The first 50 games of the season, Detroit was scoring three runs or fewer slightly less than half the time.
The Tigers have taken that to a whole new level in the last three games, scoring just one run through nine innings in each game.
Detroit won one of those, Thursday, by eking out a run in the 10th for a 2-1 victory, but the other two have been 3-1 and 4-1 losses.
Miguel Cabrera is going through another one of his spells; this one has him chasing bad pitches and could be fueled by problems getting his front foot down for his swing. He's 2-for-16, including no hits in his last 13 at-bats.
When Cabrera doesn't hit, that means pitchers don't have to pitch to Prince Fielder or can pitch around him. Fielder is 2-for-15 in his last four games, with both the hits (home run, single) coming in Thursday's win.
Why would any manager in his right mind pitch to Fielder when the next batter up, Delmon Young, has just 24 RBI for the season?
Alex Avila is still trying to get his timing back after coming off the disabled list Thursday.
Jhonny Peralta has perked up at the plate -- but he has few RBI because he often comes up with nobody in scoring position.
Brennan Boesch is not having a good year and didn't start Friday, but that was primarily so manager Jim Leyland could get the speedy Quintin Berry in the lineup in hopes he could get on base and steal, which he did.
Andy Dirks is still probably two weeks from getting back from a sore right Achilles. Dirks was a productive hitter, but it's going to be hard for him to completely dislodge Berry when the rookie is one of the only two outfielders Detroit has who are a threat to score or drive in a run.
Doug Fister hurt himself with a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt that produced two Pittsburgh runs in the second. But even before that the Pirates held a 2-0 lead, just enough runs to beat Detroit in any of the last three games through nine innings.
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