PREGAME: Ah, a return to Kansas City where the Tigers began their out-of-nowhere season last year with a 2 game sweep to start the season, and clinched a playoff spot with a 3 game sweep in September.
The Tigers will throw Justin Verlander against the Royals. Verlander kind of feasted on Royals last year, allowing only 2 extra base hits and 2 runs in 21 innings. Of course, the 2006 ROY didn’t have to deal with 2007 ROY preseason candidate Alex Gordon.
The Tigers will face their first southpaw in Jorge De La Rosa. De La Rosa only has 144IP in his career and he has nearly as many walks (106) as strikeouts (114). The newly patient Tigers could exploit this number, espeically on a bitter cold night where gripping the ball could be a challenge.
Game Time 8:10
POSTGAME Enough with the excuses about wind in the outfield. Craig Monroe had his second ball this season drop in front of him. Magglio Ordonez screwed up 2 plays in the outfield, one was on the ground so I don’t think the wind impacted it. Plus, the Tigers hit pretty much every ball in the air and the Royals didn’t have a problem with it.
- Jose Mesa wasn’t fooling anyone, and the ball was up. The results speak for themselves. Monroe’s gaffe allowing the second run wasn’t Mesa’s fault, but the damage had already been done. He was pretty bad in spring training allowing 23 baserunners in 13 1/3 innings. I wonder how many chances he’ll be given.
- Verlander looked great early on, but then the control completely disappeared. The five walks didn’t cost him, except for shortening his outing.
- Craig Monroe’s double was only the Tigers 4th extra base hit.
- Two very nice plays from Brandon Inge. He needed some help from Casey on his first throw, but it was a heck of a play to come up with it in the first place.
- Very nice first outing for Wil Ledezma coming in to bail out Mesa and only allowing a walk in 1 2/3.