Despite inconsistency, Tigers stay resilient

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — They lost four in a row, then they won three in a row, now they've lost two in a row.

Welcome to Tigers baseball, 2015 style — where inconsistency is the name of the game.

With Thursday's 8-7, 10-inning loss to the White Sox, the Tigers fell to 37-36, dangerously close to the .500 mark again. They've never fallen below .500 in Brad Ausmus' tenure as manager, but they've been putting that streak to the test.

So, what gives?

"We're playing .500 baseball. We're a better team that that," said Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, who had a two-run homer in the loss. "There's a lot of games left and we're gonna try to prove we're a better team than that.

"If the fans think we're inconsistent, then they're entitled to their opinion, and if they want to root for somebody else they think is more consistent, that's fine. We need as many as we can get. We need as many fans as we can get pulling for us."

There were more than 40,000 on hand for the latest loss, a typically large crowd for the Tigers' customary Thursday afternoon game.

Tigers fans were happy, then they were sad, then happy, then sad — all in the same game, which ended with Detroit leaving the potential tying run at third and winning run at second in the 10th.

"We are inconsistent, yes, there's no doubt about it," said Victor Martinez, who rarely minces words. "We keep trying, and we play the game hard, and we'll see what happens."

Reliever Joba Chamberlain was another Tigers player trying to make sense of the Tigers up-and-down start, in a stone-cold-silent clubhouse following one of the tougher defeats of the season.

Chamberlain (2-3) took the loss after getting a little wild in the 10th inning, but he said he looks forward to bouncing back in the next game — and he said the Tigers will keep bouncing back, too.

"There's 90 games left, it's a 162-game season and every game counts," Chamberlain said. "There's no panic. We just got to continue to grind. This league is great. This is the best guys in the world. They come to play every day.

"That's why it's baseball. You don't play this game on paper. Up and down, that's a season. Nobody goes 162-0, evverybody has ups and downs."