If Prince Fielder can continue to hit the way he did for the Detroit Tigers in Tuesday’s 9-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox, that will greatly enhance his team’s chances to not only clinch the AL Central title, but also to go far in the MLB playoffs.
Fielder had three singles and a home run for the Tigers. He got hits in his first four at-bats, which is like the Fielder of old. He continues to be a threat in the home run and RBI column, but it’s been somewhat disappointing for the Tigers to see him batting in the .260s or .270s, well below the .313 clip he had for the squad last season.
He also belted 30 home runs and 108 RBIs in his fine 2012 campaign. He might match or better the RBIs totals, but probably won’t get to 30 home runs this time. It’s no secret Fielder would like to get back to the World Series and redeem himself for such a poor performance in 2012.
First of all, he and his teammates have to worry about protecting their lead in the AL Central, which is now at 5.5 games. It won’t be a problem if the bats stay consistent, which is why Fielder’s performance on Tuesday was encouraging. Of course, four errors from the White Sox defense also came in handy.
It was likewise encouraging for the Tiger to get nine solid innings out of Rick Porcello, who surrendered one run on seven hits for his first career complete game. Porcello is unlikely to be in the team’s postseason rotation, but he would likely be inserted as the main long reliever, a role the Tigers haven’t been able to get anyone to have consistent success in this season.