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Prince Fielder falters for flailing Tigers

Oct 28, 2012, 12:05 AM EDT

Prince Fielder Getty Images

While Saturday’s shutout loss was definitely a team effort, Prince Fielder‘s struggles are a central reason the Tigers are now just one defeat away from losing the World Series.

Swinging at pitches off the plate, Fielder went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Game 3. He grounded into a double play his first time up. Overall, Fielder is 1-for-10 in the World Series, and he’s down to .188 with just one extra-base hits and three RBI in 48 at-bats for the postseason.

This isn’t Fielder’s first go at the postseason, so it shouldn’t be a case of the pressure getting to him. He had three homers and four doubles in 11 games as the Brewers won the NLDS and lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS last year. He also took part in the NLDS in 2008, though he had just one hit in 14 at-bats then (it was a homer).

Still, this is Fielder’s first World Series, and he has been unusually anxious at the plate. He’s seen just 30 pitches in his 11 plate appearances. It’s not like him at all.

That’s not to put it all on Fielder. Miguel Cabrera hasn’t done much, collecting two singles and two walks in three games. The Tigers have just three extra-base hits in the series, and their lone homer was Jhonny Peralta‘s meaningless two-run shot in the ninth inning of Game 1, reducing the Giants’ lead from seven runs to five.

Having amassed 18 consecutive scoreless innings, the Tigers offense has wasted fine performances from Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez the last two games. The team should get another good one from Max Scherzer on Sunday, but with ace Matt Cain on the mound for the Giants, one wonders if it will make any real difference.

  1. elwaysmilehighdenver - Oct 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Amber Alert has been issued for the Fresh Prince !! He’s missing. His bat is gone!

    • TheBlindUmp - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:52 AM

      They need to put out an APB!!!

  2. sailcat54 - Oct 28, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Are the Tigers in a hitting slump or are Giants pitchers just that good? The Giants have given up only four runs over the last six games. I’m going with good pitching.

    • Marty - Oct 28, 2012 at 12:34 AM

      The lefties are definitely pitching above their averages. Unusually bad at bats by the Tigers power hitters. It’s the perfect storm in the Giants favor.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Oct 28, 2012 at 2:26 AM

        Zito is pitching above his recent self, but that’s the real Bumgarner. That kid is one of the 5 best lefties in the game and the fact that he had been struggling for 3-4 weeks doesn’t really change anything.

    • TheBlindUmp - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:19 AM

      The Giants pitching has been lucky and good. If you can call the amazing D behind them lucky! OMG…it’s somebody else everyday and sometimes twice!

      • Brinke - Oct 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

        Four shutouts in the playoffs…….lucky?

      • sailcat54 - Oct 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM

        Good point, Brinke. If the games were being decided on errors or bad calls, I would say luck is playing a part. However, the GIants have been pitching extremely well and luck has nothing to do with that. Zito? He’s had a good year and it has extended itself into the post season. Bumgarner? He has had problems recently but he seems to have returned to his old form, thanks to Dave Righetti. Vogelsong? Nothing but his usual laser-sharp self. Defense? The Giants have played all out, dirt-in-their-teeth defense all season. Luck isn’t a factor here, nor is a Tigers hitting slump relevant to the last three wins. It’s all about good baseball.

        Go Giants!

    • corbetkt - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      The fact that the Tigers haven’t been shutout in consecutive games in four years is pretty indicative of the fact that they are indeed slumping, though the Giants pitching is obviously outstanding. I’d allow maybe 35% slump 65% good Giant’s pitching.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 28, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    I was going to go back and copy a bunch of the more absurd comments about ARod from the ALCS and just swap the names to see how they would be received in a different context. That would take a lot of effort and you all get the idea. Small sample sizes good competition can create baseball mayhem that is not necessarily indicative of anything more than what it is.

    • jxegh - Oct 28, 2012 at 12:51 AM

      While Fielder deserves criticism for his play, anyone who plays for the Yankees is going to receive much more press. ARod is an admitted steroid user with a narcissistic personality – why are you surprised he gets such negative press? Add to that he’s 37 (Fielder’s 28) with his baseball skills rapidly declining.

      • TheBlindUmp - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:22 AM

        The sweeps turn off everyone but Giants fans!

    • vallewho - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo – I was thinking the same thing!

      jxegh – He has a huge contract and is in “his prime”. Isn’t this situation more deserving of criticism? …and you have last year’s MVP and (probably) this year’s too to top it off.

  4. astrosfan75956 - Oct 28, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.

    • temporarilyexiled - Oct 28, 2012 at 8:24 AM

      And the mark from Posey’s glove on his ample rump.

      • vallewho - Oct 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Don’t really know why, but I would like to see Posey getting plowed at home plate by Cabrera or Fielder. That would make the WS for me.

      • temporarilyexiled - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:35 AM

        Guess you’ll have to wait a while…

  5. philliesblow - Oct 28, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    It might be a lot to ask Prince to hit his own weight, but he’s not even hitting Quintin Berry’s weight.

  6. smcgaels1997 - Oct 28, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    SF has a consistent proven staff and lights out relief crew with defense ..that’s postseason baseball

  7. otissistrunk - Oct 28, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    The Tigers from top to bottom are so obviously pressing at the plate it ain’t funny.

    • Brinke - Oct 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      absolutely, no question. The Giants look inspired and confident. The Tigers look lifeless. This Giants postseason is one for the ages. Four shutouts, a 3-HR performance in Game 1….amazing.

  8. muskyhunter2542 - Oct 28, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    No surprise here. Just like last year as well with the brewers.

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