Yes, the Detroit Tigers pitching has been phenomenal all series long against the Boston Red Sox, but what has hurt the Tigers in most of the games this series is the base running of many of its elite guys in the lineup. Guys like Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Johnny Peralta and Victor Martinez are all way too slow and have cost the Tigers several runs throughout the series.
For example, take the play in the bottom of the first inning on Thursday. Cabrera was on second with two down and tried to score on a shallow single to left. Jonny Gomes easily threw him out by at least 10 feet and the third base coach should have known that the injured slugger should have been stopped at third. The out ended the inning and Cabrera was seen limping after the out into the dugout.
Another play in Thursday’s contest nearly cost the Tigers a run, but the Red Sox could not capitalize. Davis Ross bunted to move Will Middlebrooks to second, but the third baseman saw an opening at third and took it. The throw was in time, but the backup catcher Brayan Pena could not make it to cover the bag in time and he was called safe. Sure, the umpire was in the way a little bit, but Pena needs to make it there to get that out.
These are just two examples of the slowness of the Tigers. Several times in Game 1 the Tigers could not score on base hits with runners on second because of all the players who do not have much speed on the bases.
Will this come back to haunt the Tigers? Or will the pitching just flat out dominate the final two games for the Tigers to come back from a 3-2 hole?