?
"I think so a little bit, but start to start, it's different. Year to year, it's different," Cain said. "But you try to think back to kind of what goes on throughout the playoffs or the World Series, and sometimes there's a lot of stuff that can go on with media and signing different things or just the whole entire atmosphere can get a little overwhelming. So I think that's where it's beneficial to be in this situation before."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Cain is among the group of players who never are overwhelmed by circumstance.
"They seem to play better when the club needs them," Bochy said. "The higher the stakes, the more they elevate their game . . . and I would certainly put Matt Cain in that class."
Of course, the weather could neutralize any advantage. First-pitch temperature is forecast to be in the neighborhood of 40 degrees, as it was in Game 3, not ideal weather to pitch in.
Or, Scherzer pointed out, to hit in.
"It's tough on everybody, so it basically makes it an even playing field," he said. "No one likes cold weather, but it is what it is. And we have a chance to play in the World Series, so who cares?"
Scherzer typically doesn't wear sleeves but said "that's going to change" in Game 4.
He added that he will be "going back to all the tricks" he employed while pitching for the University of Missouri-Columbia in cold-weather games.
"Wearing shorts underneath your pants, finding the right long sleeves, warming up extra long . . . anything you can do to keep your body warm," Scherzer said.
Cain said the cold won't be all that different from the conditions the Giants sometimes face at AT & T Park.
"Normal jacket or sweatshirt is pretty much fine for me," he said. "We're used to playing in some chilly weather in San Francisco. It's a little bit cooler temperature-wise, but cold is cold. You kind of just have to get through it."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland took a big-picture approach.
"You know what, it's cold, but I mean, this is the World Series," he said. "It's cold for everybody. It's cold for the fans, the beer is cold, everything is cold. It's great, enjoy it."