The season is barely a week old and already the Tigers have managed almost a season's worth of dramatic comebacks. They did it again this afternoon versus the Royals. They could do nothing against starter Brian Bannister for six innings and fell behind 5-0. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Tigers exploded for six runs versus a tired Bannister and three relievers. The big hit was a double by Carlos Guillen which drove home the tying and go ahead runs. They held on to win 6-5 behind Ryan Perry and Jose Valverde.
The Bengals have had to come from behind in all but one of their six wins so far:
Opening Day - The Tigers were trailing the Royals 4-1in the sixth but came back to win 8-4. Johnny Damon's two run double highlighted a six run seventh.
Thursday - Down 2-1 to the Indians after seven, the Tigers scored three in the eighth and three in the ninth to win 7-3. Bannister was the tough luck loser in that one as well having nothing to show for six strong innings.
Friday - The Tigers were losing 2-0 in the fifth versus Cleveland before coming back to win 5-2. They scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth thanks largely to a three run throwing error by Indians third baseman Jhonny Peralta.
Sunday - The Tigers were down 7-1 in the sixth but rallied to win 9-8. They scored in each of the last five innings capping the scoring with a three run ninth. The tying run scored on a bases loaded walk to Damon and the winning run came home on a wild pitch.
The general pattern is that the Tigers don't hit the opposing starter and then club the relief staff. Is this a good sign? One might argue that the Tigers are building a false sense of security making themselves think they can come back from any deficit. On the flip side, you could say that these early come from behind victories will make them more confident in similar situations later in the season. I'm not big on intangibles but I think I believe the latter theory more than the former. I can't imagine the Tigers being so confident in their ability to mount comebacks that they'll relax early in games.
A skeptic might also argue that they have taken advantage of some weak teams in the Royals and Indians. However,that is something that they haven't always done in the past. The Royals, in particular have given them trouble in recent years. So, I'm looking at their cardiac comebacks and 6-2 record as nothing but positive.