Game five was yet another showcase of how ineffective the Tigers offense has been. In the 4-3 loss, the Tigers were only able to produce one run in three different innings. They missed an opportunity in the first when Miguel Cabrera was thrown out at the plate. Cabrera ran through a stop sign at third and was out by a mile.
Anibal Sanchez gave up all four runs in the game in six innings of work. He didn’t look like the dominant pitcher he was in his first start. He gave up nine hits but had no walks. Out of his four runs only three were earned. The unearned run came from a fielding error by Miguel Cabrera on a routine grounder to third.
It is hard to think that this wouldn’t be a different series if Miguel Cabrera was not playing through injury. He just doesn’t look like himself on the field. It brings us to wonder how injured he really is. A healthy Cabrera may have been able to stop at third base. It is also safe to say that he would be hitting better if he was able to utilize his whole body.
The bullpen was solid for the Tigers in game five but didn’t have to pitch with a lead at any point. Phil Coke, Jose Veras and Al Alburquerque held the Red Sox to no runs on one hit over three innings. Veras and Alburquerque have been the most effective out of the bullpen this series.
If the Tigers want to have any chance of making a comeback in the series they are going to have to hit. Prince Fielder has not lived up to his monster contract in the clutch. He continues to struggle at the plate as he has failed to get an RBI in the series. This is unacceptable. The Tigers cannot expect to win when one of their best hitters has 0 RBIs in the playoffs.
Tiger starters have done everything that they can in the series but at a certain point you need your offense to carry you through. If the Tigers only score one run in game 6 they might as well start packing their bags in the dugout. This offense has to produce.
While winning two games on the road is a difficult task, the Tigers have found themselves in the best situation for it. Boston will have to beat Max Scherzer and then Justin Verlander if there is a game 7. This won’t be an easy task as both are two of the best pitchers in baseball.
The Tigers play Saturday at 4:30 in Boston. If the Dodgers and Cardinals don’t go to a game 7 the Tigers will play at 8.
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