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Oh, Prince: Fielder’s belly flop falls short after baserunning blunder

Prince Fielder finally did something productive for the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, drawing a four-pitch walk to load the bases in the sixth inning of Game 6. The walk would immediately pays dividends, as Victor Martinez followed with a two-run single high off the green monster in left field. For a fleeting moment, maybe two, it felt like the Tigers were about to force a decisive Game 7, and almost as important, it felt like Fielder finally had that elusive plate appearance that could turn his postseason struggles around.

And then it all went downhill again... quickly.

With Fielder at third and Martinez at first, Jhonny Peralta hit a soft chopper to second base that Dustin Pedroia picked up, took two steps and tagged out Martinez as he ran by. The assumed next move for Pedroia was a throw to first base to complete a conventional double play. However, he spotted Fielder in no man's land halfway down the third base line and decided to come home with the throw.

What followed could only be described as the most unfortunate "rundown" in the history of Detroit Tigers baseball.

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Granted, Fielder gave it a great effort, especially close to the end when he nearly drew an interference call on Xander Bogaerts (though he was arguably out of the baseline). But it finished with a thud, as in, a failed belly flop that came up several feet shy of the bag.

That certainly won't help Prince's case against being a base-clogger and perhaps the worst slider of our generation. In fact, both were probably sealed the moment he landed and the ground began to shake.

Also possibly sealed on that play? The Tigers fate. Leading 2-1, another run in that inning could have gone a long way toward keeping them alive in Boston. Instead, the Red Sox escaped and then exploded one inning later, getting a go-ahead grand slam from Shane Victorino that held up as the winner in their 5-2 victory.

It was a rough enough postseason for Fielder as is — he hit only .162. with one double and no RBIs — and unfortunately for Detroit, it ended with a flop.

Oh, Prince.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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