PREGAME: It’s Opening Day in Baltimore, a day of renewed hope and optimism for O’s fans. The last time the Tigers were in Baltimore (don’t worry, I’ll stop these “last time the Tigers” things soon), Orioles fans staged a walk out protesting Peter Angelos ownership. It was a game I happened to be at.
Today Chad Durbin makes his first start of the season, and 57th of his career. His overall numbers are nothing to get excited about, but he’s up here because of what he did in AAA last year. For Toledo he struck out 3.24 batters for every one he walked and posted a 3.11 ERA in 185 innings.
He’ll be opposed by Daniel Cabrera who has filthy stuff, but no control. He struck out more than a batter an inning last year, but walked more than 6 per nine innings. The Tigers will put out there regular lineup against right handers of Granderson/Polanco/Sheffield/Ordonez/Guillen/Rodriguez/Casey/Monroe/Inge.
Game time 3:05
POSTGAME: So much for yesterday’s late inning heroics jump-starting the offense. The Tigers once again struggled to generate any offense. Even when they managed to get into hitters counts, they still struggled to make solid contact.
After the first 2 innings things were looking pretty good. The Tigers made Cabrera throw 21 pitches to only 3 batters in the first inning. In the second they saw 17 pitches, had a couple of hard hit balls and plated their first run. After that he only threw 66 pitches over the next 4 innings. The Tigers made a lot of routine outs, and when they did reach base the innings were cut short with double plays.
Meanwhile Chad Durbin mowed through the first 2 innings on 21 pitches. Everything was great until the 3rd inning when the wheels came off. A couple solid hits, a couple weak hits, and the Tigers were down 4 runs. He looked to gather himself well in 4th inning before surrendering a couple runs in the 5th.
Durbin gave way to Wil Ledezma in the 5th, and while he’ll get another chance or two, he may run the risk of giving way to Ledezma in the rotation as well. Ledezma looked great again today with 2 2/3 innings allowing only a run producing bloop single.
While Durbin struggled, he wasn’t awful and there’s a good chance they lose that game the way Cabrera was pitching anyways. Removing Durbin from the rotation is probably premature at this point.
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view), Jose Mesa managed a strong inning.