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Archive for Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Three Tigers slumping

Polanco, Granderson, Rodriguez 0-for-34

October 25, 2006

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— Placido Polanco was almost unstoppable against Oakland, hitting .529 and winning the AL championship series MVP award.

That seems like a distant memory.

His misery has company because two Detroit Tigers teammates are slumping against St. Louis, too.

Polanco, Ivan Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson are an abysmal 0-for-34 in the World Series, which tilted the Cardinals' way with a 5-0 win over Detroit on Tuesday night in Game 3. The Cards now have a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven Series.

"We've been in slumps before," Polanco said. "It's just that it caught us at a bad time."

The Tigers need the trio to start producing fast or the Series might not make it back to Detroit for the weekend.

Polanco, Rodriguez and Granderson hit a combined .326 with four homers and 15 RBIs in the division series against New York and ALCS against the Athletics, helping the Tigers average 5.4 runs in each matchup.

In the World Series, all three have put up big goose eggs: Polanco is 0-for-10, Rodriguez is 0-for-11 and Granderson is 0-for-13.

"What can I do? I'm struggling at the plate," Rodriguez said. "I'm swinging at bad pitches. I need to swing at strikes. If I do that, I'm going to hit the ball."

As a result of their slump, Detroit has scored a total of just five runs in the three games against St. Louis.

Polanco and Granderson began struggling against the Cardinals, while Rodriguez's woes at the plate started two full weeks ago.

Since getting two hits in Game 1 at Oakland, the All-Star catcher is 0-for-23, and his last at-bat Tuesday night was all too familiar: He flailed at Chris Carpenter's pitch in the eighth inning, and slowly walked back to the dugout after his ninth strikeout of the playoffs.

"I think probably I'm trying to push myself instead of going out there and having fun like I normally do," Rodriguez said.

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