Well, we can honestly say that this first series against the Red Sox was one of the most exciting that the three of us have seen as Tigers fans. It had everything...dominant pitching, powerful slugging, and comeback wins that made all true fans want to weep with joy. All this against a not-too-shabby Boston Red Sox team. There have only been three games this season, and we don't want to make predictions too early, but we thought we'd point out a few of things that we saw in these first three games that we hope continue for the season (and some things that we hope are changed immediately!)
Good Thing 1: Justin Verlander
To be honest, throughout this offseason we were kind of worried about our ace JV. Not that he was slacking, but the talk from all of our news sources showed him making commercials and playing golf as opposed to throwing and practicing like he did last offseason. However, if its possible, Justin looks even better than the beginning of last season. He seems to have finally found a sort of solution to his April woes, and we just hope that the trend continues. He deserved the win, yes, but what's most important is that he gets off to a good start. He wasn't MVP for nothing. When Justin does well, the team tends to do well too.
Good Thing 2: Big Bats
Our offense seems to be as powerful and dominant as it was in Spring Training. We put up big numbers in games two and three of this series, thanks most notably to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, but to all the other players as well. It was truly a team effort to win, especially in game 3, when every player who came up to bat had at least one hit. At this point, there is no obvious weak link in the Tigers lineup, and Prince Fielder seems to have settled many people's fears about being able to hit home runs in the expansive fields of Comerica Park, blasting two home runs in game two. Even when our pitching struggles, it seems like we will have our bats and clutch players (@Miguel!!!) to bail us out.
Good Thing 3: Team Chemistry
Was it just us or did it look like they were just having fun out there? From the good natured jokes at Miguel's ungainly foul territory catch to Prince talking about how he loves his new club, it just seems like our boys are on a mission. Many people think that Chemistry doesn't matter in baseball, but we really believe it does. It also makes for a much more entertaining game when players are rooting for one another, and we're looking foward to a fun season!
Best Thing: Austin Jackson
Rod has often stated that Austin (and Curtis before him) is the "Straw that Sitrs the Drink." We're not entirely sure what that means, but from context clues, we gather that when Austin is playing well, the team plays well. Austin Jackson has been freaking amazing this week. In the game on Sunday, he was 4-6 with a double and three singles, and he had the hit that one the game in walk-off fashion on Thursday. He's been coming up clutch, and he seems determined to shut up the haters by having has few Ks as possible. We hope he keeps doing well!
Concern 1: Dougy F.
We don't want Doug to be injured, mainly because we don't want Andy Oliver or any of the other no-name shmucks who got beat out for the starting job to come up to the big leagues. They are not reliable, and its conerning to have the player we were most excited about at this blog be injured. Thankfully, it's the beginning of the season, and we can deal without him for a little bit, but we hope he recovers ASAP.
Concern 2: Max Scherzer
Max will be one of the keys to the Tiger's success this year, but judging by his performance on Easter, we're going to need a different key. We really like Maz Scherzer... if you don't follow him to Twitter then you should because he's crazy hilarious... but he needs to get his act together to help out the team. We think he can; this was just his first game of the season afterall. Max has good stuff, and we really just want to see him use it.
Concern 3: Brennan Boesch
Brennan played pretty poorly. Everyone else in our lineup was hitting like a champ all weekend, but Brennan was the lone weak spot in the lineup. He has the power and he has the skills, but it just didn't work against the Red Sox. Once Brennan gets hitting (and we belive he will) we will have a pretty much unstopable lineup. Its also a hard place to be hitting, but that's why he has to do a good job and get on base for Miguel and Prince. Its times like this when we miss the best 2nd man the Tigers have had in a long while in Placido Polanco! Brennan can do it though...we have faith!
Anyway...it was kind of a crazy first series, but we were glad to sweep the Sox and and show those clueless FOX commentators a thing or two. What are they going to do now that both the Sox and the Yanks are 0-3?
Here's to a fantastic rest of the season!