3 Ups and 3 Downs for the Detroit Tigers Opening Week


Apr 8, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins 11-0 Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers opened the season on fire. The Tigers opened up the season with three games against the Minnesota Twins then traveled to Cleveland to take on the Indians in three games. The Tigers came out in remarkable fashion and swept the Twins out scoring them 22 to 1.

The games moved a little closer when the team went down to Cleveland. The Tigers finally got scored against, however still managed to out score the Indians 25 to 15 and swept them as well. The Tigers have started the season 6-0 for the fifth time in franchise history.

Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers /

Detroit Tigers

With 6 wins under their belt, the Tigers now head to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates in their first inter league game of the season. Have an off day on Thursday before coming back home to take on division rivals the Chicago White Sox, both series are 3 games each.

The way this team has been playing it seems hard to see the team losing anytime soon, but even with a 6-0 start there are ups and downs, let’s look at three of each.

3 ups

Defense is tremendously better than last year

There is one thing for sure that you can say about this Tigers team and that is that their defense has gotten a lot better in comparison to last seasons team. One big improvement has been the outfield, two great off-season acquisitions were Anthony Gose and Yoenis Cespedes.

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Both made big plays in both series that helped the Tigers in their quest to win. Gose also helped on the base paths along with Rajai Davis. Together the two stole 4 bases together throughout the two series. Both proved they can be reliable lead off hitters and will be fun to watch as the season carries on.

Bats are booming

In both series the Tigers out scored their opponents a lot, like seriously a lot. They out scored them 47 to 16 and the bats were booming like crazy. We got to see the bottom of the line up come through one day when some of the bigger bats weren’t hitting on all cylinders.

Then in the last game of the Indians series we got to see the big bats of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez go off to help the Tigers to a 8-5 win. Cabrera went 4-4 with two home runs and 4 RBI on the day. Even Alex Avila had a good start to the season, which many didn’t think they would see. The bats really didn’t cool down and hopefully through the next week they don’t.

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Bullpen hasn’t blown up yet

Hey guess what, probably the best news of the new season, the bullpen hasn’t blown up any games or anything at all really. In fact the bullpen has been pretty good in comparison to last season. Soria seems to be back and healthy finally and Angel Nesbitt is coming in well as a rookie and looks to be fitting in nicely.

3 downs

Nathan and Verlander going on the DL

Well Joe Nathan pitched one good inning on opening day, and then in Nathan fashion, went on the 15-day DL with a flexor strain. Good news on the injury, it is only a grade one strain, so I guess if you wanted to find a silver lining there you go. It isn’t what the team was looking for, but it gives Soria the chance to step in and show what he has at being the closer.

Verlander we may see in the upcoming week. Word has been good so far about him and how his arm feels. It will take just seeing how rehab goes and if the team thinks he needs a warm up start down in the minors  before he comes back up to the big club. The hope is he comes back soon, but not too fast.

Simon seems to be done before 6th

This was one thing that worried some about getting Alfredo Simon. He seemed to not be able to go long into games and would barely be making it out of the sixth inning. In his first start he only managed to pitch 5.1 innings which while not terribly bad, seeing him go out and get six to seven innings would be nice.

However, it is the first week of the season so while I don’t expect it from Simon, it would be nice to see him go longer in games especially when you are a team that has at times a questionable bullpen.

Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez “slow” start

This is honestly just a stretch to get three downs for the week. Cabrera and Martinez went 1-8 on opening day, but then things changed for the better. The Twins series ended with Cabrera and Martinez going 4-21, then in Cleveland they went 15-25. Both players love to hit in that stadium and this series they made the Indians pay for pitching to them, which at this point why any pitches to them anymore is beyond me.

In the final game of the series Cabrera went 4 for 4 with two home runs, 4 RBI and just smacked the ball everywhere in the park. He was also a triple short of hitting for the cycle. The second Tiger to do that since opening day. The two big bats in the Tigers line up seem to be getting hot and look to not be slowing down any time soon, just like the team.

So what do you think of the Detroit Tigers in the first week of the season? Let us know below and don’t forget to stay connected to Detroit Jock City for all your Detroit Tigers news and notes throughout the season.