Saturday, April 10, 2010

Opening Day Win

Photo: Gregory Shamus (Getty Images)

Between radio and television, it turns out I actually got to listen to/watch most of this game. It wasn’t as exciting as last year’s home opener, but it didn’t have to be. Rick Porcello had some problems throwing strike one, but when that happens, two runs in five innings is a pretty good day’s work. The bullpen did a good job, outside of the two walks that Phil Coke had. And maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the Tigers have turned about thirty double plays so far this season. Which is better than hitting into thirty double plays, I might add.

I saw David Huff pitch a game against the Rays last May. I don’t really remember how he did (that was that weird game where Joe Maddon had accidentally submitted two third basemen in his lineup when he meant for Evan Longoria to DH, which meant that the Rays’ pitcher had to hit third, though luckily for the Rays their best hitting pitcher was on the mound that day and he even managed an RBI double), but even then he had a look about him which suggested that he might be tough against the Tigers. As it turns out, I was right. Still, win any way you can, I suppose, and it took a massive defensive failure by the Indians for it to happen. The swings got better against the Indians’ ‘pen, though they still only got one run out of it. Maggs and Inge in particular continued their hot starts.

Today, like every game on this homestand, features a day game. The Indians are starting Mitch Talbot, who apparently spent last year in Triple A. The only big league time he’s had was with the Rays in 2008. He must’ve pitched against the Tigers, because a few of them have had one or two at-bats against him, which isn’t a lot to go on. Brandon Inge has a triple against him, though. Jeremy Bonderman makes his first start of the year for the Tigers. He keeps saying his velocity is gone so he’ll have to be a feel pitcher (Yeah, right, and I don’t understand how his velocity would go away permanently, because his surgery didn’t involve anything structural like a labrum or rotator cuff). It’s been so long since he’s pitched against the Tribe that only six current Indians have a history against him. Hafner’s hit three home runs off him, and Sizemore’s hit two. Shin-Soo Choo has also hit him well. Leyland’s said that Zumaya, Valverde, and Coke all have the day off today (if there is a save situation, Ryan Perry will be your closer today). Alex Avila is catching, which is what I would’ve recommended anyways, and it has nothing to do with offense. Bonderman’s terrible at holding runners on, and he gives up a lot of stolen bases, so why waste your better defender when you have Verlander (who is good at holding runners) going tomorrow? Besides, if Avila’s going to be the next Johnny Bench as the whole of Tigerdom has practically proclaimed him to be, it’s time he get thrown in the deep end. However, I won’t see any of this game, as I’ll be at work. My only hope is to somehow find an internet connection (so if you live in the Toledo area and you have a prescription for Accutane, please drop it off at my pharmacy at about 1:30).

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