It is starting to feel like 2006 all over again. No, the Detroit Tigers pitching staff hasn’t been making throwing errors in the field but the team as a whole has made a few mistakes. Add that to the missing in action in offensive, and a few base running errors and we see why the Tigers have not been able to win a game so far in the 2012 World Series.
Let’s deal with game two since Pablo Sandoval is clearly the reason why the Tigers lost game one. In the second inning of Game Two Third Base Coach, Gene Lamont, waved Price Fielder home while running from first on a double hit by Delmon Young. It is a little hard to fault Lamont for this (the ball took a weird bounce of the left field wall and the Giants missed the cut off man). In fact I would place more blame on Jhonny Peralta who was in the on deck circle and maybe wasn’t aggressive enough in telling Fielder when and where to slide. In the end it was a very close play, and Prince may have not made the best slide. However, I like the Tigers being aggressive in this situation. That game felt like the kind of game where the team that strikes first would win. Even in the second inning being aggressive is usually a good policy. I would rather see my team lose by being aggressive than lying back and simply being beaten. Later in the game Omar Infante would get picked off trying to steal second and the same rule applies. The Tigers were trying to make something happen because the bats have been so cold.
A lot of people are quick to blame the bottom half of the order. However, I want to place the blame on the guys who get paid the most and have the highest expectations on the biggest possible stage. Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera are just 2-11 combined in this World Series. They are hitting a combined .183 and have just one RBI between them. That is simply not good enough, and the blame for the offensive woes has to be placed with them first. Make no mistake about it Starting Pitcher Doug Fister did his job last night (after taking a line drive off his head no less) and the offense starting with the big two has really let him down.
We now move to Manager Jim Leyland. San Francisco Manger Bruce Bochy has had the Midas touch so far in this series, and he seems to make exactly the right call at exactly the right time. Many question Leyland use of Jove Valverde in Game One, but I kind of like that call because in a game that was basically already lost we learned that Valverde cannot be trusted with the ball again. I want to slam Leyland and his 1-6 record in the World Series in his time with the Tigers, but it seems he is doing his job well right now. The Tigers are simply not hitting and that cannot be put on Leyland. Maybe the one thing we could criticize is decision to let a run cross the plate to turn the double play in Game Two, but that is a pretty solid strategy. With this lineup the Tigers should not lose games one or two to nothing.
Now the Tigers need to come home and turn this thing around.