Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fister Excels, but Offense Sleeps

Tigers starter Doug Fister was hit in the head by a line drive in the second inning of tonight's game.  It looked scary on the replay, the the tall slim right hander amazingly never flinched.  He walked the next batter Brandon Crawford, but then proceeded to retire the next 12 Giants in a row.  He allowed just four hits in six innings and left after allowing a lead-off single to Hunter Pence in the seventh inning.  The run would score and Fister would take the loss, but he sure didn't deserve it.

Southpaw Drew Smyly replaced Fister and allowed a walk. Then Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco dropped down a bunt which reused to go foul resulting in a bases loaded mess.  The run then scored on a double play ball to second baseman Omar Infante.  With the Tigers not hitting and only two innings to go, one has to wonder why Infante did not throw home for the force. 

It probably didn't matter in the end though because the Tigers could not score against starter Madison Bumgarner or any of the relievers and lost 2-0. The closest they came to scoring was in the second inning when Prince Fielder tried to score on a double to left by Delmon Young, but was thrown out at the plate on a strong relay from second baseman Marco Scutaro and sweep tag by catcher Buster Posey.  You can question third base Gene Lamont for sending Fielder there, but it did take a perfect play to get him. 

Hitting on the road has been a problem all year for the Tigers as they scored 4.1 runs per game on the road compared to 4.9 at Comerica during the regular season. Tonight, they took it to an extreme getting just two hits.

The Tigers now go home for the next three games and the they'll have to face the Giants two top pitchers - Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong this weekend. The Tigers have a strong starter going every night, so they match up fine there.  The problem is the rest of the team.  They'll need to get something else beyond starting pitching if they are going to bounce back.   

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