Each time the Detroit Tigers have fallen below .500 this season, they've immediately clawed back to even. But Thursday's game against the Minnesota Twins might prove the biggest test of resilience yet.
Wednesday's woeful loss to the Twins -- made possible by four errors and with five earned runs from the bullpen -- left fans scratching their heads and left players smashing their gum buckets.
The loss also dropped the Tigers into sub-.500 territory at 18-19. They dipped below .500 at 16-17 and 17-18, and each time responded.
The first responder Thursday will be Doug Fister, who since an early-season trip to the DL has been lights-out. In two starts since coming off the DL, Fister has recorded 11 strikeouts in 13.0 innings and given up just one earned run. On the season he has a 0.54 ERA.
The Tigers should have ample opportunity to get right against Twins starter P.J. Walters. Walters is 1-0 on the season, but in 57 career innings in the majors, the 27-year-old has given up 43 earned up -- good for a 6.79 ERA.
The Tigers are 18-19 and 3.0 games back of the Indians in the AL Central. The Twins, meanwhile, are last in the Central -- and in the majors -- at 11-26.
After Thursday's game, the Tigers will host the Pirates for a three-game interleague series.