Tigers: High 5, and 0

I was at a function tonight that kept me from listening to the game. When I hopped in the car, I tuned in just in time to hear Dan Dickerosn and Jim Price signing off from a 5th straight Tiger victory. It wasn’t until I got home and had a chance to peruse the box score that I became downright giddy.

This was probably the best test of the season for the Tigers. After facing bottom tier pitchers in their first 4 games, Detroit went up against the Rangers ace Kevin Millwood. On the other side the Tigers were throwing a rookie against a powerful offensive team in a definite hitters environment. They also had a lineup featuring Brandon Inge hitting 3rd, and Vance Wilson in for Pudge Rodriguez. A 7-0 win easily eclipses my expectations for the game.

Justin Verlander’s start was absolutely incredible. Seven innings of two-hit, shut out baseball is impressive under any circumstances. Given it was against the Rangers in Arlington is pretty amazing. As impressive as Jeremy Bonderman’s and Kenny Rogers starts were, Verlander’s performance tops both. Not only was he dominant, he was efficient, throwing only 89 pitches.

Chris Shelton continues to do what Chris Shelton Carl Crawford does as he legged out two triples. That brings his total bases to 35. Going into Saturday, the next closest player had 15.

The team is playing well, and at the same time they are getting break after break. In the first inning, they hit several balls hard, but were also greatly assisted by a Hank Blalock error and a ducksnort from Dmitri Young. Either play would have gotten Millwood out of the inning, instead the Tigers scored 4. The same thing happened on Friday night when defensive miscues helped the Tigers regain the lead early on. On the other side, it seems that whenever Tiger pitchers need to get out of a jam, they induce comebackers, pop-ups, and tailor made double play balls. Eventually these things will even out. In the meantime, the Tigers are winning.

I’ll really try to get together a post that isn’t gushing at some point. In the meantime, I’m going to just keep enjoying the ride.


  1. Brian A.

    April 9, 2006 at 1:16 am

    The thing that I have noticed so far is that the tigers seem to be getting the little breaks that weren’t really going their way last year. Things like D-Young’s single that you mentioned are perfect examples of this. Whether it’s just a little run or good luck, or part of a larger thing that will help the team out like the White Sox seemed to benifit from last season, i’ll certainly take it.

  2. Joey

    April 9, 2006 at 1:57 am

    I wish some jerk hadn’t jumped ahead of me and drafted Verlander in my fantasy league!

    The kid looked great. I couldn’t believe it when he reached 99 mph on two consecutive pitches. I knew he was a hard thrower, but this is much more than I expected. He was also spotting a heavy curve and the changeup was 10-15 mph slower than the heat. Unbelievable.

    If Verlander, Zoom Zoom, and Tata can keep pitching like they did this first week throughout the remainder of the season, we’re going to have a fun year.

    We sure are due for one.

  3. Jeff M

    April 9, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Starters 5-0. First time since 1911.


  4. Alan Stokes

    April 9, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    How many does Detroit need to win before they are considered a contender? My sense is that with the national media like ESPN they will get some attention if they do well in their home opening series with the White Sox. Although I wouldn’t put it past them if we beat them for them to say, “Look at the White Sox record this year, they are not a true test.”

  5. Joey

    April 9, 2006 at 6:12 pm

    The Tigers will need to get through May with a winning record before the media starts to take them seriously.

    Sparky always claimed that it took 40 games to see what kind of team he had.