Detroit Tigers, 72-61, 1st place (tie), 2 back for WC spot.
Well, here we go. It’s all even, the season starts today, and it’s only 28 games.
Unlike Kevin, I don’t have a plan for this thing, so I will go with his suggestion that Detroit win this afternoon.
It all went according to plan last night: Verlander gave up a leadoff home run, which combined with his 8-run last outing made the White Sox (and a few Tiger fans) think “aha, he’s lost it.” The overconfident Chicagoans were helpless the rest of the night, until Valverde entered to provide fun and excitement for all.
Also according to plan Brennan Boesch finally baesched, to dead center, no less; Jhonny Peralta made perhaps the best tag on a stolen base attempt for the season; Avisail Garcia practiced his look-alike Cabrera opposite-field stroke, Don Kelly um…got in the game, and most of all Delmon Young kept the D-train rolling, when he golfed a pitch over the left-field fence for his somethingth home run of the week (depending on whether we are counting the “home runs” as well as the home runs).
There was a downside to the sweep: watching Robin Ventura calmly take it all in. Would have been awfully entertaining to hear what Ozzie Guillen had to say afterward.
The Tigers face a Cleveland team that has lost 16 of their last 18, and a pitcher who has yet to win. In fact, they are looking like an alternate-ending version of Major League. I’ll save the sympathy for later: it’s a pennant race. Besides Cleveland still leads the season match-up, 7 games to 5.
With Garcia continuing to look promising, Dirks back, and Boesch showing glimmers of hope, the outfield suddenly seems a bit crowded, with Quintin Berry holding the short straw. Nonetheless, Leyland found a way to get short-straw Berry in the lineup, as Jackson gets the day off. Might have also been a good day to let Cabrera DH, but it looks like the Jackson/Berry plan took precedence (you don’t dare leave Delmon out right now). Meanwhile, look for Danny Worth to appear in a pinch-running role, now that he has proven his ability to elude goats.
Stat of the Day: Delmon Young has hit 15% of his 2012 RBI and 19% of his home runs in the last week.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Delmon Young. I have a one-game plan for him to continue his hot streak.
Todays AJax on Holiday Lineup: