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 GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET

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PostSubject: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:26 pm

GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET







--- AT ---

Detroit Tigers AT Minnesota Twins
Monday, April 1, 2013
Target Field, Minneapolis, MN
Game Time - 4:10 p.m. EDT


______________________________________


Pitching matchup



Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Verlander will make his sixth consecutive Opening Day start still looking for his first season-opening win. He two-hit the Red Sox for eight innings to open last season, but Boston rallied off Jose Valverde in the ninth.



Twins: RHP Vance Worley (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Worley, who was acquired in the trade that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia, gets the nod in his first career Opening Day start with left-hander Scott Diamond opening the year on the disabled list.





______________________________________

Tigers begin defense of AL title at Minnesota

By Adam Berry / MLB.com | 3/28/2013 8:00 PM ET

The Tigers are the reigning American League champions, and they might be even better now than they were a year ago.

Once atop the division Detroit has dominated of late, the Twins have posted the AL's worst record in back-to-back seasons. But they're seeing reasons to believe this season might turn out better for them, too.

Of course, it's fairly easy to look at a ledger of additions, subtractions and progressions and say a team has improved on paper. But the real test for both clubs begins on Opening Day -- Monday at 4:10 p.m. ET -- with Justin Verlander of the Tigers and Vance Worley of the Twins squaring off at Target Field.

"You want to put last year out of the way; you can't go back and do anything about it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The taste still lingers for the guys who played last year. So, yeah, we have things to prove. We need to get back to playing winning baseball, and we have guys in that clubhouse who know how to do that."

So do the Tigers. There's Verlander, the 2011 AL Most Valuable Player and '12 Cy Young runner-up. There's Miguel Cabrera, the Triple Crown-winning 2012 MVP. How about a deep rotation that also features Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello? Or a powerful lineup also featuring Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter?

Detroit has only one real question mark, its bullpen. Rookie closer-in-waiting Bruce Rondon was optioned to Triple-A Toledo to start the season after an up-and-down spring, leaving veterans Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit and Octavio Dotel to make a closer-by-committee work.

"This is obviously an extremely talented team," Verlander said. "We've had a lot of those since I've been here. I think everybody in this locker room is very confident, moving forward, going into the season. Everybody's ready to go. There's one goal -- to win a World Series."

Yes, the Tigers are flush with the kind of talent that makes most other Major League clubs a little jealous, and they're also the heavy favorites in perhaps the most clearly defined division in the AL. The East could go to any one of its five teams. The West has three top-notch clubs in the Rangers, Angels and A's.

The Central? Well, that's Detroit's crown to lose.

It used to be that way for the Twins, who won six division titles from 2002-10. But that seems like a long time ago, especially after Minnesota went 63-99 in 2011 and 66-96 last year.

After posting 195 losses in two years, the Twins are simply hoping to climb out of the AL Central cellar. They recognized that their pitching simply had to get better, so they revamped their starting rotation. They shipped out two center fielders, Denard Span and Ben Revere, to ensure that they have starters for their short- and long-term future.

Minnesota still has the middle of its lineup, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, and Josh Willingham is coming off a 35-homer, 110-RBI season. If this spring has been any indication, the Twins won't miss a beat in center field, where prospect Aaron Hicks rocketed up from Double-A New Britain to win the starting job.

"He's really good; he's a really nice player," Gardenhire said of Hicks. "He's very athletic. I like how he stays on an even keel. He hasn't got too high or too low. He's handled himself well in center. You'll see some rookie mistakes out there every once in a while, but he's a really good player."

This is the time of year for teams to be optimistic, to look on the bright side, and the Twins like what they see -- no matter how many predictions roll in saying they'll be the worst team in the AL Central for a third year in a row.

"We've been picked to finish fourth before, and we've won the division," Morneau said. "And we've been picked to win, and we've finished third. It's hard to say. Everything always looks good on paper. Nothing's guaranteed. I mean, coming off 2010, we had a fantastic year. Obviously, we lost some guys, but we still had a lot of the same guys here. It looked like we should have continued down that path, and it flipped around quick. And as quick as it flipped that way, it can always flip back the other way.

