2013 ALDS: 5 Things The Detroit Tigers Need To Win Game 5
5 Things The Detroit Tigers Need To Win Game 5
The Detroit Tigers have kept their season alive, but now it all comes down to a one-game playoff on the road against the Oakland Athletics. The pitching would seem to favor the Tigers, but the hitting and the home-field advantage resides with the Athletics. The Tigers are going to need to be at their absolute best if they want to go into Oakland for a second straight season and crush their hopes in a Game 5 setting.
The one constant between last year's Game 5 showdown and this year is that Justin Verlander will be the starting pitcher. Verlander, who had a much worse regular season than he did the year before, has given much hope to Tigers fans with his dominant Game 2 performance, even though the Tigers lost the game 1-0. Can Verlander be as dominant again Thursday? Can the Tigers get him a run this time around?
The good feeling flowing around Detroit will only mean something if the Tigers can find a way to deliver on the road yet again. The Tigers are no strangers to Game 5 situations on the road, winning last year in Oakland and the year before in New York. Can lightning really strike three times? Can the Tigers manage their way around home field yet again in the ALDS round?
All of these answers will be answered, but we do know the five things that the Tigers are absolutely going to need to do if they even want a chance:
5. An Effective Bullpen
Joaquin Benoit struggled in Game 4, and the Tigers cannot afford to have that happen again. The bullpen is going to only be a huge issue if the Tigers have a lead late or Justin Verlander can't go the distance, so that is why it is down on the list, but it has the potential to be most important.
4. Prince Fielder To Contribute
Prince Fielder has managed to get on base a few times, which has led to the Tigers getting runs. Fielder doesn't need to hit bombs to be a big influence on this team.
3. Austin Jackson To Get On Base
Coco Crisp is completely killing Austin Jackson in the battle of the leadoff hitters, but Jackson finally managed to get the big hit late in Game 4. Jackson must find ways to get on base.
2. Miguel Cabrera To Make An Impact
Miguel Cabrera probably shouldn't be playing, but even at 40-50 percent, he has the ability to change a game with one swing of a bat. The Tigers have always looked to Miguel Cabrera and if he can make an impact, it could be the difference.
1. Justin Verlander To Be Dominant
Justin Verlander was the reason the Tigers advanced past the Athletics last season, and he needs to be the reason they do it again this season. The Tigers need Justin Verlander to be a shutdown ace.