Detroit Tigers clinch opening day victory
Opening day at Comerica Park featured two all-star caliber starting pitchers, which made for a fun and interesting game. Each player (Lester and Verlander) made their rookie debuts in 2006, and each have proven themselves to be unique talents. For the Red Sox, Jon Lester took the mound. With a career era of 3.53, and a persuasive win-loss percentage, the Tigers should feel very good about themselves after today’s win. Although Lester gave up 1 earned run, he handled the power of the Tigers’ lineup with great poise.
On the other side, the Tigers were spoiled to have Justin Verlander as their starter. Last year’s Cy Young winner and MVP gave up only 2 hits and walked 1 batter. Had they not given up the two tying runs to the Red Sox in the top of the ninth, Verlander would have earned the win for the day.
At the end of the day, out of all the players who walked up to the plate, there was only one left with a perfect batting average. Considering Verlander had his way with the Red Sox, that player was a Tiger. Jhonny Peralta went 3-3 today, with 2 singles, a double, as well as a walk. Another impressive performance came from a much improved Austin Jackson, who had the game-winning, walk-off hit. He went 3-5, with 2 singles, a triple, and an RBI. The real power of the lineup in Boesch, Cabrera, Fielder, and Young didn’t hit as well as some would’ve liked, but the rest of the lineup came through for the team to help them pick up the victory. After seeing his performance today, it may take Jose Valverde some time to get back to the high level of production that he brought to the team last season. Granted, the Red Sox have quite a talented lineup as well, but Verlander deserved that win today.
He pitched very well and practically put the team on his back for much of the game, and at the end of the day he doesn’t have a win on his record to show for it. Of course, Verlander is known as a team player who does anything to help his team win, which is why fans should not be disappointed in today’s grind-out victory. If Verlander isn’t upset about his performance not being rewarded on the stat sheet, then fans shouldn’t be either. Instead, the Detroit Tigers nation should be encouraged at the growth and improvement in Austin Jackson’s game, and look forward to a fun and exciting season.
On a side note, Miguel Cabrera may very well be one of the most-feared batters in the major leagues. Despite not having any hits today, he was walked 3 times. While Prince Fielder may be a talented slugger, Cabrera has a talent that simply scares opposing pitchers. With Cabrera and Fielder batting next to each other in the lineup, it is likely that we will see many back-to-back homeruns this season. Maybe even back-to-back-to-back-to-back, between the engine of the offense, Boesch, Cabrera, Fielder, and Young.