Game 2012.1 Opening Day

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.

1:05pm ET. Who is headed out to the park? Where will you be watching?

1. Jackson, CF
2. Boesch, RF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, LF
6. Raburn, DH
7. Peralta, SS
8. Avila, C
9. Santiago, 2B


  1. The Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    April 5, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Let the turtle sing as normality has once again returned to America!

    I will celebrate my 46th season as a devoted Tiger fan as like past starts by playing afternoon hookey from work. My coffee bud from work, a devoted Red Sox fan will be coming to the house where we will cook up brats before the game. (We mutually hate the Yankees so have been able to forge a shaky truce.) We will drink Swedish and German brews that our former exchange students recently brought my wife and I over the winter. I will drink them out of a Tiger mug we gave our Dad back in Christmas of 1968.

    Hey, Number 6 celebrates his 60th season with the Tigers! God bless him!

    On the way into work this morning, I nodded my Tiger cap to Delmon Young’s Uncle who is a guard at the gate. I predict Ryan Raburn to be the Open Day star.

    Ok boys, here we go! Enjoy this season. Play fair and have fun. Remember this is being done for all of us.

    Free Sean Peyton!


  2. Mark

    April 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Game day has Santiago at second. What happened to Inge?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Inge is on the 15 day DL.

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    April 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    That AL Central Flag looks pretty slick out there.

  4. Coleman

    April 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    This is the 2nd career Opening Day start for Ramon Santiago. The other was 2003.

    • Jeff Molby

      April 5, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      2003? Wasn’t that season canceled? I don’t remember anything about 2003.

  5. Kevin in Dallas

    April 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Tigers are now leading the majors in GIDP.

    • Vince in MN

      April 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      The will also lead the league at the end of the season, maybe both leagues. They have the capacity to even break records. Young will top the list by the way.

  6. Django McTunes (@ensigntaiga)

    April 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Hmm, getting some good whacks on the ball, lotta “at em'” balls so far. Verlander spot on.

  7. Coleman

    April 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Cabrerror at 3B.

    • Vince in MN

      April 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      It’s good to get it out of the way right off.

  8. Django McTunes (@ensigntaiga)

    April 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Man what is with the double plays today? ugh.

  9. Vince in MN

    April 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    After 22 complete innings of baseball today, 2 runs have been scored.

  10. Kevin in Dallas

    April 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Bring him out for the 9th? I say yes.

  11. Andrew in Toronto

    April 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Valverde blown save. I guess it was good to get that out of the way, too!

    Go Tigers

  12. Vince in MN

    April 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Only Leyland would pull Cy Young out of a game with a two hit shutout going into the 9th.

    • Jeff Molby

      April 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Eh, he was at 105 pitches. Even a fast inning would have put him close to 120. Two weeks from now, he’d have finished the game for sure, but I’m not sure you want to push JV that hard on opening day when you have an awesome closer ready to go.

      • Vince in MN

        April 6, 2012 at 12:19 am

        He allowed 3 baserunners in 8 innings not counting the Cabrera boot – he obviously wasn’t working that hard. At 105 pitches I doubt he was tired and I think he threw more than, or close to that amount, in one of his last ST starts. Frankly, I feel a lot more confident having Verlander pitch the 9th than any other pitcher in baseball in that particular situation. Today was another example of Leyland’s play-by-the-book mentality. Right there on page 25, Section 2.3 of his well-worn copy of ‘How To Mange A Baseball Game’ it says: “In save situations (your team is ahead by 3 runs or less late in the game) you ALWAYS put in the closer.”

        On the other hand, at least Jackson and the boys bailed him out and Leyland wasn’t tempted to think creatively, which is when he can be really dangerous. Fortunately, the team is so good it won’t matter in the long run to the finnish.

        • Jeff Molby

          April 6, 2012 at 1:10 am

          For his last spring training start they were shooting for about 100 pitches. The boxscore doesn’t show the pitch count for that game, but I’m sure it was close to the target. We all know what JV’s arm is capable of, so he certainly could have finished the game, but Valverde is a bona fide stud, so I don’t have any problem with handing him the ball. I’m sure there are at least 25 other managers in the league that would have handled it the exact same way. Hell, Halladay handed the ball over to their closer after having thrown only 92 pitches and he only had a 1 run lead.

          Nothing wrong with disagreeing with the decision, of course, but it’s not one of his crazier calls.

    • beejeez

      April 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      I enjoy second-guessing a manager as much as anyone, Vince, but really there’s so much we don’t know about what went into this Leyland decision that I recommend you save your outrage for when you’ve got a more clear-cut issue. (And you will.) How tired was Verlander? How would he feel if he worked the clean eight innings, then took a loss? (This was the heart of the Red Sox order and they’d all seen JV three times already.) What were the chances of JV overextending himself? How did Valverde look in the bullpen? Does he have a history of matching up well against the upcoming hitters? Would it be a good idea to get Valverde in the groove before the next game? How would it affect Valverde’s psyche if he didn’t come in for a situation that seems tailor-made for him? Was the wind blowing out or in? How was the cold affecting things? Etc., etc.

      • Vince in MN

        April 7, 2012 at 11:38 am

        All very valid points beejeez, but I suspect Leyland thought of none of them and basically went with his gut, er, I mean book.

  13. Django McTunes (@ensigntaiga)

    April 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Ah, getting another thing out of the way: Leyland second guessing!

  14. Andrew in Toronto

    April 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Nice job AJax! Nice start to the season

  15. Django McTunes (@ensigntaiga)

    April 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    And this is where I hate how baseball scores wins for its pitchers. One of the dominant opening day starts of all time, at least in my lifetime anyway. Still happy to get the W though! Encouraging to see Austin Jackson swinging some good lumber.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      April 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Yeah, bummed for JV, but he’ll win an 8-5 game later this year where he only goes 6, so it will even out.

      • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        April 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

        Hey Valverde got a win with a 18.00 ERA!

        • Vince in MN

          April 6, 2012 at 12:21 am

          The pitching box says it all – something really wrong there.

  16. Jud

    April 6, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Great start……PappaGrande comes within one pitch from making this a routine save

  17. baze

    April 7, 2012 at 2:53 am

    What is Leland thinking? Don’t care if Valverde was perfect last year – he was lucky and could have blown about ten saves. How you don’t send Verlander out for the ninth is beyond me – awesome and well within his pitch count.

  18. baze

    April 7, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Valverde stinks as you will continue to see. Throwing pitches up in the zone will not work.