If you would have asked me before opening day whether I’d be happy with a 5-4 start, I would have said I’d take it. That kind of puts the whole thing in perspective for me. I’m not going to change my opinion of this team based on their first five games, or for that matter, their last four.
The defending World champs came into town, and despite the fact that they were struggling, they left with three wins (and they’re no longer struggling). The Tigers offense pretty much went away in the first two games of the series, and by the time they got it back, their pitching wasn’t there.
The Tigers had 21 hits today, yet they still lost. In fact every Tiger except for Curtis Granderson had at least two hits. I didn’t expect Justin Verlander to throw like he did in Texas, and nobody else should have either and the seven early runs he gave up ended up being the difference. The pen wasn’t there either, and three different relievers gave up runs and cost the Tigers a comeback win. The 23 year old took his lumps today, and hopefully he’ll bounce back when he pitches again (most likely on Tuesday against the A’s in Oakland). With all three games being afternoon games, I only got to keep track of the Tigers home opener so I can’t really say what might have gotten Verlander into trouble.
Chris Shelton continues to hit the ball extremely well. He hit his seventh homerun of the season and now has 14 RBIs.
A topic of conversation, both here in the comments by Dan and on sports talk radio, was Leyland sticking with Omar Infante late in the game yesterday with Dmitri Young and Marcus Thames on the bench. Young’s been good as a pinch hitter in the past and Thames has had a nice start. I heard a two pronged excuse. That Leyland was playing the percentages (which percentages?) and that he wanted everyone in the lineup to be tested in key moments. I’m also not quite sure why Infante would ever be a viable option at DH, although he had four hits today (his first four hits of the season) when he gave Brandon Inge a break at third base.
The Tigers host the Cleveland Indians in a four game weekend series. The Indians are off to a very good start, and if the Tigers leave for the west coast with a split in this series, I’d be pretty happy.