April 9th, 2011

Saturday: Tigers vs. Royals

It’s the second home game of the season, the day when the Tigers start to really settle into a routine at Comerica Park. For Casper Wells, however, it’s Opening Day. The last Tigers position player to get a start is in the lineup today, getting the start against lefty Bruce Chen.

Look for some more creativity if the Tigers take a lead into the seventh inning. Leyland is looking for six innings or so out of Phil Coke, and both Brayan Villarreal and Daniel Schlereth are off today since they pitched teh last couple days. Could be a spot for Robbie Weinhardt to get his first appearance, or it could be a day for Leyland to mix and match Brad Thomas and Enrique Gonzalez again. We’ll see.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Will Rhymes, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, DH
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, C
  6. Ryan Raburn, LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Brandon Inge, 3B
  9. Casper Wells, RF

P: Phil Coke

ROYALS

  1. Chris Getz, 2B
  2. Melky Cabrera, CF
  3. Alex Gordon, LF
  4. Billy Butler, DH
  5. Kila Ka’aihue, 1B
  6. Jeff Francoeur, RF
  7. Wilson Betemit, 3B
  8. Brayan Pena, C
  9. Alcides Escobar, SS

P: Bruce Chen

Home opener is uniquely Detroit

Considering the weather that greeted most fans who showed up downtown early for Friday’s home opener, they were entitled to celebrate when the sun finally came out.

It’s one of my favorite traditions of the Tigers’ opening day, because it’s as uniquely Detroit as anything, and it catches visitors off guard. It definitely surprised Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar, who was stepping to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth inning when he heard a roar from the crowd.

“He’s looking up and he’s looking around, and wondering why everybody’s cheering,” catcher Alex Avila said. “I’m like, ‘That ain’t for you, buddy.'”

The temperature seemed to rise a couple degrees when the sun emerged, all the way to 48. Tigers starter Max Scherzer, of course, escaped the bases-loaded jam and drew some more cheers.

It was the third set of Opening Day ceremonies for the Tigers. For them, it was the best, and not just because they won.

“That’s the difference between a corporate crowd, a Yankee crowd, and a Detroit crowd,” said Brandon Inge, who has seen 10 of these since his first one in 2001. “Detroit crowd comes for a party. I don’t think I would put another Opening Day to the one we have every year.”

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