Tigers can't crack win column

By www.detroittigers.com

Tigers can't crack win column

January 20, 2011

Embarrassment, disappointment, not being ready and being too laid back were among the terms heard in Tigers manager Jim Leyland's office and in the clubhouse after Sunday night's 13-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

The team remains winless after dropping its sixth consecutive game to start the season.

While the other games weren't necessarily bad efforts, the Tigers just didn't hit. Sunday night's contest -- broadcast nationally on ESPN2 -- was just bad.

"I, personally, am embarrassed," said Leyland. "And I would hope they are too."

Not only did the team continue to be anemic at the plate, but made errors, mental mistakes and pitchers continued to make bad pitches.

"There were a couple of things that absolutely can't happen," he said, referring to the mental errors.

Leyland added he would address those things with the coaches. He said they've talked to the players about those things but, apparently, the message isn't getting through.

"I think we're listening, but I don't think we're hearing," Leyland said.

Justin Verlander (0-1) gave up a career-high nine runs, five of which were unearned, and seven hits while walking three and striking out four in 5 2/3 innings.

"All I know is we're not really clicking right now, in any facet," Verlander said "... It's going to take some work.

"I think everybody should do some soul seraching and remember what it's like to just go out and have fun. That's when you win games."

After a day off, the Tigers will open a three-game series in Boston on Tuesday.

While nobody said there has been any physical lack of effort, it was suggested that maybe the team's attitude has been too even keel.

"You might see that attitude change come two days from now," Verlander said. "We tried the laid-back approach and that's not working. So let's try the go-get-'em attitude."

Mark Buehrle (1-1) got the win for the White Sox. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out one.

The announced attendance for the game was 35,230 but there was likely less than 10,000 left when the game ended.

It brought thoughts back to the 2003 season when the team started 0-9 and lost an American League-record 119 games.

"This is a great team. I don't care what kind of panic mode their fans are in," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "There's just too much talent on that club."

Leyland also said he sensed, even in batting practice, that the team chemistry isn't what it should be.

"[I don't notice it] particularly on my end," said Verlander. "But skip's been around a long time and if he says it, I believe it."

Things went downhill from the beginning for the Tigers as Nick Swisher hit Verlander's second pitch of the game into the right-field stands.

The Tigers tied it in the third on Ramon Santiago's double into the right-field corner, which scored Brandon Inge from third. But Santiago was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple with none out. It was almost certainly one of the mistakes Leyland talked about.

Inge reached third on third basman Joe Crede's throwing error on his leadoff routine grounder.

The White Sox scored six runs in the sixth to chase Verlander.

The Tigers got their second run on Buehrle's wild pitch that hit home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg in the mask in the seventh. Carlos Guillen scored from third.

"We need to prepare better,"said Gary Sheffield. "Be ready from the first pitch to the last pitch. We need to be ready because teams are ready for us."

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