Anibal Sanchez didn’t have anything working as he only lasted five innings and the bullpen only frustrated more, but the big story was an offense that pushed the envelope several times but aggravatingly stumbled in the big moments.
It was a tease that has been a common thread in a lot of the games the Tigers have lost in, and the only player who this doesn’t apply to is Miguel Cabrera, who the A’s rightfully intentionally walked in a crucial moment in the seventh inning.
This is going to be a major point moving forward. Managers have televisions and will begin to realize that Cabrera is someone you don’t pitch to if you want to keep your job. That is going to translate into Prince Fielder receiving those big situations, and it is going to be vital to the Tigers that Fielder develops the clutch gene because if he doesn’t, Cabrera is not going to get to hit as often as he has.
When the game is on the line, the Tigers only have one player they can completely trust, and that is not something you want to have to depend fully on heading into the playoffs. The Tiger hitters other than Cabrera need to quit teasing and learn how to drive in clutch runs themselves.
No one is going to complain where the Tigers are currently, but tonight is a game that is going to happen far too often unless the Tigers can cash in on opportunities more than they don’t. Leaving 10 men on base and going 0-for-5 with RISP can’t happen if the Tigers want to win baseball games. We know Cabrera will always come up huge, but the problem is that so do opposing managers, and they are not going to keep letting Cabrera beat them.
It’s time for Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez and other perfectly capable veteran hitters to beat them. It’s time for the other Tigers to raise their games so that Cabrera is able to.