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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tigers making no excuses about injuries

Delmon Young's side is still hurting. So is Victor Martinez's.

Wilson Betemit probably isn't totally right. And Alex Avila is "running" like he has a two-ton elephant on his back.

None of those things are being touted as an excuse for the Tigers' 3-1 deficit in the ALCS.

"Not this team. Everybody’s battled all year. And we’re not going to stop playing hard," utilityman Don Kelly said.

"We’re kind of limping through this series right now, and you’ve just got to find a way to get the job done, regardless," Avila said.

"You know, both teams got some guys hurting. I just don't want to make a big deal about that. I don't think that looks good. Do we have some guys? Yeah, I think truth be known, Alex Avila might be hurting as much as any of them. We don't really talk about that as much," manager Jim Leyland said.

"Both teams have that issue at this point. We have no excuses. We've had — these games have been great games, and so far, they've done enough to win three of them, and we've only done enough to win one of them. That pretty much sums it up."

There's no doubt Avila is exhausted. He was behind the plate for 47 of the team's final 49 games in the regular season, and all nine games so far in the postseason.

But he's banged up, too, dealing with a pair of balky knees.

"To be honest with you, this is probably some of the wear and tear that I played him a little too much turning the season, probably. And we ran into that one stretch (in August) where Victor could not catch," Leyland said. "So we really beat him up a little bit more than I would have like to. But he's as tough as they come. There's nobody tougher on our team than him. ... Believe me, I know what these guys are going through. I've been in the trainer's room. You guys don't have that same availability.

"But I know what these guys are going through. It's unbelievable."

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