Game On! Opening Day Game Thread

Opening Day has finally arrived in Detroit for the most anticipated Tigers season that I can remember. Before we get into the game thread portion of this, let’s check out some of the vitals on the day:

Weather: Looks to be 50’s and overcast according to Accuweather. The rain looks to hold off during the game.
Tickets: The game will set a Comerica Park attendance record, but tickets can still be had from StubHub. As I write this at 6:30 there are 161 ticket listings. Many of the tickets are in the $60-75 range so it’s even affordable. Tickets can be picked up at 1555 Broadway.

Hanging out

As for me, I’ll be hanging out at Casey’s on Michigan Avenue in the shadow of Tiger Stadium. It’s a long time pre-game haunt for us, in this our 11th consecutive Opening Day (I think). I will try to file some reports from the pregame and game as well.

Now on to the actual game thread.


Staff aces Justin Verlander and Gil Meche get the ball for their respective teams today in Detroit.

Verlander is coming off a season where he pitched in his first All Star game and finished 5th in Cy Young voting. Of the current Royals, John Buck is the only one to give him any sort of problems. Buck is 5 for 13 with a homer and 2 HBPs off of Verlander.

Meche is coming off an All Star season as well with a 3.67 ERA. He throws a low 90’s fastball and a curve. To right handed batters he features a slider and to lefties he brings out a change-up.

SS Edgar Renteria
2B Placido Polanco
DH Gary Sheffield
RF Magglio Ordonez
3B Miguel Cabrera
1B Carlos Guillen
C Pudge Rodriguez
LF Jacque Jones
CF Brandon Inge

CF David DeJesus
2B Mark Grudzielanek
3B Alex Gordon
RF Jose Guillen
DH Billy Butler
LF Mark Teahen
1B Ross Gload
C John Buck
SS Tony Pena

Game Time 1:05

110 thoughts on “Game On! Opening Day Game Thread”

  1. At 9:00 am and living 2 hours west of Detroit, it is extremely foggy and just a very light mist, and no wind. The birds are chirping!. They know this is the start of spring! Have fun Bilfer, cib and all the rest of my friends attending the game today. As for me, I’ll be right here in my living room sitting at the computer watching the game. Talk with everyone later! Wahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Tigers!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Yay – the game day threads are back! I’ll be watching at work on Gameday, Boss button at the ready, although I think he’s probably doing the same thing.

    Meche vs. Verlander is a great matchup. I still have bad memories of that late July series with the Royals last year when Billy Butler killed us, we dropped 2 of 3 and kicked off a really bad spell of baseball.

    Looking forward to a fun season with all the DTW regulars. Go Tigers!

  3. For lo, the winter is past,
    The rain is over and gone;
    The flowers appear on the earth;
    The time of the singing of birds is come,
    And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

  4. Inge should not be playing centerfield. Jacque Jones should be in center whenever Granderson isn’t in the lineup, and then they should put Inge at third if he’s going to play in the field. Find a way to play Ordonez, Sheffieild and Cabrera in outfield/DH after that. Jones plays good center, as he did last season in Chicago, and Inge plays great third.

  5. YES!!!! I was freaking out about the rain up there….glad it looks like it’s going to hold off.

  6. It’s 12:23am here in Japan, I can’t sleep for the anticipation. Have set my alarm for 2:05 am (game time) but have a feeling won’t be needing it. Will listen on MLB audio, MLB tv blacked out here. Go Tigers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Great to be back for the most anticipated season since I don’t know when… I’m stuck at work down here today, but am working on snagging tickets to at least 4-5 regular season games this year. Here’s to hoping for the season we’ve all been dreaming of.

    Go Tigers!

  8. In the stadium now. The risers are kind of cheesy bit if it pays for Verlander who am I to complain.

  9. I’m in section 145 row EE if anyone wants to say hi. Royal intros are underway and you can hear the F16s in the distance

  10. This is fantastic. Out here on the west coast it is sunny we’ve got the dogs on the grill, Tiger hats on and MLB extra Innings on the dish. Let’s Go Tigers.

