It's been happening all year. The Tigers go on a winning week thanks to some timely hitting late in games and some cardiac saves by Fernando Rodney. It looks like they are about to take off and separate themselves from the rest of the A.L. Central. Then they have a road series against a beatable team and they go completely flat.
It happened again. After winning six in a row, including a dramatic three comeback sweep of the Rays, the Tigers went to Kansas City to face the last place Royals. The Tigers did very little right the whole series and came away empty losing 7-5 on Tuesday, 5-1 on Wednesday and 7-4 today.
The bullpen failed them in each game. On Tuesday, they had a 5-4 lead in the seventh but Bobby Seay and Ryan Perry could not hold it. Yesterday, they never had the lead despite six innings of one run ball from Verlander. The bullpen didn't help though turning a one run deficit into a five run gap. The culprits this time were Seay and Fernando Rodney. Today, they had a 4-3 lead in the sixth before Zach Miner threw it away.
Their offense was typically frustrating as well. Last night, reliever Robinson Tejeda made a rare start and held the Tigers to three hits in six shutout innings. Today was a different kind of frustration. They banged out 15 hits but helped out the Royals by hitting into five double plays.
The good news is the Tigers now go back home to Comerica (where they are 45-22) for seven games versus the Blue Jays and Royals. They also still have a 5 1/2 game lead over the second place Twins and 6 over the third place White Sox, two teams which are struggling to play .500 ball. The Tigers are not putting this thing away but they are still in good shape.