Game 4: An Opening Day Gift

ESPN highlights available here.

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The Score: Tigers 5 – Indians 2

The Gist: Rick Porcello was good enough and Indians’ third baseman Jhonny Peralta‘s judgment was poor enough for the Tigers eek out a 5-2 Opening Day win in front of 45,010 at Comerica Park.

Peralta’s wild throw to first with the bases loaded allowed three Tigers to score and take a 4-2 lead. Magglio Ordonez continued his blistering start with two hits including an RBI double. Miguel Cabrera went hitless, believe it or not.

The Quote: “It’s a holiday in Detroit like deer season is in Pennsylvania. Downtown’s hopping.” — Jim Leyland on Opening Day in Detroit

The Stat: 1Scott Sizemore got his first big-league hit, Jose Valverde his first Tigers save, Austin Jackson his first hit at Comerica Park.

Up Next: Jeremy Bonderman (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Mitch Talbot (0-0, 0.00 ERA); 1:05 p.m. ET

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Game 3: Heart of the Order Keeps Pumping

ESPN highlights available here.
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The Score: Tigers 7 – Royals 3

The Gist: Dontrelle Willis‘s much-anticipated 2010 debut arrived and he was … fine. In the first inning he threw just eight strikes versus 13 balls. He walked his first hitter on four straight. But after allowing another first-inning walk, he didn’t yield another one. In six innings he allowed seven hits and struck out four.

Seven hits between Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera alone paced the offense, each hitting a homer; Cabrera’s three-run shot in the eighth gave the Tigers their first lead and the bullpen made it hold up. Austin Jackson stroked two doubles.

The Quote: “They had me on the ropes. But with the encouragement of my team I was able to battle, make some good pitches and get us back in the dugout.” — Willis, on his shaky first inning.

The Stat: 61 – The percentage of Willis’ 88 pitches thrown for strikes.

Up Next: Tigers vs. Indians – Rick Porcello vs LHP David Huff | 1:05 p.m ET | FSD & WJBK/1270 & 97.1

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Tigers Today: April 4, 2010

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Tigers’ Final Spring Training Record: 18-12-2

Today’s Game

Off Day in Kansas City

The Tigers will conduct a 1 p.m. workout on Sunday at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium in preparation for Opening Day.

Jeremy Bonderman remained behind in Lakeland and will pitch in a minor league game on Sunday before joining the club in Kansas City.

Yesterday’s Results

Brewers 13 – Tigers 12

The Tigers rocked Brewers pitchers for five homers (Austin Jackson, Magglio Ordonez, Ryan Raburn, Danny Worth and Jeff Larish) but the bullpen obliterated another sterling performance by Rick Porcello (4.1 innings of two-hit, walk-less pitching).

Of particular wretchedness was Joel Zumaya who surrendered five runs without registering an out. Phil Coke didn’t fare much better: three earned runs in just a third of an inning.

Oh, and in his final spring tuneup, Dontrelle Willis gave up five hits in his three scoreless innings. Keep those fingers crossed.

Continue reading “Tigers Today: April 4, 2010”

Tigers Today: April 3, 2010

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Tigers’ Spring Training Record: 18-11-2

Today’s Game

Tigers @ Brewers | 2:10 p.m ET – Miller Park, Milwaukee | On the air: None

Pitching Matchup Rick Porcello, 1-1, 1.50 ERA vs. Dave Bush, 1-1, 4.34 ERA

Also scheduled to pitch: Dontrelle Willis

Continue reading “Tigers Today: April 3, 2010”

The Yin and Yang of Johnny Damon

BallBatGrass.jpgYahoo! Sports’ Steve Henson says Scott Boras — bagman for Johnny Damon — saved the Tigers’ season. Them’s fighting words.

[Tigers owner Mike Ilitch] whipped out his checkbook and, just like that, Damon became the Tigers’ left fielder for 2010.

Luckily for Dombrowski. And for manager Jim Leyland. Both are consummate pros with solid track records, but without Damon they were headed pell-mell for disaster.

Were the Tigers headed for disaster without Damon? No way; they’d have made some other move to steady the offense, but probably not as nifty a move as Damon.

Continue reading “The Yin and Yang of Johnny Damon”

Updated: Uniform Numbers Assigned to New Tigers

ScorecardXSmall.jpgIf you were wondering, here are the uniform numbers for the newest Tigers:

  • Phil Coke #40
  • Max Scherzer #37
  • Jose Valverde #46
  • Scott Sizemore #20
  • Austin Jackson #14

For whatever reason, Daniel Schlereth hasn’t been tagged yet. But we’ll be sure to break into regular programming when it’s announced. I’m guessing it’s #36.

Update 11:19 a.m. ET: I was wrong; Schlereth will wear #55.

How It’s Playing in Arizona

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Here’s how the Tigers-Yankees-Diamondbacks trade is covered in today’s edition of the Arizona Republic. The story appears above the fold but, not surprisingly, below the Suns-Mavericks game story. Here are some other Phoenix-focused opinions on the deal:

  • The Republic‘s Nick Piecoro (who, by the by, has one of the best team blogs out there): A long, hard look at The Big Deal. A snippet:

    Before we go any further: I’m not crazy about this deal, either. I’m not sure I hate it as much as some people; I’m just not entirely on board.

  • Long-time Valley sports-radio guy Dave Burns: Breaking down the trade with pros and cons.

    Pro: You just added starting pitching to your rotation without having to pay a lot for it.

    Con: Of the four guys the D-backs have just added or subtracted, none of them have as high a ceiling as Max Scherzer does. And it ain’t even close.

  • D’backs.com/MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert: Analyzing the Jackson Deal:

    [Scherzer] still needs to improve his pitch efficiency so that he can pitch deeper in games, needs to further develop his secondary pitches and also needs to show that he can cross the 200-inning barrier.

    The D-backs must have felt that the above were real challenges for him and felt more comfortable with the combination of Edwin Jackson and Kennedy.

    As for Schlereth, the potential is there, but there have always been concerns about his command.

As for yours truly, I got over the Jason Thompson trade. I survived Kirk Gibson‘s departure. And I guess I’ll eventually move past Curtis Granderson in pinstripes.