PREGAME: Tonight the NFL kicks off it’s season, and for the first time in recent memory I could care less. The Tigers enter this series knowing that they could A)Effectively knock the Twins out of the divisional race B)Find themselves in a tie for 1st place or C)tread water for 4 more games. Looking at the pitching matchups, A would seem like a possibility, but given the way the Tigers have hit against everyone lately I’d be satisfied with C.
Scott Baker will be taking the hill sporting an ERA 3 runs higher than his Detroit counterpart Justin Verlander. But in his last start (and his only start since August 1st) Baker limited the Yankees to 1 runs on 2 hits over 5 innings.
Verlander is coming off a start in which he threw 126 pitches in just 7 innings. I’ll be watching Verlander’s velocity as well as seeing how quick Jim Leyland is with the hook.
Game Time 8:10
POSTGAME: There wasn’t much not to like about this game with the exception of Verlander throwing 15-20 more pitches than were necessary. But along the way he really staked a claim for the Rookie of the Year award with an excellent performance in a high profile game.
The Tigers had a balanced attack from the offense, and rendered two pitchers unavailable for the next couple nights.
As Pete pointed out in the comments, we’ve been here before with an impressive series opener only to struggle in the subsequent games. Even winning 1 in the next 3 and the Tigers have improved their chances of taking the division. But let’s not think like that yet.