The 2019 Detroit Tigers season is officially underway as of Thursday afternoon as Detroit defeated Toronto 2-0 in 10 innings.
The Tigers ventured across the northern border to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays for Opening Day 2019. Detroit earned a 2-0 victory in extra innings, and well, we’d be lying if we called it a thriller. Anyway, the Tigers are 1-0 and currently tied for first in the AL Central. Not a bad way to start the season. Here’s what we learned about this Tigers team from the first game of the season.
Jordan Zimmermann has still got it
In 2018, Jordan Zimmermann went 7-8 in 25 starts with a 4.52 ERA and many Tigers fans were left wondering whether or not he could be counted on as an ace. With Michael Fulmer sidelined for possibly the entire season with an injury, Zimmermann is the unquestionable number one in Detroit’s rotation for 2019. After his Opening Day performance, that might not be something to complain about.
Zimmermann was perfect through 6 2/3 innings and struck out four Blue Jays hitters and allowed zero runs. Despite never quite looking like the two-time all-star he was before coming to Detroit in 2016 over the last few seasons, Zimmermann was back looking like an all-star on Thursday. Is this just a flash in the pan? Or is Zimmermann poised for a resurgence in 2019? There’s plenty of baseball left to find out, but let’s hope it’s the latter.
Christin Stewart, remember the name
I mentioned Christin Stewart in my new faces to watch article earlier this week, and the young outfielder did not disappoint. After spending some time in the big leagues with Detroit in 2018, the Tigers felt confident enough in Stewart to not only give him a spot on the 2019 Opening Day roster, but they even placed him in the starting lineup in left field.
Stewart gave the Tigers affirmation for that confident move in the top of the 10th inning by blasting a 419-foot two run bomb to right field, earning Detroit its first, and only, runs of the game. Stewart provided by far the brightest flash of the day in what was otherwise a quite dull Tigers offense on Opening Day. He’s one of the Tigers brightest emerging stars, and if he can follow up that first shining moment of the season with even more of the same, Stewart can prove to be one of the first real pieces of the Tigers’ rebuild coming to fruition.
What was your biggest takeaway or observation from Opening Day? Let us know in the comments section down below. I hope you’re as excited as I am for the start of another great baseball season.