Gee, it’s hard to do this sort of post THIS early, when I haven’t quite stocked up on quips and source material. Plus, after all that talk I did about realizing potential, Verlander didn’t do it. I was as happy as anyone to see 98 show up on the radar gun for the first time in what seems like forever, but he couldn’t seem to do anything with it. It’s like he’s letting himself get flustered too easily. No matter how he pitched, you can’t really take it as an indication of how his season will pan out, at least not after one start. To prove my point, I’ve got three more names for you: Cliff Lee, Brandon Webb, and CC Sabathia. Their box scores weren’t pretty either (Verlander may have given up more runs than them, but Sabathia walked five and didn’t strike anyone out). Does anyone expect them to keep giving up six or seven runs a game? Of course not. HOWEVER, we all know that Verlander is MUCH better than that, and he needs to start showing it, cuz I won’t always be able to point out three other aces with bad starts.
It’s a shame that Verlander pitched badly, cuz it’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime event that you’re gonna score five runs off Roy Halladay. You don’t really want an offensive outburst (relatively) to go to waste like that. And I don’t know why, but it seems like every home run that was hit last night (both by the Tigers and the Blue Jays) was hit a LONG way. I mean, we had two opposite-field shots, one to dead center field, and one that reached the upper deck. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Brandon Inge hit an opposite field home run. Is it the new swing?
Okay, what was up with the Blue Jays fans throwing stuff onto the field? Jason Beck thought it had something to do with Maggs and the ongoing Hugo Chavez saga, but from what I’ve heard, it sounds like a lot of stuff was thrown at Josh Anderson (who, by the way, sounds as twangy as I thought he would). I was wondering what would happen if the Blue Jays DID have to forfeit the game. Would everyone’s totals still count or would all that be erased? Alas, it seems we’ll never find out. Still, it gave us the opportunity for one funny moment. Once the Tigers retook the field and Juan Rincon was warming up again, Mario & Rod did a promo for the home opener, with Rod adding the coda, “And I can guarantee you that our fans will not be throwing things at the Texas Rangers.” Other than that, Rod Allen wasn’t exactly in midseason form, as he kept getting things wrong. He said that Josh Anderson was making his Major League debut (no, that was late last year) and that Kenny Rogers began last season on the disabled list (no, that was in ’07).
By the way, in case you’re keeping track, it ain’t just the Tigers. The entire AL Central went 0-3 yesterday. I already documented that Cleveland got bombed by the Rangers, but Minnesota, although they did better than the Tigers or Indians, still lost 6-1 (and that was at the Metrodome). However, that’ll come to an end today, because the White Sox and the Royals are playing against each other, so the AL Central is guaranteed one win today. Hopefully two, once Edwin Jackson faces the Blue Jays. I can’t imagine there are many secrets between him and Toronto cuz of all those years he spent with the Rays. He must’ve faced them a bunch of times. However, I HAVE read that he has never lost at Rogers Centre. After Roy Halladay, the Jays’ rotation gets pretty young and inexperienced, but talented. They’ll send David Purcey to the mound tonight, and the Tigers saw him twice last year. They won the game in Toronto, but lost in Detroit. From what I remember, Purcey went to a three-ball count a lot and gave up quite a few walks, but the Tigers had a tough time getting hits off him. Still, he IS left-handed, albeit a hard-throwing one. Maybe I’ll put my neck on the line a little bit more and say that while I wasn’t feeling particularly good about Opening Day (which, once again, I didn’t say outright, but I think you could probably sense it), I do have a reasonably good feeling about the rest of the series. Remember, though, that doesn’t always manifest itself as a win. You’ll have to watch this one for me, since I work tonight. As a matter of fact, I won’t get to watch a whole game again until the Home Opener on Friday.