Feb 18, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter during a team practice at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The second of three “real first games” of the season takes place today for the Detroit Tigers as they open up Grapefruit League exhibition play with a road game against the Atlanta Braves.
We’re fans — so we’re going to over analyze everything that happens in Spring Training play — but we would be well served to remember (myself included) that pretty much everything that happens statistically in Spring Training is meaningless.
That AAA guy with the low ERA? Not going to have a breakout year. The non-roster invitee who hit five home runs? He’ll hit a buck eighty once the season starts. Max Sherzer has a 4.50+ ERA? Not to worry, he’ll be a Cy Young finalist by season’s end.
Detroit Tigers vs. Atlanta Braves – 1:05 PM ET
Champion Stadium – Kissimmee, FL
Radio Broadcast: WXYT 1270 AM in Detroit (click for radio affiliates)
Live Stats: MLB Gameday
Weather Forecast: 75 degrees, cloudy
When We Last Met
The Tigers swept a three-game set with the Braves last season in late April, outscoring Atlanta 25-7 in the process.
Anibal Sanchez set the tone for the series right away in game one when he set a Tigers franchise record with 17 strikeouts over eight innings shutout innings. In all, Detroit pitchers fanned 39 Braves batters during the three game series (Jose Valverde even struck out two!).
The Braves went on to win the NL East with a 98-64 record, but lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 in the NLDS.
Here are some of the players to expect in today’s game: