Saturday, April 9, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

It's so good to see Comerica Park back in action again. And after that road trip through two of the most homer-friendly parks in baseball, I think I appreciate the vast expanse of an outfield now more than ever. For the first time all season, Tigers pitching did not give up a home run. They didn't hit any, either, but there was apparently a stiff wind blowing in from left that knocked a couple well-hit balls down. Anyways, Max Scherzer was a lot better than he had been in New York. He didn't exactly rack up the strikeouts, but the Royals were tough to strike out last year, so that's not necessarily a reflection on his performance. That was followed up by some impressive work from the bullpen, especially Joaquin Benoit. 

This turned out to be one of those games where the offense beat up on Kyle Davies, who spent most of the game not throwing a lot of strikes. The Tigers walked five times. And oddly enough, all the RBIs in the game were provided by former Indians. Victor Martinez introduced himself nicely to the home fans with a bases-clearing double. Jhonny Peralta added an RBI double later in the inning and a sacrifice fly a couple innings later (that might have been a grand slam had it not been for the wind). Miguel Cabrera spent most of the game getting beat up. He got hit on the hand in one at-bat. Then later, he went after a pop-up and ended up falling over the tarp and banging his knee on it. He says he's fine, and he's been cleared to play today, so that's good. MLive has a video of a postgame interview with him, but the microphone is so far away that you don't have a chance at understanding what he's saying. Like Peralta, he also fell victim to the wind, because he absolutely crushed a pitch to left and it died on the warning track. 

The Tigers and Royals have a late-afternoon game today (for some reason, all the big Fox games start at 1:00 and all the "not worthy" games start at 4:00 or later). It's a battle of lefties, which is something that I haven't been able to say very often in the past year. Phil Coke will make his first start of the year after appearing a couple times in relief. Now, I saw him for one start in spring training, and I will reiterate that he has shown the ability to make adjustments if the opponent is on to what he is doing early. However, we shall see how that translates to the regular season. Meanwhile, the Royals will start Bruce Chen, and he's a little like Kyle Davies in that the Tigers seem to either beat him up or get completely shut down by him (and as a matter of fact, the last game they faced him in led to one of my most-read posts ever, although Chen wasn't exactly the primary subject; let's just say that was one of my least favorite games ever, based solely on the involuntary reaction I had). The lineup hasn't been posted yet, so I can't really comment on it, although I think Leyland mentioned that Ryan Raburn would start in left field.

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