Questions answered? Not exactly, but what a fantastic start for the 2010 Detroit Tigers.
Trailing 4-1 after a Yuniesky Betancourt home run and Billy Butler two-run single off Justin Verlander, the Tigers rallied to an 8-2 victory on opening day.
The big inning came in the 7th after the departure of last year’s American League Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, as the Tigers sent 10 men to the plate, and scored 6 runs.
Austin Jackson doubled home a run in the 7th, which capped off a 1-5 day that included an outfield assist.
Following Jackson in the 7th, Johnny Damon doubled home the tying and go ahead runs to give the Tigers the lead for good. Damon went 2-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI.
Justin Verlander struggled a little today, not out of the ordinary for him at the start of the year. He went just 5 innings, allowing 4 earned, but did collect 6 strikeouts.
The middle of the order was a sight for sore eyes today, as Magglio Ordonez went 2-5 with a double and run scored. Miguel Cabrera was 2-4 with 2 RBI.
With all the good news, it’s important to note the Tigers will have their share of concerns after today’s ballgame. Carlos Guillen’s first 2 at-bats, with runners on base, produced 2 unproductive outs. One of those at-bats followed an unintentional “intentional” walk. A big question surrounding the Tigers is whether or not Guillen can provide enough protection in the order for Miguel Cabrera to do the damage he’s capable of doing. Today he did not.
Verlander was a little bit of a concern today, as his fastball was very flat and he often missed his location. If anyone deserves a pass, it’s Justin Verlander.
Finally, Jose Valverde was very suspect with his location today, making for an interesting, non-save situation, 9th inning.
Bottom line? The Tigers are 1-0 and tied for first in the AL Central. Tigers are off tomorrow, and return Wednesday. Probables include Max Scherzer (DET) vs. Luke Hochevar (KC).