Detroit — Who’s in left field for the Tigers for Game 5?
After what he did in Game 4 of the American League Division Series, which the Tigers won 8-6 to send it back to Oakland, there will be no need to ask.
He hit a three-run home that tied Game 4.
He hit the double that set up the go-ahead run in the seventh.
It’ll have to be Jhonny Peralta.
It’s not a match in defensive heaven with Peralta in left. He certainly has his shortcomings, such as playing Coco Crisp’s game-opening triple awkwardly Tuesday night, but the plus of his bat can’t be denied.
The boost it gave the Tigers also can’t be denied because it came in the fifth off A’s starter Dan Straily, who had kept the Tigers hitless through the fourth.
“He was throwing the ball great, spotting his fastball and throwing his off-speed when he needed it, ” designated hitter Victor Martinez said. “But Jhonny came up big, and that’s been him all season long for us.”
Jim Leyland’s words, exactly
“What he did was huge for us,” Leyland said. “I’ve said all along, you take whatever happens in left, because we need his bat.”
In fact, the Tigers can’t do without his bat.
So all questions about left field on Thursday night are probably moot already.