Tigers leadoff hitter Austin Jackson is 3-for-30 (.100) with 16 strikeouts in the postseason. (Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News)
Detroit — Despite the struggles Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter have had at the plate in the top two spots of his lineup, manager Jim Leyland said he doesn’t plan to make any changes.
The two are hitting a combined .119 (7-for-59) through seven games.
“I don’t know where you go at this point in time at this time of the year,” Leyland said. “Do you play somebody else? I don’t think that’s the answer.
“I don’t really know who I would lead off in that case or who I would hit second. Those guys have been good all year for us and we just have to continue to go that way and hope they come out of it a little bit.”
For Jackson, who had 13 strikeouts in the Division Series, things are starting to turn around. He had two strikeouts in Game 1 and one in Game 2.
Hunter, who hit .304 in the regular season with a .334 on-base percentage has dropped in both categories (.138 average and .194 OBP) in the playoffs and is 1-for-10 in the first two games of the ALCS.
In his first 34 postseason games in six appearances with the Twins and Angels, he was hitting .305 (40-of-131) with 13 walks.
In his two appearances in the playoffs, pitcher Rick Porcello has been on the mound in walk-off wins for the opposition.
Porcello’s first appearance was in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the Division Series against the A’s, when he entered with the bases loaded and gave up the winning hit to Stephen Vogt.
In Game 2 of the ALCS, he came on for the ninth inning, and after a leadoff single by Jonny Gomes and an error got Gomes to second, Porcello’s wild pitch let Gomes get to third. Gomes scored on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s walk-off single.
After an encouraging regular season with 13 wins, Porcello was the odd man out when the postseason rotation shrunk to four and was seen as an asset in the bullpen.
“You have to prepare yourself and know what to expect,” Porcello said. “Making the necessary adjustments mentally and physically to get ready to pitch every night basically is the most important thing.”