Sunday, April 11, 2010

Week 1: In Review

The one thing I don't like about the beginning of baseball season is the multitude of day games. Well it didn't bother me so much when I was unemployed, but now that I work for an employer with an impenetrable web filter, it does get on the nerves. The only way to follow along with the Tigers is to keep refreshing on my phone.

I do appreciate the free preview of Extra Innings, and was able to DVR a few games including the Home Opener. The trick was getting home to watch it without the ending being spoiled. Last year's blow out was given away from a phone call from my dad. With family at game, and the added risk of unintentionally running across the score, the phone was shut off. Then I had to survive dinner at a bar. It must have looked weird to others, when I kept putting my hands over my eyes every time the score crawl popped up.

DVR helped over the weekend too, since it was probably one of the last weekends in Georgia before the weather turns from delightful to oppressively hot, I spent most of the weekend fighting clouds of pollen in the north Georgia countryside. I did make the mistake of not adjusting the time, so the recording stopped just as Carlos Guillen made Sunday's game a one run game in the ninth. A mad scramble to the computer confirmed the comeback was completed with a 9-8 victory on a wild pitch.

The win Sunday put the Tigers at 5-1 for the young season. 4 of those five wins the Tigers were trailing a good part of the game. Not the way you would plan it, but first place is first place. So let's take a look at the weeks that was.

The Good:
Magglio Ordonez - Maggs' hot bat from the end of last season has carried over the start of 2010. 12 for 26 with some power as well.

Miguel Cabrera
- staking an early claim for the AL MVP, with a 12 for 23 week and a pair of clutch home runs in the KC series

Jeremy Bonderman & Dontrelle Willis
- Yes it is only one start in for the both of them. I don't expect the same results each time they go out, but the fact both off them appear healthy and can pitch decent bodes well for the back of the rotation

Joel Zumaya - speaking of pitchers returning to form, Joel was lights out in 3.2 innings pitched this week. Allowing only two baserunners and striking out 2, and picking up the win on the season opener

The Bad:
Justin Verlander - 10 runs on 11 hits in his first two outings. Cause for concern? Well JV gave up 21 runs on 27 hits in his first four starts last year. He settled down and shut out the Yankees, for 8 innings to pick up his first win in his last start in April. And it turned out pretty good for him, so lets back away from the panic buttons for now

Jose Valverde - "Papa Grande" was anything but in his first week as a Tiger. A rocky yet scoreless 9th in the first game of the season, followed by a blown save to give the Tigers their only loss of the year so far.

Gerald Laird - Finally picked up his first hit of the year Sunday. Had a bit of an issue defensively with allowing 5 stolen bases in the KC series

The Odds and Ends:
- The Tigers scored 21 of their 35 runs in the 7th inning or later
- Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez are the only Tigers to have home runs
- Justin Verlander has walked as many (4) and Bonderman and Willis combined
- Both times the Tigers forced an opposing pitcher to blow a save, they were trying to get a 4 out save
- Max Scherzer, Phil Coke, and Joel Zumaya are the only Tiger pitchers to not have a run credited to them

The Week Ahead:

The Royals come in for three, and the Tigers avoid Greinke. Then the Tigers head out West for 11 straight. Get the caffeine ready, because if this week taught us anything, it's that it's not over until the 27th out.

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