  11. Not a big deal, But what a thrill for Clete Thomas to have his name called on opening day, good for him.

  12. Ugh! I’m hoping my college professor doesn’t catch me watching MLB gameday during my 1:00 class. After that, it’s a speedy drive home to catch the second half of the game.

  13. is up now. I prefer the old player, full screen on this one blows. There had been a link during spring training to use the old player, any idea where that link is now?

  14. Espn will probably be airing our game, at least until the yanks are ready to play. Go Tigs!

  15. Couldn’t see the flyover. Only could hear it. Miss America wore a tiara and jumed for joy when the throw made it to home plate.

    Voice of the tirtle was done with Vivaldi in the background and was largely unacknowledged. Sad.

    Players take the field. Happy.

  16. Why did I think Miguel’s pop up to center was going 420 feet. I need to settle down a little.

  17. Welcome back everyone, great to see you all again. Best to everyone at the park today and thanks to you Billfer for all of your work. What a great day.

  18. Was it weird of me to be thinking no hitter as early as the 2nd inning? Damn that Billy Butler. He seems to have Verlander’s number. I can’t think of anyone else who does.

  19. Listening at work to gameday audio, just switched to Directv with MLB extra innings last week, recording the game on DVD at home. This will be a season to remember!!!!!!!!1

  20. CABRERA!!!!!!!

    Rod Allen – “He’s HEEEEEERE!”

    Funny, I was just going to ask everyone here who they thought would hit the first Tigers home run. Moot point now, huh?

  21. can someone provide a score/inning? my feed isn’t working and espn is stuck in the bottom of the 4th….

  22. That looks like its done for Verlander. Bobby Seay and it looks like Aquilino Lopez up in the pen.

  23. Thanks Adam. Can’t use the Gameday thing bcuz the bank I work at won’t install Flash 8.

    So, I am stuck.

    I see the Royals have tied it. Did the bullpen lay an egg already?

  24. Mark, royals took the lead 4-3. Going to bot 7. I guess the pen failed its first test.

  25. They should have kept Seay out there despite the left/right handed matchups. Sometimes you just have to go with talent, and A. Lopez was just throwing grape fruits.

  26. Gah – not sure why Verlander started the inning, but the gray hair is already starting to grow.

    I’m still confident in the heart of our order – they’ll get it back this inning.

  27. Thanks for the updates, guys. It’s frustrating that ESPN isn’t updating properly and I can’t use anything out of

    Also terrific job by the ‘pen blowing the lead in the FIRST GAME of the year. What a way to start. I can hear the pundits already….

  28. Oh I’m getting a bad feeling we let this one get away in the 4th when we had meche on the ropes and only got 1 run.

  29. I can’t trust ESPN. Did we ACTUALLY tie the game? It shows 4-4, but I have no info.

    This blows.

  30. I should be OK now, ESPN appears to be updating and has actually caught up to the current point in the game.

    Thanks everyone for keeping me up to speed.

    It’s really a shame this game is over now that Jonesy is in.

  31. Well as much as Jones makes us crazy, that was solid. Glad to see his velocity was in the low 90s also in light of the arm soreness he had in the spring.

    Now lets go offense!! Win this thing.

  32. That was a hilarious at bat by Pena. Time out please sir. Ok, guess I’ll just protect my face from being demolished by this pitch I wasn’t expecting with a strike out swing instead.

  33. Must give credit where credit is due. Nice work Jones.

    For the love God, Leyland, DO NOT send him back out there for another inning.

  34. Or Magglio will foul out to first. You know, whatever feels right.

    I hope we get this win before Kathy’s thunderstorm shows up.

  35. Man, Bautista was starting to scare me. A hit that shouldn’t have been a hit and then he gets behind the next batter…

    But he looks good. 99 MPH on the pitch that burned Jose Guillen. That one had some butter on it.

