Long layoff a factor for Tigers' pitchers, too

Long layoff a factor for Tigers' pitchers, too

Long layoff a factor for Tigers' pitchers, too
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Tigers spent last weekend trying to combat the effects of a five-day break between the American League Championship Series and the World Series. The primary purpose all along was to keep hitters' timing down against live pitching.

It turns out that manager Jim Leyland was worried about his pitchers, too -- maybe even more so.

During Wednesday's 8-3 loss to the Giants in Game 1 of the World Series, the Tigers lineup struggled against Barry Zito, who became the latest finesse lefty to hold down Detroit's offense. However, Leyland said he felt that his batters' swings were better than the results.

"We did everything right, and I think that actually showed up in our swings last night," Leyland said. "I thought we had pretty good swings, to be honest with you.

"What worries me to death a little bit, to be honest with you, is the layoff that the pitchers have had. That's what worries me more than the offense."

Doug Fister's Game 2 start on Thursday night was his first in 12 days since his effort in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. Anibal Sanchez will have even more rest before his start Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX, 8:07 ET first pitch) in Game 3, which will be 13 days after his start in Game 2 of the ALCS.

All of the Tigers' starters threw to their teammates during the club's scrimmages, trying to simulate game conditions. Still, an empty Comerica Park and a packed stadium on the road are two completely different environments.