The Tigers have once-in-a-lifetime-type stars on the mound and in the lineup, according to manager Jim Leyland, who said that in his nearly 50 years in baseball, he hadn't seen anything like what Miguel Cabrera did this season or Justin Verlander the past two.

Neither did much in Game 1 of the World Series, though. Verlander, the defending MVP and Cy Young winner, endured his shortest non-rain-shortened start in more than three years. And Cabrera, the Triple Crown winner and presumptive 2012 MVP, had one RBI single and a walk, while the Tigers had only one man get past second base until the ninth inning.

Cabrera, asked what had made Giants starter Barry Zito so effective in Game 1, responded, "Run support. I think after that, he came with a lot more confidence and made some good pitches."

Verlander had won his three previous postseason starts, but Wednesday he allowed five runs in four innings.

"It's very disappointing," he said, "but this is a team. Everyone says, 'Oh, Verlander lost, the Tigers are going to lose,' but that's not the case. The team is just as confident" with Detroit's other starters.

Detroit had five days off between the ALCS and the World Series, and though the Tigers' hitters said that the layoff didn't affect them ("No. No," catcher Alex Avila said), Verlander said he wasn't sure why his fastball command was off. Perhaps the seven days off between appearances was a factor.

"There's no telling," he said. "I know I'm out of sync, but sometimes over the course of the season you get out of sync. ... I am a creature of habit, but who cares? It's the World Series."

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