Monday, April 02, 2007

Opening Day

Winter is over and the day we've been waiting for since last October is finally here. It's opening day, the official first day of spring for baseball fans. Whether you will be at the game, staying at home watching on TV or trying follow the game at work on a radio or internet scoreboard, this is our national holiday. It will be the beginning of seven months of pleasure regardless of the outcome.


The Tigers open up at home versus the Blue Jays. It's rainy and cold where I am in Massachusetts but it should be a beautiful day in Detroit. Jeremy Bonderman is facing Roy Halladay in what should be a great matchup between two of the best pitchers in the league. I'll do my best to listen while I work. Here are the probable starting line-ups:

Curtis Granderson, cf
Placido Polanco, 2b
Gary Sheffield, dh
Magglio Ordonez, rf
Carlos Guillen, ss
Pudge Rodriguez, c
Sean Casey, 1b
Craig Monroe, lf
Brandon Inge, 3b

Reed Johnson, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Troy Glaus, 3B
Alex Rios, RF
Gregg Zaun, C
Aaron Hill, 2B
Royce Clayton, SS

Curtis Granderson is also excited about opening day and he talks about it in his blog.


Most of you saw or heard the Tigers lose 5-3 in the 1oth inning when Fernando Rodney loaded the bases and allowed a two run single to Troy Glaus. I heard the game at work so I'll point you toward Mack Avenue Kurt who watched the game on television and has a nice wrap-up. The box score can be found at MLB.COM.

Here are my thoughts:
  • One thing that caught my attention was Granderson getting a two strike single in his first bat. That is noteworthy only because he's been working on his two strike approach all spring and that was a good start. He doubled later in the game.
  • It was good to see Bonderman battle back after a rough first inning. He retired his last 13 out 14. It's unclear exactly how much he used his new change-up. It sounded like he didn't use it much but Jim Price mentioned that he threw it a couple of times for balls. I'm hoping he sitcks with it even if he does not throw it often.
  • Gary Sheffield made his much awaited Tigers debut and managed to knock in two runs without a hit. He had two sacrifice flies. Obviously, I want to see him do more than get sacrifice flies but it's probably good for some of the less disciplined hitters on the team to see him get runs home against a tough pitcher without the benefit of a hit.
  • Jim Leyland made his first substitution of the year in the 9th inning. After Casey reached on a one out walk , Neifi Perez came into to pinch run and nearly got picked off. Perez stayed in the game to play shortstop and Carlos Guillen switched to first base. This was probably the right move in a tie game going into extra innings but it makes me a little nervous. If Casey gets hurt and has to miss a few games, Perez to short and Guillen to first is not something I'd want to see. Hopefully, Leyland will have enough confidence in Thames to let him play first in that instance.

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