"You get a little confidence with some young players -- you get some momentum going, and it can take off in a hurry. I've been around long enough to know that anything is possible, and I have no reason not to believe that. The other teams can do what they do, but if we take care of what we do, we should be right there with those teams."

Yet it's hard to imagine the Twins right there with the Tigers come September. Minnesota will start the year relying on a rotation of Worley, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia, Liam Hendriks and Cole De Vries. Hicks is incredibly talented and was tremendous in Grapefruit League play, but he's spent only one year above Class A Advanced.

The Tigers, on the other hand? They fell just short of a World Series championship last year, and indeed, they might be even better this time around.

"It's disappointing not to win it, but looking back at it, we were four wins away from the ultimate goal," Verlander said. "I think it might light a fire under us this year."

Tigers: Bracing for a cold opener
Current forecasts predict a high of 35 degrees and a low of 25 in Minneapolis on Opening Day. While that's not great news for anyone involved, Verlander pointed out that the conditions are going to be especially difficult for hitters. And as Tigers catcher Alex Avila noted, facing Verlander won't be too easy for them, either.

"It'll definitely be better to pitch in rather than hit in," Avila said. "But I've caught him in all types of weather. He'll be Verlander."

Twins: Worley gets Opening Day nod after offseason move
Worley was the Phillies' fifth starter last year, but he'll take the mound on Opening Day for the Twins. Worley came to Minnesota alongside right-hander Trevor May in the December deal that sent Revere to Philadelphia, and Gardenhire said the Twins are counting on Worley "to be that 200-inning guy" for a rotation they hope has improved.

"It is a little different," Worley said after being named the Opening Day starter. "I'm just hoping I can bring over what I did learn from being on that staff in Philly and apply it here and see if anyone else will come along with it."

Worth noting
• This will be Verlander's sixth straight Opening Day start, but he is still looking for his first Game 1 victory. He threw eight shutout innings against the Red Sox last year but took a no-decision when Boston rallied to tie the game in the ninth inning.

• The Tigers won the season series with the Twins last year, 10-8, part of Detroit's 43-29 record against AL Central foes. The Tigers finished 11-7 against National League teams, 21-18 against the AL East and just 13-20 against the AL West.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





______________________________________


Tiger's MLB Game Notes
INJURY UPDATE:

RF Avisail Garcia (Right heel contusion, 15-day DL retroactive to March 22, 2013).




______________________________________


To track MLB play-by-play: http://m.mlb.com/scores/

On the Internet

MLB.TV
Gameday Audio
• SCOREBOARD
Official Press Pass game notes


On television


• Direct TV Extra Innings Schedule


On radio

,
• XM Channel Schedule






______________________________________



Up next (Probable Pitchers)


SUN, March 31: OFF DAY.

MON. April 01:
TIGERS: (RHP Justin Verlander (0-0, 0.00 ERA)) AT
TWINS: (RHP Vance Worley (0-0, 0.00 ERA))
4:10 p.m. ET (FSD , / 1270 AM & 97.1 FM)

TUE, April 02: OFF DAY.

WED, April 03:
TIGERS: (RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)) AT
TWINS: (RHP Kevin Correia (0-0, 0.00 ERA))
4:10 p.m. ET (FSD , / 1270 AM & 97.1 FM)

THUR, April 04:
TIGERS: (RHP Rick Porcello (0-0, 0.00 ERA)) AT
TWINS: (RHP Mike Pelfrey (0-0, 0.00 ERA))
1:10 p.m. ET (FSD , / 1270 AM & 97.1 FM)






______________________________________


Last edited by GoGetEmTigers on Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:30 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:26 pm

STARTING LINEUPS:

TIGERS

Austin Jackson, CF
Torii Hunter, RF (11-for-50, 9 K’s at Target Field)
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B (1-for-3 vs. Worley)
Victor Martinez, DH
Andy Dirks, LF
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Alex Avila, C
Omar Infante, 2B (0-for-6 off Worley)

