Detroit Tigers: Matthew Boyd ok on Opening Day with room to improve


The Detroit Tigers welcomed 8,000 fans on opening day Thursday afternoon as newly appointed manager A.J. Hinch handed the ball to his veteran left-hander Matthew Boyd.  Detroit held on to beat the Tribe 3-2.

The 30-year old Boyd had the honor of getting the baseball for the second straight year on opening day for the Detroit Tigers.  In his first kick at the can, the Tigers lost to the Cincinnati Reds to the tune of 7-1.

Boyd is coming off an awful 2019 campaign, finishing with a 3-7 record posting a 6.71 ERA pitching 60.1 innings.  Boyd also allowed a career-high 37% hard-hit ball rate, and nearly 11% were barrelled up by the hitter, which was also a career-high.

He also allowed a league-high 15 home runs last season and whopping 45 earned runs in 2020.

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Throughout his career, Boyd’s fastball usually hovers around 92 MPH; on Thursday, he averaged about 90 MPH with his heater, but that could be due to the sub-freezing temps.  He throws the fastball about 50% of the time, followed by a host of sliders nearly 30% of the time, and mixes in the changeup and a handful of curveballs.  Yesterday Boyd tossed a 67 MPH slow curve; perhaps it was Boyd’s version of an eephus pitch.

Boyd pitched 5.2 innings totaling 92 pitches without allowing a run; a good effort for his first start of the season.

The Detroit Tigers need Matthew Boyd to right the ship in 2021.

Shane Bieber, the reigning American League Cy Young winner, got the nod for the Indians.  Bieber lost just one game last season, but the Tigers found a way to record three runs thanks to a first-inning two-run home run from Miguel Cabrera.

Bieber struck out a whopping 12 Tigers’ hitters compared to Boyd’s two.  The Tigers’ left-hander also walked four hitters in the contest.  Boyd needs to improve that moving forward but considering he only issued 22 free passes in 12 starts last season gives me hope that this trend won’t continue.

Before starting the season, Hinch mentioned that it would be important for Boyd to start the season off on the right foot.  By naming Boyd the opening day starter it allowed for his first two starts of the season to come at home, and in the past, Hinch explained this played into his decision, hoping he’d get himself into a rhythm before the Tigers head out on their first road trip of the season.

Next. Cabrera turns back the clock on Opening Day. dark

The Tigers and Indians clash again Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park.  Veteran right-hander Julio Teheran will make his first start with the organization and will be opposed by Zach Plesac.  The first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm Est.