  36. Hey everyone!

    It’s so great to be watching Tigers baseball and chatting about it on DTW again.

    Nice to see the bullpen keep us in this one.

    This Nunez kid looks pretty good.

  37. Leadoff walks are killers, and now the Royals have a runnun in scoring position. Time for Bautista to miss some bats.

  38. Well, I sat through 13 innings last year when the Tigers played the Red Sox and we won. Just gotta hang in there.

  39. HAhahaha Inge just bunted directly into his crotch.

    And then he bunted to 1st, which somehow worked to advance the runner.

    I love this game.

  40. Wow, Clete with a big hit!!

    Now Brandon need to do the job and get him over. C’mon team player…

  41. Son of a diddly.

    All Renteria had to do was hit the ball out of the infield and the game is tied.


  42. Well, that’s that. I know its only one game, but dropping opening day to the Royals is really disappointing. Oddly enough, the bullpen is really the only aspect of the organization that played well today.

  43. “The bullpen is really the only aspect of the organization that played well today.”


    I mean, sure, they did okay, but so did everyone else.

    It’s like everyone did something good and something bad. Cabrera hit a home run, but it was a solo shot and that’s all he did. Same with Guillen, only he had two more hits. Renteria hit an RBI single but couldn’t sac fly in the 11th. Polanco had a couple hits taken from him but was also swinging really early in counts.

    And how about Clete Thomas with that jumping catch and the leadoff double? Cool.

    Therefore: the bullpen was meh. Just like everything else.

  44. Kyle J’s first rule of bad losses: They usually occur when you don’t take advantage of superior play early in a game to build a sizable lead.

    Glad to see Inge make some nice contributions, though. Hopefully, these few games in CF will help him see that being the 10th guy on a pennant-contending team is pretty decent gig.

  45. The bullpen as a whole did not play well today. Only Seay and Jones. The two RBI hits in the seventh allowed by Grilli and Lopez were the killers.

  46. Bases loaded and we walk across one lousy run. I agree with Kyle J – we didn’t pound ’em when we had the chance. There should have been no reason this game went to extra innings if we could have pushed across more than 1 run with the bases loaded.

    *sigh* – 161 more games of high pressure excitement to go. Better pace ourselves 😉

  47. eeeee! just returned from the game…thanks billfer! my first opening day ever. the atmosphere was crazy, there were so many people in the concourse that never sat down. All the bars were packed… it was bigger than st. patricks day!

    it’s a shame about the score, but no worries, this is going to be a fun summer!

  48. Some will blame the bullpen for this one but when a great hitting team leaves 10 on base and your ace pitcher leaves in the 7th with two on and nobody out and a one run lead, it’s hard for a mediocre bullpen to save the game.

    Anyway, it was a disappointing outcome today but it’s great that baseball is back. I’m looking forward to an exciting season.


  49. Could have used Rodney tonight. I foresee many games like this. I never felt good once they took the lead in the 7th.

  50. Good game, got my first foul ball ever! (Tony Pena Jr. 5th inn.) which was nice

    Parking wasn’t too bad, but it was crowded as heck – I see they added in some porta-poties, but it still was a loooong wait for the John/other things

    On to the game

    Cabrera and Jones were pressing

    Pudge I think is going to have a big year, looked good behind the dish

    Polanco was also pressing but should have had a hit on that ball snared by Gruz(who btw went largely unnoticed but was probably one of if not the player of the game for his hard slides, d and offense)

    Enough with Shef and walks, I mean its great that he is getting on base, but he is paid to hit and is seeing enough hittable pitches where he isn’t taking 4 walks/game (some of those pitches would have been strikes on other players)

    Guillen (my 2nd favorite Tiger almost hit for the cycle) looked like some pressure was taken off

