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The Tigers in a nutshell

Sep 17, 2012, 4:51 PM EDT

Infante Fielder Error

The game is still going on — as I write this the White Sox are leading the Tigers 5-4 in the eighth — but a play that happened in the bottom of the fifth sums up the frustration of the Tigers season.

Bases loaded, one out and Dayan Viciedo at the plate. Doug Fister, a ground ball pitcher, needs a grounder to get out of the inning. He gets it! A grounder to short, the flip to Omar Infante at second to get one out, then …. oh no! The takeout slide.  Watch.  Two runs score, putting the White Sox up 5-4.

Except, for as great as that takeout slide by Alex Rios was — and it was friggin’ textbook — watch all the way through to the final slow motion replay.  Even with Infante’s throw disrupted by the takeout slide, Prince Fielder could have and should have scooped that ball up. If he had, the runner is out, neither run scores and the Tigers head into the sixth up 4-3.

Bad infield defense and ground ball pitchers don’t go together very well. And it has killed the Tigers all year.

  1. randygnyc - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Dewayne wise just made the worst base running blunder of the year getting thrown out at third, after tagging on a fly ball, before a runner crossed homeplate. Omg.

    • jlovenotjlo - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      Agreed, given the situation Dewayne Wise just made the worst base running mistake of the 2012 season

      • hk62 - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:54 PM

        Astros did it to the Cubs last week – Castro failed to score when one of the Cubs rookies was thrown out at 3rd – same type situation – without the playoff juice of course (if it happens to a 5th and 6th team – did it really happen?)

  2. tjwilliams - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    That is also some classic Hawk Harrelson:

    *Something bad happens*
    “Uh oh. (silence…silence…silence…)”
    *Something good happens*

    • normcash - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      Just curious…in the 3-run Sox third, Fister went 3-2 on Viciedo and then walked him on a pitch
      that the pitch trax showed was not only strike three—but a strike by a wide margin…not even borderline. That should have been the second out. Then Ramirez lined out softly to short. The Sox shouldn’t have scored at all that inning, let alone 3 times. The ump? Why none other
      than Joe West, whom Harrelson hates! What, pray tell, did the Hawk have to say about that?

  3. icanspeel - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Well they paid all that money for his bat, not his glove. They expect him to drive in more runs than he allows on defense. Maybe defense is underrated?

    • Cris E - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      They paid all that money and more for the bats of a bunch of guys, but someone has to play the field. You can only hide so many DHs at a time. It mostly reflects that defense was clearly underrated by DET this off-season. And to be fair to the GM, it might be held in worst esteem by the owner who needed to have the shiny hitting toy last winter.

      This is what most people kind of expected to happen, although I have to admit I’m impressed with Cabrera this year. I thought he’d be so bad he’d be injured by a grounder or an irate pitcher, but his D has merely been poor and it hasn’t messed with his hitting at all. Hat tip to him for the work and Leyland for taking a shot at it. Not many teams would have considered it.

  4. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    bad defense and ground ball pitchers go together like a huge ballpark and a home-run-or-nothing tailored lineup. i like to blame leyland for lots of things, from bullpen usage to his crazy lineup scribbles, but the obv mismatches are a result of dombrowski’s unwillingness to become a different team. hard to blame him now, with both fielder and cabrera here for awhile. bahhh. it’s been a frustrating year.

  5. randygnyc - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Jlove- yes, agreed, I should have included, “under the circumstances” of the playoff implications.

  6. thebadguyswon - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Enjoy that Fielder contract. Fat DH that hits 25-30 homers a year. And he still has he decline phase coming. Enjoy!

    • detroitr1 - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:01 PM

      …and the .305 BA, 98 RBIs and .917 OPS. will do.

  7. detroitr1 - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Doug Fister wasn’t pitching during that play. Al Alburquerque was. He is typically a strikeout guy. Regardless, the ‘bad infield defense’ meme is getting old. The Tigers lost because Doug Fister didn’t pitch well. Fister walked in a run with a HBP. The Tigers are 2-12 during 1 run games. Our 5-9 hitters have not produced all season. But I suppose Tiger fans will hear this meme play out the entire off-season by the so-called experts. Meanwhile, watch the Orioles go on to win the World Series.

    • bh192012 - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

      I was just about to ask if Doug Fister got trapped in a tanning bed or something.

  8. brewcrewfan54 - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    As much as I loved having Prince in Milwaukee I don’t miss his glove at all, it was always terrible.

  9. kevinleaptrot - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    So glad the Nats didn’t make a deal for that Cigar Store Wooden Indian defense playing Fielder. LaRoche has been a Gold Glover this year and provided more than adequate offense to boot. Fielder’s only going to get worse defensively. Way too many DHs on the Tigers right now.

  10. jimtron11 - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Omar Infante is a lousy defender. He’s never been especially quick or fast, so the step he’s lost in his advanced age has had a profound affect. Infante is a solid backup for a playoff team. That he’s been cast as an everyday player is a big part of the reason why the Tigers aren’t a playoff team.

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