The Fielder Flop may soon hit the baseball lexicon whether you're talking about Prince Fielder's pseudo slide toward third base or his anemic postseason hitting. The slow-footed Tigers star got caught in a rundown between third and home and wound up falling on his face a metaphor for a sorry Tigers series where they didn't live up to their vast ability. That is all except the Tigers' vaunted starting pitchers who almost without exception were brilliant in an ALCS lost to the Red Sox four games to two that was capped by Boston's late-earned 5-2 victory here Saturday. Fielder's sixth-inning baserunning misadventure with him ending up in a messy pile about five feet short of third base and Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on top of him ball in hand was just one unsightly episode in a series where the Tigers' terrific rotation was as advertised but received very little help. No help from Fielder who went 4 for 22 this series and had no home runs or RBI this entire postseason in addition to his memorable baserunning faux pas whereby he ran toward home on a Jhonny Peralta grounder but stopped 30 feet or so short of his destination in what he explained was an attempt to limit the outs on the play to one. Regardless it didn't work. Didn't come close to working. But this series isn't all on Fielder. Not by a long shot. There were plenty of precincts that contributed little or no help. There was no help from many of the other Tigers hitters. None from several of their other baserunners either (neither team had many but there were a few). Not much from the fielders (lower-case f) either. None too from a maligned bullpen that leaves even more maligned the victim of two grand slams that stole an otherwise even series and sent the Red Sox to the World Series for the third time in a decade against their old rival the St. Louis Cardinals. "You make mistakes at this time they get magnified. They cost you" Tigers star Torii Hunter said. "We made mistakes. We can't do anything about it." The first of the slams was an absolute necessity for Boston a David Ortiz bomb in Game 2 off Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit that tied the score at 5 in a game won 6-5 the second the Game 6-winning drive that barely cleared the Green Monster by a foot or two by noted hit-by-pitch specialist Shane Victorino. That drive sealed a series that could have gone either way especially if the Tigers' other players were a fraction as brilliant in the ALCS as stalwart starters Max Scherzer Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez. How great were the Tigers' starters? Well all four of them posted ERAs below 3 and struck out more than a hit an inning in the ALCS. They are reasons one through four why Boston hit .202 for the series and struck out a record 73 times.
Prince Fielder flops, and ultimately so do the vaunted Tigers
CBS Sports | Oct 20