Three games and three wins, not a bad start for the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers had a good opening three games. The won close games, which is what good teams must do. They also put up a bunch of runs on the Orioles when their pitching was not good. Another thing that good teams must do. I am not going to predict an undefeated season, although I am tempted. The Tigers have done for three games what they will need to do for the next six months IF they expect to win the World Series. And make no mistake anything less then a World Series win is a disappointment in Detroit. Let’s recap the first (short) week of the season.
A rain-shortened two-game series with the royals was the matchup the prognosticators have been telling us about all off season. The Royals are to be one of the Tigers main competitors for the Central Division. Both games were won with walk-off hits.
In game one, Justin Verlander well. He threw six innings and gave up six hits, three runs, and two earned runs. The most surprising stat from his line was that he only had two strike outs. Alex Gonzalez had two big hits in the seventh and ninth innings.
In game two, Scherzer pitched well after a long first inning and a quick wardrobe change. He threw eight innings of shutout baseball. He turned the ball over to the closer, who had been a perfect 36 for 36 against the Tigers in his career. However, he would blow his first chance for a save as a Tiger. But, in the tenth, Kinsler, who had homered for the tigers only run, singled in the game winner.
Game three was rained out and will be made up in June.
Friday, the Orioles arrived in town after taking a beating from division rival Boston. They were hot early. Last years ERA champ, Anibal Sanchez gave up two runs in the first. He settled down but only pitched four innings. Drew Smyly was available because his first turn through the rotation is being skipped. He contributed three scoreless innings. Krol made his Tigers debut and pitched a clean eighth. Mr. Chamberlain’s debut was a bit bumper, but with a 10-2 lead, the two runs he gave up didn’t impact the game. Cabrera had four hits to reach 2,000 for his career. A milestone, but for Cabrera there will be plenty more.
The first week was shortened by rain and a day off on Tuesday, but here are the first-ever Dafoe Awards.
The official Dafoe unofficial-Tigers’ Weekly Awards
Pitcher of the week Max Scherzer
Tiger of the week Miguel Caberea
Best Tiger debut Alex Gonzalez
Scherzer unlike last year received no run support, but his 2014 debut was strong. Jackson and Kinsler had solid starts to the 2014 season. Cabrera started slow, but went 4-4 on Friday. He drove his 2,000th hit out of the park. Mr. Gonzalez’s error in game one was not the way he would have liked to start the season, but his veteran attitude helped not allow the error to get into his head and he had two big hits.