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Opening Day: Blue Jays at Tigers

PREGAME: The return of the game posts, also known as “it’s about time baseball season is back.” If you’re new to the site, this is where we discuss the game at hand.

The Tigers will send out Jeremy Bonderman. Bonderman is expected by many (myself included) to make a big leap this year. He’ll get his first chance against a very formidable offense, on a pretty big stage. He has been highly effective against most of the Blue Jays with the exception of Vernon Wells. Wells is 5 for 12 with a couple doubles and a couple walks. Fortunately, Bonderman’s nemesis Matt Stairs (10 for 21, 3 walks, 3 homers) will not be in the lineup today.

The Tigers will be facing perhaps the best right hander in the American League in Roy Halladay. Current Tigers have had very little success against Halladay with a combined 7 extra base hits. Four of those belong to Pudge Rodriguez is is 10 for 18 off of Halladay.

Game Time is 1:05pm with Pennant Raising ceremonies and booing of Governor Jennifer Granholm and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick set to begin at 12:30. The game can be seen Fox 2 and FSN Detroit and heard on 1270 WXYT.

As a reminder on commenting rules, it is basically 1. Don’t swear, 2. Be nice, 3. Don’t be a jerk
Fangraphs will have live win probability calculations all season long (for more on WPA see here).

Blue Jays Lineup

1. LF Reed Johnson
2. 1B Lyle Overbay
3. CF Vernon Wells
4. DH Frank Thomas
5. 3B Troy Glaus
6. RF Alex Rios
7. C Gregg Zaun
8. 2B Aaron Hill
9. SS Royce Clayton

Tigers Lineup

1. CF Curtis Granderson
2. 2B Placido Polanco
3. DH Gary Sheffield
4. SS Carlos Guillen
5. RF Magglio Ordonez
6. C Ivan Rodriguez
7. 1B Sean Casey
8. LF Craig Monroe
9. 3B Brandon Inge

Well, they came up a little short today on a rough first inning by Bonderman, and a rough last inning by Fernando Rodney. What was really impressive is that threats were very limited in between. The loss is far from devastating, but getting a solid outing from your starter and putting 3 up on Roy Halladay normally gives you a good chance to win (as my buddy Russ said on the way home). To let it get away is a little disappointing.

Because I was too giddy to sleep last night, and worn out by the day, just some bulleted thoughts on the game:

Posted by on April 2, 2007.

Categories: 2007 Season, Game Post

29 Responses

  1. I’m outta here; enjoy the day, everyone!

    by Jeff M on Apr 2, 2007 at 9:38 am

  2. I’ll be listening at work. The Tigers will win 5-2. 7 solid innings from Bonderman.

    by Lee Panas on Apr 2, 2007 at 11:07 am

  3. Ha, just like I predicted, Lee! Great minds think alike.

    by Kurt on Apr 2, 2007 at 11:10 am

  4. Well, We havent done this in a while……….. Looking forward to this.


    by Steve - Roch NY on Apr 2, 2007 at 11:17 am

  5. Live win probabilities? That’s the last thing an obsessive compulsive numbers-oriented fan such as myself needs to have at his disposal.

    by Kyle J on Apr 2, 2007 at 11:58 am

  6. Tigers ’07 here we come.

    by Alex on Apr 2, 2007 at 12:14 pm

  7. Hmmmmm…the Tigers aren’t exactly providing me motivation to stay up any later here in Tokyo…

    Let’s come right back!

    by Shawn in Tokyo on Apr 2, 2007 at 12:20 pm

  8. The Blue Jays came ready to play. Where are the Tigers?

    by Kathy on Apr 2, 2007 at 12:49 pm

  9. Looks like Bonderman has settled down a bit. Granderson’s looking good too–I was pleased to see him not strike out with Inge on base.

    by Anne on Apr 2, 2007 at 1:18 pm

  10. Grandy!

    by Anne on Apr 2, 2007 at 1:29 pm

  11. Sheffield really does give the lineup a new feel. Two RBI with no hits so far. It sounded cliche’ed (sp?), but it’s nice to have a legitimate RBI machine in the middle of the lineup.

    And it’s just fun to watch him wag his bat.

    by Kyle J on Apr 2, 2007 at 1:39 pm

  12. Aaaaaand we lost. Woo.

    Good outings from Zumaya, Jones, and Bonderman (after the 3 run hiccup.) Not-so-good outings from C-Mo (minus the two home-run saving catches) and Pudge…

    But Granderson and Polanco are batting .400 and .600 respectively, and that’s always good.

    by Adam on Apr 2, 2007 at 4:16 pm

  13. Good game. Just came up short. That is going to happen over a long season.

    by Brian B on Apr 2, 2007 at 4:18 pm

  14. A good warmup against a very good Toronto team.

    by Kathy on Apr 2, 2007 at 4:21 pm

  15. I guess I’ll settle for 161-1.

    I’m curious how Leyland will handle the bullpen. Last year it was usually Zumaya, Rodney, Jones–in that order. Will it be the same this year? Rodney wouldn’t pitch the 8th today because the game was tied, but if the Tigers were leading would he?

    by Greg on Apr 2, 2007 at 4:22 pm

  16. I liked seeing the way we worked Halladay today, despite the loss. We got down early and it looked like Doc was cruising, but we got his pitch count up and got him out of there after only 6 innings. That’s not something we did much of last year.

    Also, it’s nice to see Polly slapping the ball all over the place again. Breaks that 0-20 skid that ended the postseason.

