Mar 31, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; General view during the national anthem before an opening day baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
OPENING DAY APRIL 6, 2015: TIGERS VS TWINS
Opening Day in Detroit is always an event. This year’s Opening Day is intriguing for a number of reasons.
In the years in which the Tigers were bad throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s, it was an excuse to drink and party–sort of like a second St. Patrick’s Day. It was more about the event than the game.
Since Detroit has become relevant in baseball, the party aspect is still there, but fans are even more hopeful of a win to get a fast start on the season in the pursuit of another playoff berth and that ever elusive World Series title.
Upon first glance, fans may think the Tigers got an “easy” Opening Day opponent and a guaranteed 1-0 start. While on the surface this might appear to be solid logic, and the Twins will be almost certainly the only AL Central team to not have a legitimate shot at winning the division this year, fans may forget the problems Minnesota caused for the Tigers last year.
The Twinkies were the only AL Central foes that were able to beat the Tigers in the season series. Detroit went 9-11 against them and allowed an astonishing 119 runs. This was 39 more runs allowed than against the White Sox and Indians. and 53 more runs allowed against the Royals.
The last-place Twins simply wore out Tigers’ pitching and twice prevented them from clinching the AL Central in a four-game series to end the regular season, requiring Detroit to win on the last day of the season.
Minnesota has a new manager for the first time since 2002 and a new/old rightfielder who is familiar with Detroit, Torii Hunter.
On the Detroit end of things there will be questions galore. Will Miguel Cabrera be healthy and appear in the game? Will Justin Verlander get his eighth straight Opening Day start? How will the new look Tigers’ lineup fare likely against the only Twins’ starting pitcher to have success against Detroit last year, Phil Hughes?
April 6 has the makings of being one of the most exciting games of the year, and not just because it is Opening Day.