Kind of a meltdown.
Twins 8, Tigers 2
At different points this afternoon, different storylines sought to grab the headline. When the game began, I was expecting to write about how well Rick Porcello performed with his new curveball (5.2IP, 3ER, 2BB, 2K), but that faded quickly as the innings wore on. Porcello threw some encouraging curveballs and went deeper into the game than Verlander or Sanchez had, but was relatively average and gave up a couple of gopherballs to Willingham and Plouffe. The Tigers finally looked poised to breakout after the first two men reached in the 7th inning, but a strikeout by Hunter, a walk to Cabrera, a strikeout by Fielder, and a popout by Martinez dashed those hopes. Dirks led off the following inning with a four pitch walk, but was stranded by Peralta and Avila. The wheels came off in the Twins 5 run 8th and the Tigers went quietly in the 9th.
It wasn’t a great showing by the team, particularly the offense. Porcello pitched well enough to beat the Twins and the offense came up short in numerous situations that could have changed the dynamics heading into the disastrous bottom of the 8th. Entering the 9th inning on Wednesday, the Tigers were three outs away from taking the series and setting up a sweep, but over the next ten innings of baseball they let that slip away and will leave the Twin Cities with a 1-2 record on the young season. Certainly the Tigers’ bats will wake up as the season hurtles forward, but you never like to lose 2 out of 3 to an inferior team, even if it was on the road and in the cold.
The Tigers will send Doug Fister to the hill tomorrow against Ivan Nova and the Yankees for the home opener at Comerica Park. If you’re heading downtown tomorrow, enjoy it for me. It will be the first Opening Day since I moved to North Carolina and the idea of not being there is a touch depressing.
Let this be your reminder that it’s a long season and anything can happen on any given day. The Tigers will be fine and now isn’t even close to the time for panicking. Unless you read the news about Valverde. In which case, you might be feeling some tightness in your chest. That’s normal and to be expected. Try to breath.
The Moment: Fielder K’s down by one with the bases loaded and one out in the 7th