From the press box at Comerica Park, I see a few thousand people sitting in the seats below, bundled as if were a Saturday in December and they were headed to prowl sales lots for their Christmas tree.

It's the eighth inning of Wednesday's game between the Tigers and Royals, and beneath that full moon rising high above center field's flagpole, you see in the fans a mixture of passion for their team and misery from this frigid month of April.

And you pick up also on a distinctive unease.

You hear the anxiety on Twitter and in conversations at the store and wherever else people talk about baseball.

The Tigers are a team that alternates in inspiring and baffling their base.
Ups and downs

They won four in a row last week. They had lost four in a row entering Wednesday's game. They hit early, they hadn't hit during that four-game West Coast slide. Wednesday, they got nine hits and scored seven runs, four of which were unearned, in what became a 7-5 victory.

Their bullpen was ugly early. It settled down. But it was still lacking a closer until the Tigers shrugged and said: Why not? Why not sign Jose Valverde, who was throwing astonishingly well in his Florida tune-up?

And so the Tigers, who were pretty much shocked at how a 35-year-old guy six months removed from last autumn's unhinging had reclaimed his old fastball and strike-zone savvy, welcomed him aboard.

Wednesday, Leyland's team might have inched closer to becoming more whole, more intact, more of the pennant contender their roster and reputation says they will be.

Valverde arrived for the ninth and those fans — the folks who haven't decided whether they're more nervous than committed to this team — were loud in their welcome of a man who saved 110 games for manager Jim Leyland's team from 2010-12.

He got the save: getting Alex Gordon on a 3-2 fly ball to left field, Alcides Escobar on a ground-out to second, and Billy Butler on a deep fly to left field.

Leyland's team moved to a game past .500, chopping into the early lead a talented Royals team had managed to grab in the American League Central.

It might be said that watching Valverde dance a jig and look to the sky as he nailed that third out was the first true semblance of normalcy the Tigers have displayed during an April marked by crazy weather and by regular doses of bipolar baseball.

"We're nine and nine because we've done some things good, and some things not so good," Leyland said ahead of Wednesday's game. "But this is a game of 162 games."