P: Justin Verlander


TWINS

Aaron Hicks, CF
Joe Mauer, C (20-for-57, 3 HR, 9 RBIs off Verlander, but 0-for-6 last year)
Josh Willingham, LF (1-for-8, 3 K’s off Verlander)
Justin Morneau, 1B (2-for-18, 10 K’s off Verlander since 2009)
Ryan Doumit, DH (0-for-9, 2 K’s off Verlander)
Chris Parmelee, RF (2-for-6, HR off Verlander)
Trevor Plouffe, 3B (3-for-15, 5 K’s off Verlander)
Brian Dozier, 2B
Pedro Florimon, SS (0-for-2 off Verlander)

P: Vance Worley


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:13 pm

Weather: 35 degrees, sunny.


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:33 pm

DET - Top 1st
B:3 S:2 O:0
Austin Jackson singles on a line drive to right fielder Chris Parmelee.

B:1 S:1 O:0
Torii Hunter singles on a ground ball to right fielder Chris Parmelee. Austin Jackson to 3rd.

B:1 S:2 O:1
Miguel Cabrera grounds into a force out, shortstop Pedro Florimon to second baseman Brian Dozier. Austin Jackson scores. Torii Hunter out at 2nd. Miguel Cabrera to 1st.
1 - 0

With Prince Fielder batting, wild pitch by Vance Worley, Miguel Cabrera to 2nd.

B:1 S:0 O:1
Prince Fielder doubles (1) on a ground ball to left fielder Josh Willingham. Miguel Cabrera scores.
2 - 0

B:1 S:3 O:2
Victor Martinez called out on strikes.

B:1 S:2 O:3
Andy Dirks grounds out, second baseman Brian Dozier to first baseman Justin Morneau.

2 - 0 AFTER Top 1st INNING


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:40 pm

MIN - Bot 1st
B:1 S:3 O:1
Aaron Hicks strikes out swinging.

B:0 S:1 O:1
Joe Mauer reaches on a fielding error by third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

B:2 S:1 O:2
Josh Willingham pops out to third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

B:3 S:1 O:3
Justin Morneau lines out to right fielder Torii Hunter.

2 - 0 AFTER 1 INNING


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:50 pm

DET - Top 2nd
B:1 S:2 O:0
Jhonny Peralta singles on a soft line drive to right fielder Chris Parmelee.

B:3 S:3 O:1
Alex Avila strikes out swinging. Jhonny Peralta steals (1) 2nd base.

B:1 S:0 O:1
Omar Infante singles on a line drive to left fielder Josh Willingham. Jhonny Peralta scores.
3 - 0

B:0 S:1 O:3
Austin Jackson grounds into a double play, shortstop Pedro Florimon to second baseman Brian Dozier to first baseman Justin Morneau. Omar Infante out at 2nd.

3 - 0 AFTER 1.5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:03 pm

MIN - Bot 2nd
B:2 S:0 O:1
Ryan Doumit flies out to left fielder Andy Dirks.

B:1 S:2 O:2
Trevor Plouffe lines out to shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

B:4 S:2 O:2
Chris Parmelee walks.

B:1 S:3 O:3
Brian Dozier called out on strikes.

3 - 0 AFTER 2 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:08 pm

DET - Top 3rd
B:0 S:0 O:0
Torii Hunter doubles (1) on a line drive to right fielder Chris Parmelee.

B:0 S:1 O:1
Miguel Cabrera grounds out, shortstop Pedro Florimon to first baseman Justin Morneau. Torii Hunter to 3rd.

B:1 S:1 O:2
Prince Fielder grounds out, shortstop Pedro Florimon to first baseman Justin Morneau.

B:0 S:1 O:3
Victor Martinez grounds out softly, pitcher Vance Worley to first baseman Justin Morneau.

3 - 0 AFTER 2.5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:19 pm

MIN - Bot 3rd
B:1 S:1 O:1
Pedro Florimon grounds out, second baseman Omar Infante to first baseman Prince Fielder.

