Last week, the Tigers only managed two hits against Brian Bannister, and today, all they could muster was four hits off Daisuke Matsuzaka. Kenny Rogers, Detroit's starting pitcher in both of those games, might now be wondering whether or not he puts his lineup to sleep.
Maybe he has that grandfatherly effect on his teammates, like how your eyelids might get heavy when your grandpa tells you the story of how he came to choose the particular pickled bologna he just sliced for you. He used to like to go to that grocery store closer to the condo, but their deli just doesn't have that much selection. All they have is turkey. Why all the turkey? The only time he really eats turkey is on Thanksgiving. And even then, he prefers to get it from that one farm up north because their birds are free-range, so they taste better. But anyway, he found a place on the west side of town that has a great deli. All kinds of bologna. Mortadella. The German stuff with the garlic. And pickled! They had four different kinds, and the butcher was nice enough to let him try each one, until he finally found the one he liked. A good, strong one that can stand up to a spicy mustard and that rye bread your grandmother found at the farmer's market. Say, are you getting enough sleep? Because you look kind of tired...
To me, the Tigers looked lethargic out there today. Maybe it was the after-effects of sitting through the Red Sox's World Series ring ceremony, one in which Boston championship teams from other sports also participated. Or perhaps that creeping feeling of resignation sunk in once it became clear that Rogers really didn't have his good stuff today, giving up four hits and two walks in his first two innings.
Detroit had that same listlessness in the field, too. Or was it that the Tigers were trying too hard to make a play once they fell behind? In the third inning, Placido Polanco made his first error in 186 games when he tried to throw out Manny Ramirez (who should've been out after gazing admiringly at his long drive to center field) at third base, but skipped the ball in the dirt. One inning later, Miguel Cabrera committed an error of his own. And once again, Carlos Guillen looked as if he'd just been moved over from shortstop to first base, standing in the baseline and straddling the bag, putting himself in a position where the runner may have prevented him from scooping up a low throw. Had Guillen ever looked this lost in the previous games he'd played at first base? I certainly don't recall it.
Unfortunately, going on the road doesn't seem to have changed a thing. This team is still in the same malaise they slogged through last week at Comerica Park. Maybe Jim Leyland should consider locking his players in the visiting clubhouse with the fearsome, mouse-devouring Fenway hawk. If that hasn't crossed his mind yet, it probably should.