For a few innings on Tuesday, the Tigers' offense emerged from its funk. A theme of the series has been that Miguel Cabrera's injury and lack of offense has carried over to the rest of the lineup. Somebody needs to step up, and that has not changed. Most of the lineup has dramatically underperformed:
Austin Jackson: .133, one double, ten strikeouts
Torii Hunter: .143, no extra-base hits
Prince Fielder: .267, no extra-base hits, no walks
Alex Avila: .167, no extra-base hits
Jose Iglesias: 0.083, one walk
In any five game stretch, some players' performances will be far from normal. But the team is hitting .234 with a .290 on-base percentage and a .320 slugging percentage. The Tigers need two of these players to step up with big games tonight. Austin Jackson reaching base twice would change the tone. A single and double from Torii Hunter would keep the rallies going. A home run from Prince Fielder or Alex Avila could be all that is needed if Justin Verlander has a big game. An infield single and steal of second from Jose Iglesias could ignite the moribund offense, as Jhonny Peralta's home run did in game 4. Don Kelly's two-for-three performance is leading the team in OPS, so anybody could come through tonight.