Well the last two days have been quite a roller coaster for Tiger fans.
On Monday, they watched beloved Tiger Prince Fielder surprisingly win the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby. He put on a show, has a he hit ball after ball in to the fountains all around Kauffman Stadium. As he has in the past, Prince had his two sons with him which made it all the more special for him to win it. He is the first player to win the home run derby one for each league. He is a little bit of what the Detroit Free Press had to say about Prince.
“After he hit just five homers in the first round, Fielder unloaded for 11 in the second round and 12 in the finals against Toronto’s Jose Bautista.
He averaged 432 feet per blast, maxed out with two homers of 476 feet and became the first player to win the derby in both leagues. He also joined Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players to win the derby more than once. Griffey won it three times.
Fielder recalled how as a child he would visit Griffey’s house.
“My dad would let me go over there and play video games all day,” Fielder said. “He (Griffey) always took care of me when I was a kid. To be mentioned with him is real special.””
Besides Prince, Nick Castellanos had a very good performance in the Futures game, getting three hits, one of them being a three-run home run and earning the MVP award for the game.
However, on Tuesday night, during the actual game, Prince went 0-2 and Verlander was the first pitcher sine Roger Clemens in 2004 to give at least five runs up in an inning. But besides doing that, he did 101 on the radar gun, which was cool to see. As for the other All-Star Miguel Cabrera, he grounded into a double play in his only at-bat in the game. Not to good of a plate appearance.
Now that you know all of that, what does it mean for the red-hot Tigers in the second half?
To me, it means not much of anything. Verlander will be just fine in the second half and cabby will continue to drive in plenty of runs for the Tigers. If one thing did come out of the events, it may be that Prince Fielder found his home run stroke again. But he will be intriguing to watch because some of the previous winners have gone in to slumps afterwards. In 2009, the other year he won it, he ended up with 46 home runs and 141 runs batted in. I’ll take another one of those seasons.
In the end, it’s nice to show off to the rest of the league but it’s all about making the postseason to these guys. They sit 3 and 1/2 half back of first place and are starting to make a charge towards the top. We will found out soon enough if they can make it back to October.