    Another tough challenge coming v. Burnett on Wednesday.

    by Sideshow Cecil on Apr 2, 2007 at 7:50 pm

  17. I had a great view of it, and Monroe for sure should of had the ball in the 1st inning. He assumed Guillen would catch it and jogged in on it. You could tell by his reaction afterwards he knew he screwed up. He did make up for it with a couple of good plays later in the game (despite a perfect 4-4 at the plate!! 4 up – 4 Ks)


    by Sam on Apr 2, 2007 at 8:27 pm

  18. I enjoyed the game, but for one reason or another they didn’t look like they were on the same page. Maybe it’s just my disappointment talking for me. I would have loved if they had gone out there like gangbusters straight out of the box.

    by Kathy on Apr 2, 2007 at 8:56 pm

  19. Was at the game today…one loss is nothing. Did anyone else notice Polly’s three hits were on two strikes to boot? Niiice…

    by Jim on Apr 2, 2007 at 10:37 pm

  20. Here’s a fun question, Billfer- is there any sort of statistic that tracks the performance of a team based on the outcome of their opening day game? Does a team that loses the first game end up doing more poorly by the end of the season than a team that wins on opening day? Sorry if that seems really dumb.

    by Adam on Apr 3, 2007 at 2:21 am

  21. Bilfer,

    Thanks for the report – having discovered your blog and many other Tigers blogs last year when I couldn’t get enough Tigers, I still think yours is my favorite because of the combination of analysis and the human element that comes from you and your family being such great fans.

    Looking forward to following the 07 season with you and the rest of your readers.

    by adr on Apr 3, 2007 at 9:41 am

  22. Agree with most of the above. Thought Polly looked like he’s already in a groove — hitting .600 in spring training is good for the soul — and thought Sheff brings such a fearsome presence to the middle of the lineup. Watching the game at a bar at lunch with some buddies — no Tiger fans among them — they all agreed that the lineup has a totally different feel with him. There’s genuinely someone there now that a pitcher is going to NOT want to face, as opposed to last season when there were lots of consistent threats but not someone you were actually afraid of. He’s gonna have a monster year.

    Too bad for C-Mo…told my wife Her Tiger tossed a Golden Sombrero on opening day and she was pissed the rest of the night. He better warm up or she’s gonna come looking for him. No worries, he’ll heat up. Also too bad for Rodney, and I agree that the pitch selection seemed odd…forget about the changeup, ‘Nando, give ‘em the heater. But that’s ok, that’s fixable.

    All in all, not bad, let’s get em tomorrow.

    by Bix on Apr 3, 2007 at 9:45 am

  23. Good Game, bad final. Even though Shef had 2/3 RBIs, he shoulda really done something in the 9th… Also, Guillen made 2 great plays – hopefully his knee is better. Monroe misjudged both balls he caught near/over the wall. Not that great of a crowd, especially all of those who left. First year w/o a poster :(. They shoulda moved the next 2 games up b/c its gunna get cold…hopefully no postponement.

    Hopefully Robertson can attack this righty-heavy lineup and be sucessful!

    by David on Apr 3, 2007 at 3:05 pm

  24. Is it bad that I cringe everytime Guillen throws a baseball? I wouldn’t have survived the later Chuck Knoblauch years at all.

    Chuck Hernandez shouldn’t need to re-address Rodney’s love for the change up. It should be a constant thing. I don’t know if Rodney will take that next step into consistent, upper echelon reliever until he commands his fastball and uses it. Someone get Trevor Hoffman to retire and come mentor Rodney.

    by Mike R on Apr 3, 2007 at 3:09 pm

  25. [...] Fernando Rodney looked very similar to his two appearances that I saw in Lakeland. The non-roster invitees he was facing late in those games didn’t make him pay nearly as much for his mistakes as the Blue Jays did yesterday. He stuff wasn’t necessarily off, but he couldn’t close hitters out despite getting ahead. Billfer notes that during a part of last year, pitching coach Chuck Hernandez was trying to Rodney to rely less on the changeup and look more to the fastball. After an at-bat with Troy Glaus where he threw three straight changeups and eventually lost Glaus to an RBI-single, maybe that should once again be a focus for Hernandez and Rodney. [...]

    by Opening Day: Spoiled by the Jays « Baseball By Paul on Apr 3, 2007 at 3:26 pm

  26. Today is a real let down. You get all excited for the opening of the season only to play one game and then nothing the next day. I know they do it in case opening day gets rained out, but it still doesn’t make it any less of a let down.

    by Russ on Apr 3, 2007 at 6:46 pm

  27. I agree Russ. In terms of down baseball days, it ranks right with the day after the All Star game.

    by billfer on Apr 3, 2007 at 9:53 pm

  28. It’s good to hear someone else say that. I get so pumped up for opening day, then the next day–nothing! Yesterday felt almost as long as all of spring training.
    Would love to see us get a win under our belts today.

    by Anne on Apr 4, 2007 at 6:59 am

  29. [...] It’s Opening Day! Bonderman gives up first inning runs and the bullpen loses the game in extra innings. [...]

    by The Detroit Tiger Weblog » Blog Archive » Detroit Tigers Weblog 2007 Year in Review on Dec 30, 2007 at 11:16 pm

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About the Site Detroit Tigers Weblog was launched in July, 2001. At the time it was the only Tigers blog and it resided as a blogspot page. There were multiple authors and it mostly consisted of links to the rare times the Tigers were mentioned in the national media. We only had a few dozen […]more →

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