I'm sure that most of you somehow managed to either watch or listen to today's opening day 3-1 victory at Kansas City. I listened to the game at work and it was a great start to the season. Here are my thoughts:
Shelton had an awesome start to the season - three hits including a pair of solo homeruns. He also hit the ball hard the fourth time up but was robbed of a hit by Mark Grudzielanek. I am expecting Shelton to be the best hitter on the team this year and today's performance did nothing to dampen my confidence. I don't think he'll be batting sixth for long. Carlos Guillen, who might be the biggest key to a significant Tiger improvement this year, helped ease concerns about his health by belting a homerun for the Tigers third run of the game. He only hit 5 homeruns all last year so this was good to see.
The pitching was excellent. Many of us are concerned about Kenny Rogers' advancing age but he got off to a good start today pitching 6 strong innings. I was even more pleased with the bullpen. Joel Zumaya was put into a key spot in his first major league game and pitched two shutout innings. He reportedly was throwing between 97-99 MPH consistently and had good control. I can hardly wait to watch him pitch on TV later in the week. Finally, Fernando Rodney, who struggled as a closer last year, pitched a perfect ninth to get the save.
It was only one game and it was only the Royals but it was still a very satisfying start to the season. Jeremy Bonderman, another big key to a successful season, pitches the second game on Wednesday against the Royals.