With quick turnaround, Tigers won't dwell on opening loss
BALTIMORE -- The Tigers have been here before, dropping a postseason series opener. They just haven't been here in a while.
Considering Friday's noon ET start for Game 2 (on TBS), they won't be here for long.
"It's a five-game series," Joba Chamberlain said. "It's Game 1. It's not the end of the world. We'll get back after it tomorrow. It's a quick turnaround."
The Tigers are 5-9 over their long history in postseason series when they've lost the opener, including their last two such sets. They were swept out of the 2012 World Series and lost the 2011 American League Championship Series in six games.
Yet in best-of-five series, when the first game seemingly means much more, they've actually fared better, going 2-1. They're 2-0 under the Division Series format, beating the Yankees in four games in 2006 and again in five games in 2011.
Both of those series opened on the road, and neither was particularly close. The Yankees scored five runs in the third inning off Nate Robertson to take the series opener in 2006 by an 8-4 margin, a loss that loomed for an extra day after Game 2 was rained out. The Tigers rallied in Game 2 for a 4-3 win, then carried the momentum for back-to-back wins in Detroit to take the series.
Their 2011 ALDS opener was more lopsided, a 9-3 rout in a game suspended by rain after one inning. Again, the Tigers overcame the rain issue and picked up a Game 2 win before taking Game 3 in Detroit.
"Whether you lose by 100 or you lose by one, you still lose," said Chamberlain. "You know what? It's over with and we'll get after it tomorrow and do the things we've done all year."
In both cases, they had a relatively quick turnaround with an afternoon start for Game 2, leaving them little time to dwell. This year's Tigers are hoping that's the silver lining for them in the midday start.
"Go to bed, wake up, come back out here and play," J.D. Martinez summarized when asked how they rebound. "I mean, that's baseball. We've been playing it for six months. You lose some, you win some. You get up the next day and the sun's still going to come out. Just come out and play the game. That's why it's a best-of-five series. The series isn't over yet."
Or as Andrew Romine, whose error loomed in Thursday night's runaway eighth, put it, "That's good. The less that we can sit around and think about things, the better. I don't think anybody in here is worried. I'm pretty sure we're going to get back out there tomorrow like yesterday never happened."