Love ‘Em & Hate ‘Em
When: 10:10 PM ET, Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
Umpires: Home – John Hirschbeck, 1B – Bob Davidson, 2B – Jim Reynolds, 3B – James Hoye
Headline: Tigers win 6-2 series opener, strong pitching ahead
After the Mariners first day off this season, the Tigers brought their best lineup to Seattle.
While Detroit leads the league in batting average, they also boast a fantastic three-pitcher rotation the Mariners will have to face this week. Beginning with Doug Fister, then Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Facing those three outside of a playoff series is just bad luck.
Here is the love and hate from the series opener.
1. Falling in love in a hopeless game
This was a game only Rihanna could love. After leading 2-1, the Mariners looked helpless at the plate and on the mound.
I love the Mariners, #1 on the list is reserved for a friendly reminder that it will probably be ok.
2. Aaron Harang
I wish this list was more of a “like ‘em” list today, as Harang gave a better performance than expected, but did not exactly shine.
5 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 3 ER, 6 K’s
His strikeout pitch was working, which may be because of an enormous strike zone from the home plate umpire.
Tigers CF Austin Jackson opened up the game with a triple, a difficult proposition for keeping runs off the board early (Jackson did score).
The home run hit by Miguel Cabrera, the reigning AL MVP, was absolute power and coldhearted baseball ability. The pitch was outside and hit to straight centerfield, but still cleared the wall easily.
This was Harang’s first appearance of the season, so the positives of 5 strong innings should be taken as such. Hopefully, there is more to come as he replaces Blake Beavan in the rotation.
3. Dan Wilson
There were some growing pains that the fans had to listen to in the booth last year, but it is great hearing a catcher’s perspective on the game.
It does not appear that Wilson is anything more than an occasional third party in the booth or a sub if Mike Blowers cannot attend, and his insight is becoming clearer. Good news for fans watching on TV.
1. Doug Fister
Fister was traded from Seattle to Detroit in exchange for Charlie Furbush, who appeared in relief Tuesday night, and Casper Wells, the recent cast off and new member of the Toronto Blue Jays (their AAA team at least). So that trade didn’t work out to well.
Actually, that trade sucked.
Since the trade, Fister has continued to improve and pitched in the World Series last season. He also dominated the M’s through 7 innings Tuesday incredibly efficiently.
2. Right-handed bats
Cabrera had 4 RBI for the Tigers, Jackson had 2 hits and 2 runs, and DH Victor Martinez contributed 3 hits of his own.
All of the Mariners pitchers used had a ton of difficulty getting right-handed hitters out. Coincidence?
Perhaps, but an alarming evening for the M’s makes it worthy of watching the rest of the series just to see if the Seattle pitchers can get it under control.
3. Dustin Ackley
Honestly, it is time to send him down to AAA.
No one wants too, and “Dustin Ackley Bat Night” is coming up before the end of April at SafeCo Field, but stadium promotions aside, it is so infuriating watching him ground out to second over and over again (or strikeout).
Maybe a trip to the minor leagues will help him out more than hitting .114 in the big leagues. How much longer will management allow him to hit like this before making a change?
If only Mike Zunino played 2B.
It was great to see Matt Tuiasosopo make an appearance in the 8th inning. The local hero received applause before striking out with the bases loaded and no outs, to which he received more applause.
In his MLB debut, it took Yoervis Medina 7 pitches to throw his first strike. This wouldn’t have been as bad if the bases hadn’t been loaded.