The 2013 MLB season ended in disappointing fashion for the Detroit Tigers as they lost in the ALCS to the eventual World Series champions; the Boston Red Sox. Fans in Detroit have expected nothing less than a World Series title the past few seasons and each year they have been left disappointed.
There were many exciting moments throughout the season but the moments that will be remembered to most are not necessarily the happiest ones.
#5. Starters dominating the postseason
Outside of Max Scherzer, the Tigers’ starting pitching staff lacked consistency throughout the year. Once the playoffs begun, it was a different story. In the ALDS against the Oakland Athletics, Justin Verlander and Scherzer combined to pitch 22 innings; allowing just two runs on nine hits and striking out 32 Oakland batters as starters.
In a three-game span, stretching from Game 5 of the ALDS to the sixth inning of Game 2 of the ALCS, the Tigers’ starting pitchers lasted 19 consecutive innings without allowing a run. Each of the three starting pitchers started off their night by pitching five or more hit-less innings.
In Games 1-4 of the ALCS, Detroit’s starters were untouchable. Anibal Sanchez, Doug Fister, Scherzer, and Verlander combined to pitch 27 innings; allowing just three runs on 14 hits and recorded 42 strikeouts.
#4. PED affiliation
In early August, Jhonny Peralta accepted a 50-game suspension handed down by the MLB in regards to his relation of the Biogenesis scandal. His public linkage to performance enhancing drugs steered the Tigers in the direction of trading for Jose Iglesias in July.
#3. Award winners
Despite battling nagging injuries for the last two months of the season, Miguel Cabrera was named the American League MVP for the second year in a row. In his quest for back-to-back Triple Crowns, Cabby led the league with a .348 batting average and had the second most home runs (44) and RBIs (137).
Scherzer started the season 13-0 and didn’t lose his first game until July 13th against the Texas Rangers; he was eventually named the AL Cy Young winner at the end of the season. Scherzer posted a 21-3 record, with a 2.90 ERA and recorded 240 strikeouts.
#2. The flop heard ’round the world
With the Tigers ahead of the Red Sox 2-1 in the sixth inning of Game 6 in the ALCS, Prince Fielder was caught hung up between third base and home plate. However, this was no routine pickle. After a hard turn towards home plate Fielder looked like he was about to challenge Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a street fight. Once Fielder realized he would not win the foot race, he took a leap from the infield grass back towards third base; only to end up about three feet short of the bag.
This image will forever be the face of how the Tigers “flopped” in the 2013 ALCS.
#1. Culture change
The day after Detroit was eliminated from the playoffs, Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland announced that he would be stepping down from the position. In was announced in early November that former MLB catcher Brad Ausmus will take over as the Tigers’ manager moving forward.
Within three weeks of appointing a new manager, Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski announced that the team has traded Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler. This was the first of many offseason moves that has changed the outlook of the Detroit Tigers for the 2014 season.
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