Prince Fielder struggles royally in playoffs

David Brown
Big League Stew

Prince Fielder looks like he's talking to himself in this photo. What is he saying? Is he giving himself advice? Encouragement? Threats? Whatever it is, it didn't work.

No one person is responsible for the Detroit Tigers getting swept by the San Francisco Giants in the World Series — the Tigers hit .159 collectively — but Fielder certainly is first among equals. He went 1 for 14 in the Series, and hit .173 with one homer and 11 strikeouts in 13 postseason games from the cleanup spot. That's not the work of a prince. More like a baron. Or a barren. It was royally bad, no matter the title, and not what the Tigers had in mind when they signed Fielder to a $214 million contract before the season. He even heard some booing at Comerica Park.

[Related: Detroit Tigers exit World Series searching for answers]

Fielder credited the Giants, which is to be expected:

"Good pitching's going to do that at times," Fielder said. "Unfortunately, a short series, it's quick. If they pitch you tough, if they're locked in, it's just going to be tough. But we gave it all we could do. Can't try any harder."

Fair enough. He probably was pressing at some point, trying to hit two homers in one at-bat. Co-slugger Miguel Cabrera really didn't do much better; he went 3 for 13 in the Series, adding a two-run homer that gave the Tigers some life in Game 4. It skewed his stats, though. The everlasting image of Cabrera in the Series will be him watching strike three go by in the ninth inning. And Fielder's indelible Series moment? Getting tagged on the backside in Game 2 as he tried to score a run.

So what does Fielder do now? Hope the Tigers get back to the World Series in 2013 without running into a team full of hot pitchers. Maybe then he'll have a fighting chance to avenge his playoff nightmare of 2012. And get his royal title restored.

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