It's about time the Tigers have hit a speed bump. The Sox went and swept them and charged back to within 5 1/2 games. Meanwhile, it's just about that time of the year when teams freak a bit and start playing tight. The Tigers fit that bill.
Let's start with their skipper, who is shocked that a guy with almost 500 career HRs guessed right or reacted right to a pitch and crushed it. From chicagosports.com:
Right in the middle of the controversy is Jim Thome, who smashed a Verlander pitch for a two-run homer during a four-run fifth. The pitch was a changeup after Thome had taken four straight fastballs.
"Almost impossible," manager Jim Leyland told Detroit media. "It's pretty suspicious when a guy looks at [four] straight fastballs and then doesn't flinch on a changeup and stays back and hits it out of the ballpark. I love Jim Thome, and he's a hell of a hitter, but that's one of the damnedest things I've ever seen."
Said Thome: "I don't know what pitch is coming. I don't get the pitches. I just hit."
Paul Konerko, who bats behind Thome, said: "No one told me [what was coming]. Jim has almost 500 home runs. No offense to anyone in [Detroit's] dugout, but Jim hits homers off a lot of good pitchers."
Well maybe if he looked at 4 straight fastballs he was waiting for a changeup.
Meanwhile, Detroit has a reason to be tight. They just got swept by the Sox and head to Boston. The Sox are at home against KC. The Tigers also committed 3 errors on Saturday and allowed 4 unearned runs. The Sox finally got a good start from Buehrle, a shutout from Contreras and allowed only 1 walk in the 3 games against Detroit.
After Boston, the Tigers have 4 against Texas and then 4 against the White Sox in Detroit. After KC, the Sox head to Minny for 3.