    Rentaria looked smooth at short, kinda pressing at the plate

    Inge hit two balls extremely far (one for a double, one for a out) and made that terrific throw and had a walk

    it looked like he changed his stance a little bit and or his approach which helped (personally I think it is going to take some time to get used to the OF for him, but I think he’ll have an advantage over Granderson on liners – because of his fast acceleration – quick strides, but a disadvantage on other balls b/c Grandy is so good at gliding and taking long strides)

    Clete had a nice catch (although he kinda was in too far) and got a hit – he looks to be fast and is lefty and can field, don’t know much about his arm strength or batting average (also hit an absolute bomb on ST)

    As for the pitching, Verlander was pretty good for the first few and then tired out, looks like he just needs to build his pitch count up more, but he fell apart later

    The pen I thought was pretty good, given what they were dealing with, Bautista even though he lost the game(Leylands fault for leaving him in for 2innings?) kept lighting up the radar gun

    All in all I’m not worried, I just hope the offense doesn’t rely on those behind them to do the job(Shef)/ or overpress(most of the rest)

  51. Tbone summed it up just right: loads of opportunities with a win for the taking. We just didn’t take it.

  52. A few thoughts:

    Verlander pitched pretty well, but should take a bit of the blame…no reason to give in to Gordon with a lead. His 2-run job gets the Royals back in it.

    The offense was dreadful…wasted leadoff doubles twice, men on second w/1 out and third w/1 out once each, and the bases loaded in the 4th (albeit cashing in one run on a very questionable ball four to Sheff). Ten men left on and allowing Meche to get 6 innings in.

    Cabrera’s error should have been charged to Guillen. The throw was low, but hit Carlos in the glove with his foot still on the bag. E-3, not 5.

    Grilli is the wrong man for 1st & 3rd w/0 out. He laid a 2-strike FB in the middle of the plate and deserved to get hit. Unfortunately, JV didn’t deserve the loss, either, but its his.

    Inge made a beautiful, although awkward, throw to nail Teahen at the plate. He also made an ill advised attempt to dive at a ball late in the game, which later turned Teahen’s single into a triple.

    Bautista has great stuff, but still a long way from having great command.

    No reason to bring Jones in during a tie game. It wasted the closer. The Royals saved their closer for the lead, which was the right move.

    Polly was robbed all day. Hit four balls hard and finishes with an 0-6.

    Sheff did a great job getting on base, although was very fortunate on the full count walk that forced home a run in the fourth.

    Carlos Guillen is a gem of a ballplayer – often taken for granted. I love to watch him hit…so smooth and patient.

    Ok, Opening Day out of the way…lets win the series!!

  53. Rings – you can’t “waste a closer” in a ninth inning tie game when you’re the home team. It’s not as if the Tigers could have “saved him for the lead” because any scoring at that point automatically wins the game. Leyland pitched him in the ninth, and while it wasn’t a save situation, it’s still a pressure situation, because he knows that if he gives up a run we’re probably going to lose. Also, it’s the ninth, the inning Jones is gonna be pitching. And it’s opening day. Why not?

    As for Polly being robbed…I don’t know. The at-bats I watched weren’t the Polanco I’ve been watching over the last couple years. Swinging at pitches way above the belt, early in the count, not advancing runners…I don’t know. Robbed once maybe.

    I think Sheff knows that at this point in the spring he’s not quite ready to be swinging the way he wants to be – I feel like he’s forcing the walks because he knows that’s the best way he’ll be able to help us right now. Anyone disagree?

  54. Dave – true…I remembered thinking “he was on the hook” after his inherited runners scored (keep in mind, I wrote that late last night as a roundup).
    Adam – I still don’t like using a closer in the 9th of a tie game, but that’s a strategical issue. None of the pitchers did a “bad” job really, outside of a few mistakes w/MOB.
    As for Polly: he had a line drive to right with sacks full in the 4th, a line drive speared by the 2B in the 9th, and shot to diving Gordon at 3B for the final out, so I’ll stand corrected on “hit four balls hard,” but he easily could have been 3-6 based on hitting line drives; he swung the bat pretty well.

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