Opening day in baseball should really be a national holiday, but it's OK. I'm lucky enough to have a job where I can listen to a game while I work. Tigers radio broadcaster Dan Dickerson is good for that because he let's you know emphatically when something important is happening so you don't have to listen to every pitch. Of course, on opening day, you listen to every pitch anyway and this game did not disappoint.
There was really no way this game was going to get me down anyway because it's so good to have baseball back again. It could not have gone better. The Tigers new ace - left-hander David Price - pitched 8 2/3 innings of shutout ball as Detroit blanked the Minnesota Twins 4-0 at Comerica Park. For a while. it looked like Price would throw a Maddox - a complete game shutout in under 100 pitches, something the Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer would do routinely back in the 90s. He had to leave have 101 pitches and settle for a combined shutout with closer Joe Nathan who fanned ex-Tiger Torii Hunter for the final out.
So, it was great that Price pitched so well and Nathan didn't blow the game or even make us uncomfortable, but everything else went right too. JD Martinez tried to show that last year was not a fluke but crushing a 412 foot home run to center field in his first at bat in the second inning. In the same inning, catcher Alex Avila blasted a home run...to left field, something he never did once all of last year. He had been working on hitting to the opposite all spring, so that was encouraging.
Jose Iglesias, the shortstop who supposedly can't hit, got two hits, stole two bases and provided his usual sharp defense. New left fielder Yoenis Cespedes played like the hyped Cuban superstar the Tigers were scouting before he signed with the Athletics three years ago. He crushed a double and a triple and made a home run saving catch above the wall in left.
Pitching, power, speed, defense...It was just one game, but you could not have asked for a better start to the 2015 season.