Coming into Game 3, many Tiger fans were hoping the Tigers would handle business and win but unfortunately they didn’t. Instead they came into the game with cold bats and loss to the Red Sox and now they trail the Red Sox 2-1 going into Game 4.
Everyone keeps complaining about what the problem is, the problem is the cold bats. Yes I know Mike Napoli of the Red Sox hit the game winning run on Justin Verlander but Verlander is not to blame. That was the first run Verlander allowed since September 18th, 2013. The pitching is not to blame, it’s because of the pitching the Tigers have opportunities to win the game.
Let’s not be so quick to forget the Red Sox have arguably the best offense in baseball and the Tigers pitching has kept them pretty contained. The Tigers are in trouble because of the cold bats, they haven’t been able to get a key hit and that leads to me a scary thought. Eventually the Red Sox offense will wake up and when they do, Tigers will have to compete by hitting right with them because I don’t imagine the pitching being anymore impressive than it already is.
Before I move on to the keys to victory for Game 4, let me just give credit to Boston’s pitching and pitching staff. I believe Boston’s pitching staff is overlooked at times because the offense is so good but I’m pretty sure people are paying attention now. John Lackey, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz have pitched pretty well, some may say that’s easy to do against cold bats but I say a shutout is shutout.
Now going into Game 4 this series obviously isn’t over yet. Boston is leading the series 2-1 but the Tigers have an opportunity to get back in it, if they follow these keys.
Doug Fister is now taking the mound after back-to-back consistent performances by Scherzer and Verlander. I am mainly looking to see if Fister can return to the 2012 post season form that many fans remember. However, as I said earlier, Boston’s offense may eventually wake up and when they do, the best way to compete with them is to start hitting right with them. Tigers must give Doug Fister some type of consistent run support, Tiger fan are waiting for the bats to go from cold to hot, this is the game for that transition to take place. Jhonny Peralta has been pretty consistent at the bat but I am still looking for that unsung hero to step up, someone by the name of Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson or Jose Iglesias. Someone has to step up besides the big name guys like Cabera who isn’t a 100% or Verlander and Scherzer who have done their job at pitching.
Which leads me to my next important key for the Tigers which is a consistent bullpen. I talked about this in Game 3 and I will say again, the Tigers won’t get far with an inconsistent bullpen. The Tigers need to win the battle of the bullpen if they have any chance to win Game 4.
I’ve said my piece, now it’s all up to the Tigers to handle business. Be sure to tune into Game 4 tonight on FOX at 8pm.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com