Friday, April 10, 2009

Tigers Rout Rangers in Home opener

The Tigers could not have provided a more entertaining home opener for fans at Comerica Park today. They collected 14 hits including five for extra bases as they pounded the Rangers 15-2. Red hot Miguel Cabrera lead the way with three hits including a grand slam and a two run double and six RBI. In contrast to his painfully slow start in 2008, Cabrera is batting .611 with three home runs and a 1.222 slugging average in his first five games this year.

Jeff Larish got his first start today at designated hitter and had an opposite field home run and a single in five at bats. Others with two hits were Placido Polanco, Magglio Ordonez and Gerlad Laird.

All of the slugging was nice but the most encouraging performance of the day was by Armando Galarraga. The Big Cat worked seven innings allowing one run on five hits and a walk and had a career high eight strikeouts. It was the second outstanding performance of the week for a Tigers starter, the other being Edwin Jackson's gem on Tuesday.

One of the reasons for bringing in pitching coach Rick Knapp from the Twins system was the Twins propensity to develop strike throwing pitchers. Last year, Tigers starters had 602 strikeouts and 375 walks for a very sub-par 1.6 ratio compared to a league average of 2.1. This year, in five games, they have been throwing strikes and it shows in the starting pitcher's 24/7 K/BB ratio.

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