If the Detroit Tigers intend to keep their fans interested during the month of September - despite having to choke on the monumental disappointment of this season, along with the promise of new college and pro football seasons beginning - a 10-run loss at home to the Kansas City Royals is a terrible way to go about it.
As the brilliant songwriting duo of Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley once put it: "Rock bottom... oh, you never treat me like you should."
Owned, pwned, fail - whatever you want to call it, it's plain ugly. Just when you think the Tigers have fallen as low as they can go, they push those shovels a little deeper and find further depths. The same might be said of Kenny Rogers, especially when he's facing the Royals. Last night, he allowed six runs on eight hits - including three home runs, two by rejuvenated Tigers killer Billy Butler - in six innings. In five starts against Kansas City this season (the most he's faced any team this year), Rogers has a 1-4 record and 7.07 ERA.
With a 9-12 record and 5.23 ERA for the year, Rogers is on the verge of making us all forget the masterful veteran we watched in 2006. His Tigers legacy probably deserves better than that. But trying to wring the same magic out of a body that just doesn't have it anymore tends to be a humbling experience.
And how is pitching as a reliever working for Nate Robertson? In his first relief appearance, also against these Royals, Robertson looked pretty good, getting two batters out and apparently regaining a feel for his slider. Last night, as Rod Allen might say, KC beat him like he stole something. Robertson was bombed for six runs and six hits in just 1 1/3 innings. That pushed his ERA from 6.06 to 6.35. His season looks more disastrous with each outing.
The fans at Comerica Park couldn't even have the fun of the first instant replay review in Tigers history, when the umpiring crew ruled that Placido Polanco's drive down the left field line was foul, and didn't even warrant a second look. Give 'em something, Tom Hallion!
If there's a consolation, maybe fewer people saw this debacle, distracted by the season openers for Michigan and Michigan State. Certainly, if anyone switched over to the Tigers game during a break, they must have been compelled to switch back again almost immediately. The question is whether or not anyone might be willing to turn the channel back to the Tigers for the rest of this season.