Reporting Greg Bowman
If this past weekend is any indication, this should be a fun summer at Comerica Park. What’s the over/under on how many home runs the Tigers’ Dynamic Duo of Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera can hit? How many games can Justin Verlander win? How many times will the place sell out?
That’s a great way to start the season. A sweep of the Boston Red Sox, including Sunday’s dramatic 13-12 game, which the Tigers won in the 11th inning on Alex Avilla’s walk-off two run homer. That followed Miguel Cabrera’s three run bomb in the 9th to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Cabrera and Fielder put on quite a show on Saturday, with two homers apiece. It’s not a stretch to think the two sluggers can push each other to 35 to 40 home runs apiece, on top of 110 plus RBI’s.
Fielder and Cabrera aren’t the only success stories in the early part of the season. Austin Jackson has put on quite a show in his first three games, batting almost .600, with eight hits and five run scored. The Tigers need Jackson to set the table by getting on base for the big boys to knock in. If can cut down on his strikeouts and improve his on-base percentage, that will go on a long way to leading the Tigers to a successful season. And Justin Verlander was, well, Justin Verlander in the home opener, throwing 8 scoreless innings and allowing just two hits.
There are some concerns that have already arisen, however. The first is pitching once you get past Verlander. Doug Fister had to come out of his first start of the season with a muscle strain and will miss his next two starts. And Max Scherzer was awful in his debut, needing 80 pitches to get only 8 outs. But Duane Below has been impressive in relief, picking up two wins in the Tigers first three games.
You usually see a big falloff in attendance after the home opener, but not this year. The Tigers drew an opening day Comerica Park record attendance of 45 thousand, followed by 44 thousand in game two and 30 thousand for game three. That’s 120 thousand for opening weekend, pretty impressive for chilly April in the D. Just wait till July and August. You won’t be able to beg, borrow, or steal a Tiger Ticket by then!