DETROIT — If the Detroit Tigers took Sunday’s loss to heart, they certainly

hid their devastation well Monday afternoon.

Before their workout at Comerica Park, the sound emanating from the Tigers

clubhouse was laughter.

“We’re trained to have amnesia,” Detroit veteran right fielder Torii Hunter

said. His Tigers and the Boston Red Sox are tied 1-1 in the American League

Championship Series, after Boston’s stunning 6-5 comeback win on Sunday.

Hunter could even joke about the signature play of Sunday’s game – the

David Ortiz grand slam that landed in the Red Sox bullpen as Hunter flipped

over the right field wall trying to reach it.

A photo captured a policeman in the bullpen raising his arms while Hunters

legs were in the air.

“That’s all right. Shows good effort,” Hunter said of the photo, before

going into his typical comedic routine.

“The cop is supposed to be protect and serve. This son-of-a-gun has his

hands up,” Hunter said, a smile never leaving his face. “If I ever see him

again … Help me, then cheer.”

Red Sox fans are cheering. Maybe they think that Ortiz slam and Jarrod

Saltalamacchia’s walk-off single are going to turn this series Boston’s way.

On Monday, there certainly was a little lift in the Red Sox steps.

“I wish we could be playing (Monday) after what happened (Sunday),” Boston

catcher David Ross said.

But neither manager sees a momentum shift.

“I don’t look for any carryover,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I

didn’t see any carryover with the Boston Red Sox (after Saturday’s game).

They lost a 1-0 game they probably should have won.

“We probably should have won that game (Sunday night). They probably should

have won the first one. We’re probably exactly where we’re supposed to be.”

Boston manager John Farrell, said “we certainly gained some confidence in

the last couple of innings (Sunday).”

But … “Game 2 is behind us. It’s been the beauty of this team all year

long, focus on today’s game and not be living in the past.”

One reason why Detroit can so easily move on, and why Boston needs to

re-focus, is the Tigers starting pitcher.

No momentum switch is going to help the Red Sox make contact on a Justin

Verlander high-90’s fastball – or his slider, curve or change-up, for that


Boston fans may be joyous, but there is a cold hard fact looming large in

this series:

Against Detroit starting pitchers Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer, the Red

Sox have two hits and one run in 13 innings.

Now, along comes Verlander, the 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young Award


“The work of Sanchez and Scherzer has been nothing short of spectacular,”

Farrell said.

“We feel like Verlander is going to be a similar, if not more difficult

challenge than what we’ve faced already.”

Verlander put up solid, though unspectacular numbers for him: 13-12, 3.46


“We’re not robots,” Verlander said. “But I really feel like the last month

of the season I’ve started to get it to click.”

Verlander’s ERA in September was 2.27. In two playoff starts against the

A’s, Verlander was 2-0, allowing no runs and six hits over 15 innings,

striking out 21.

What will Boston’s approach be against Verlander?

“Same as it is every day,” third baseman Will Middlebrooks said. “Get a

good pitch to hit and hit it. But some days you get more good pitches to


Tuesday does not figure to be one of those days. The Red Sox need to hope

Verlander is not dominating with his robot-like precision.

Because if Boston can’t figure Verlander out, the momentum and series lead

goes back to Detroit.