Detroit Tigers: Opening series recap and reactions
The Detroit Tigers leave Toronto with a 2-2 split of the opening series of the 2019 season against the Blue Jays.
Detroit earned a 4-3 victory in an eleven inning battle against Toronto on Sunday afternoon giving the Tigers their second win on the season. It was a much-needed victory for the team after being shutout in consecutive games on Friday and Saturday. Here’s a quick recap plus some takeaways from the first series of 2019.
The Tigers gave the fans a bit of excitement with an extra-innings victory on Opening Day, defeating Toronto 2-0 at the hands of a Christin Stewart two-run homer in the tenth. The biggest highlight of Opening Day, however, had to be the performance of starter Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmermann gave up only one hit in seven scoreless innings and struck out four Blue Jays hitters in a tremendous Opening Day performance.
The high of an Opening Day win faded quickly on Friday night for Detroit. The Tigers fell to the Blue Jays 6-0 in the second game of the series, only mustering two hits, both coming from Nick Castellanos, in the entire game. Matt Boyd had an encouraging performance on the mound despite taking the loss, giving up three runs on four hits and recording ten Ks.
It was another sleepy performance for the Tigers offense in game three suffering another 3-0 shutout loss. Spencer Turnbull made his Tigers debut and gave up three runs on four hits. Detroit was able to get runners on base in this one but failed to convert on the few opportunities they had.
Sunday afternoon provided a much-needed turnaround for Detroit’s offensive fortunes. Though it took seven innings for either team to break through on the scoreboard, the Tigers managed to build a three-run lead on a Jordy Mercer bases-loaded walk and a Candelario two-RBI single. The Jays tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with a Rowdy Tellez three-run shot. Castellanos came up with the extra innings magic with an RBI single in the eleventh that would give Detroit the win.
Matt Moore made his Tigers debut and had an impressively strong performance. The 2013 all-star pitched seven scoreless innings and only gave up two hits while striking out six Jays.
The biggest positive takeaway from this series would most likely have to be the starting pitching performances. Zimmermann and Moore both shined in their appearances looking very impressive despite both getting no-decisions. Even Matt Boyd and Spencer Turnbull had shining moments in their losses, most notably Boyd’s ten strikeouts. With Michael Fulmer out for the foreseeable future, the Tigers starting rotation might provide some more spark than we thought.
The low point of the opening series has to be the sluggish Tigers offense. Being shutout in back to back games this early in the season has to be demoralizing, and the team bounced back well on Sunday. However, there are still several questions surrounding Detroit when it comes to performing at the plate. Are 24-inning scoreless streaks going to become a regular thing? When will Miguel Cabrera’s spring magic show up? How many times will Mikie Mahtook strikeout? Only time will tell.
What are your thoughts about the Tigers after the first series of the season? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.