By Eric Thomas
Apparently they needed to play someone other than the big bad Minnesota Twins. The Tigers christened the 2013 season at Comerica Park with a 8-3 victory over the New York Yankees. The sunny Friday afternoon was almost ruined when the Yankees took the lead in fifth, but Prince Fielder reminded Detroit that he can get a party started with the first of his two home runs, the Tigers took the lead and didn’t look back.
The Tigers have notoriously slow starts when the weather still causes breath fog, this year’s opening series versus the Twins proved to be no different. The team also looked listless through the fourth inning against the Yankees, still stretching from last season that came to a heartbreaking end after making the World Series.
Prince Fielder can provide a spark, something that fans and media might have forgotten after he struggled mightily through the 2012 post season, his second home run was a no doubter about a nautical mile above the fence in right field. The team seemed to be struggling to remember what made the AL Champs last year, maybe a few are trying to regain their composure after being shocked in the World Series. This first game in the series against the Yankees might do a lot to shake them awake.
Doug Fister had a middling start, he didn’t give up any runs until the fifth but he wasn’t quite what he was two years ago. Drew Smyly, after an awful outing in the first regular season game looked much improved, he picked up his first career save with twelve straight outs starting in the sixth inning.
A chilly crowd of 45,051 looked for a party and they got one, Detroit is still adjusting. The Tigers are in their third straight year of contention, the memories of their struggles almost a decade ago now fading into history. The expectations are titanic, fans counting on their team to win every game. That’s to be expected, given their payroll, but not realistic. The Tigers will win the AL Central casually and that’s when the season will start.
The Tigers earned the right to be studied daily but with more days like this we will be more likely to give them some space.