This will sound like I'm making excuses for the Tigers, but they were bound to have a letdown after three one-game wrestling matches with Minnesota. (Jim Price referred to the series as "mortal combat." Do you think he meant "MORTAL KOMBAT"?) The whole team seemed a step slow and kind of sleepy tonight. Everything was just off. Meanwhile, the Royals were on a high after winning two straight in Boston and - here's the new overused phrase in sports - had a little bit of a swagger.
That's not meant to discredit Gil Meche's pitching performance. He was definitely on, throwing hard and mixing in a slick curveball. And for whatever reason, he loves pitching in Detroit. In his last four starts at Comerica Park, Meche has a 1.50 ERA. Maybe he wants to work fast so he can grab a couple of Coneys after the game. Who knows?
I don't know if it's time to worry a bit about Kenny Rogers. Probably not, but this is his second straight sub-par start. (And I'd argue that he hasn't been that good in his last three games. He was rather lucky to give up just one run against the Indians.) But maybe the Royals were just the wrong match-up for him tonight.
Mark Grudzielanek just owns Rogers. After getting three hits off him tonight, he now has a .643 career average against The Gambler. But the real story was probably Billy Butler (who should either be called "Boom Boom" because of how he hits or "The Barrel" because he's built like one with legs). He went 4-for-4 with four RBIs on the night, and looks like someone who's going to be giving AL Central pitchers trouble for a long time to come.
And how are you feeling about José Capellán these days? Granted, he hasn't gotten a lot of work recently - and I think that's mostly because the other relievers have been pitching so well. His first four appearances were relatively smooth (other than serving up that home run to Casey Blake), but four runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings isn't going to instill much confidence in the manager. Or the general manager, for that matter.
We'll see what happens tomorrow after settling in for a night.