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Heart of the Tigers' batting order disappears in the heart of Texas

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Final - 10.10.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 0
Texas Rangers 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 7 11 1
WP: Mike Adams (1 - 0)
LP: Ryan Perry (0 - 1)

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BOX

KEY STATS

Tigers 1-for-12 with RISP. (2-for-19 for the series.)

13 runners stranded. (22 for the series.)

KEY PLAYS

Victor Martinez flew out with the bases loaded in the ninth to go back to the dugout empty handed. Elvis Andrus made it exciting by bobbling the ball.

Ryan Raburn's 3-run home run in the third accounted for the Tigers' only runs of the game.

KEY THOUGHTS.

Put this on Ryan Perry if you want, but I think you'd be misplacing your anger. That ought to be centered right on the backs of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. Detroit's not going to advance to the World Series on the backs of the pitchers and role players like Don Kelly. If Cabrera, Martinez, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila don't hit like they did in the regular season, it's all over but the crying for the Tigers.

And right now, they're not hitting. Cabrera is batting .267 in the postseason and has the intentional walk and pitch-around walk to thank for the fact his on-base percentage is above .300. Why pitch around Cabrera? Because Martinez has been awful. It very well could be related to the knee that hobbled him. Who knows. Maybe we'll find out after the season. But the fact is, he's batting fifth and is absolutely no threat at all right now. His postseason average is .167, OBP and slugging are both under .300.

Then you have Alex Avila, who just is not right. He's just been so beat up catching so many games, he just seems to be off. Frankly, and I hate to say this, but the Tigers may as well start Omir Santos out there for as well as Avila has looked. I hope he proves me wrong. He's going to keep starting, so he certainly has the opportunity. But Avila has been so bad Leyland dropped him to 8th in the order. At least Peralta hit for a double today. Otherwise, he, too, has been pretty bad.

Basically, while everyone thinks, "Oh no, we're back to 9-1-2 in the batting order," we're better off with those guys coming up for the Tigers in a key situation than we are the 3-4-5 batters. (Unless the Don Kelly is pinch-hitting, apparently.)

So yeah, blame the pitching if you want. But the Tigers only allowed three runs through nine innings. If the batters had been able to actually come through in any situation at all, we'd all be celebrating a win right now instead of watching as the Rangers celebrated.