The Tigers are a weekend into their spring season and so far, so good. As I’m writing this, the Tigers are 2-0, they man handled Florida Southern in an exhibition game, and they’re up 1-0 on the Blue Jays in their third spring game.
On Saturday, the pitching staff got the job done and they held the Braves to just one hit in a 2-0 win. Doug Fister threw two innings before he gave it up to seven different relievers who all threw an inning each. Oddly, the Tigers had only three strikeouts and it wasn’t until the eighth inning, with Chris Bootcheck on the mound, that the Braves got their first hit. Jerad Head put the Tigers on the board with a solo home run in the third. Prince Fielder was two for two with a walk.
Yesterday was a whole different ball game and the Tigers unloaded with nine home runs in a 18-3 win. Raburn hit two out and then seven different Tigers hit a home run each. Raburn finished with five RBIs while Alex Avila had three runs in the blowout win.
It looks like the Tigers are a little more serious about Brandon Inge playing second base. He’s gotten the start in spring games one and three and he filled in there in the second game. Raburn has gotten time at second but not as much as Inge. It’s early but Inge is hitting .400 so far.
The Tigers are trying to make it 3-0. They’re up 1-0 in the fourth. Justin Verlander gave up a hit and he struck out one in two innings of work. Adam Wilk gave up a pair of hits in his two frames.
Alright, the Tigers are set to kick off their spring season in their annual exhibition opener tomorrow against Florida Southern tomorrow. Game time is one pm and Andrew Oliver will get the start. Jason Beck also has the starting lineup over at his site and it pretty much looks like what people are expecting to see when the season opens.
Let’s say this is the lineup Leyland is going to go with on opening day. It looks solid although I’d have Delmon Young hitting below Avila and Peralta if it’s a right hander on the mound but we saw this last year when Young hit third regardless of who was on the mound. I’ve never been happy with Jim Leyland’s lineup construction and I didn’t plan on starting now so I figured he’d be hitting a little higher then I’d like.
Ryan Raburn is hitting last. I kind of like this. I know the whole mental aspect of the game can’t be quantified but maybe you can equate hitting ninth to putting less pressure on a guy and maybe Raburn will end his streak of poor first halfs.
Andy Dirks the designated hitter. My guess is, unless somebody catches fire, that the DH is going to be a revolving door. If they want to get Inge a spot at second, then maybe Raburn will shift out to the outfield and Young will be the DH. Or they want to give Cabrera a day off on the field so he fills in there. I also don’t see anyone in the minors stepping up and taking it as a full time role but we will see. It’s interesting seeing the DH hit eighth though.
After Florida Southern, the official spring season starts with the Tigers on the road against the Braves on Saturday then at home against the Braves on Sunday. There’s only one off day and that’s the 22nd but there’s only three split squad games and they’re all on Sunday. First night game is the 13th against the Nationals. In fact it’s one of just two evening games on the schedule with the other also being against Washington.
I read who’s starting on Saturday but now the name is escaping me. I want to say it’s Doug Fister, but don’t hold me to it.
I also figured out which package I’m going to get and I’ve decided to just go with At Bat on my phone instead of buying the entire television package. Most nights I listened to the Tigers game and that’s it and most of the time it was on the phone so that’ll save me a $100. If I really miss it or have more time, then maybe when the price goes down midseason I’ll pick MLB.TV back up.