B:2 S:3 O:2
Aaron Hicks called out on strikes.

B:2 S:2 O:2
Joe Mauer doubles (1) on a line drive to left fielder Andy Dirks.

B:1 S:3 O:3
Josh Willingham called out on strikes.

3 - 0 AFTER 3 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:36 pm

DET - Top 4th
B:4 S:1 O:0
Andy Dirks walks.

B:0 S:3 O:1
Jhonny Peralta strikes out swinging.

B:3 S:1 O:2
Alex Avila grounds into a force out, first baseman Justin Morneau to shortstop Pedro Florimon. Andy Dirks out at 2nd. Alex Avila to 1st.

B:2 S:2 O:2
Omar Infante singles on a line drive to left fielder Josh Willingham. Alex Avila to 2nd.

B:2 S:2 O:2
Austin Jackson reaches on a fielding error by shortstop Pedro Florimon. Alex Avila to 3rd. Omar Infante to 2nd.

B:0 S:2 O:3
Torii Hunter grounds out, pitcher Vance Worley to first baseman Justin Morneau.

3 - 0 AFTER 3.5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:46 pm

MIN - Bot 4th
B:1 S:2 O:0
Justin Morneau doubles (1) on a ground ball to left fielder Andy Dirks.

B:3 S:3 O:1
Ryan Doumit strikes out on a foul tip.

B:1 S:0 O:2
Trevor Plouffe flies out to center fielder Austin Jackson. Justin Morneau to 3rd.

B:2 S:1 O:3
Chris Parmelee grounds out, shortstop Jhonny Peralta to first baseman Prince Fielder.

3 - 0 AFTER 4 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:55 pm

DET - Top 5th
B:1 S:2 O:1
Miguel Cabrera grounds out, shortstop Pedro Florimon to first baseman Justin Morneau.

B:1 S:2 O:2
Prince Fielder pops out to shortstop Pedro Florimon.

B:1 S:2 O:3
Victor Martinez grounds out to first baseman Justin Morneau.

3 - 0 AFTER 4.5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:07 pm

MIN - Bot 5th
B:3 S:1 O:1
Brian Dozier flies out to center fielder Austin Jackson.

B:1 S:2 O:1
Pedro Florimon singles on a fly ball to right fielder Torii Hunter.

B:1 S:3 O:2
Aaron Hicks strikes out swinging.

B:4 S:0 O:2
Joe Mauer walks. Pedro Florimon to 2nd.

B:1 S:3 O:3
Josh Willingham called out on strikes.

3 - 0 AFTER 5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:18 pm

DET - Top 6th
B:1 S:1 O:1
Andy Dirks grounds out, first baseman Justin Morneau to pitcher Vance Worley.

B:1 S:1 O:1
Jhonny Peralta singles on a ground ball to third baseman Trevor Plouffe.

B:0 S:0 O:2
Alex Avila grounds into a force out, second baseman Brian Dozier to shortstop Pedro Florimon. Jhonny Peralta out at 2nd. Alex Avila to 1st.

B:2 S:2 O:3
Omar Infante pops out to shortstop Pedro Florimon.

3 - 0 AFTER 5.5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:37 pm

MIN - Bot 6th
Pitching Change: Drew Smyly replaces Justin Verlander.

B:2 S:1 O:1
Justin Morneau flies out to left fielder Andy Dirks.

B:2 S:3 O:2
Ryan Doumit strikes out swinging.

B:1 S:0 O:2
Trevor Plouffe doubles (1) on a line drive to left fielder Andy Dirks.

B:4 S:1 O:2
Chris Parmelee walks.

Coaching visit to mound.

B:4 S:0 O:2
Brian Dozier walks. Trevor Plouffe to 3rd. Chris Parmelee to 2nd.

Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Wilkin Ramirez replaces Pedro Florimon.

With Wilkin Ramirez batting, wild pitch by Drew Smyly, Trevor Plouffe scores. Chris Parmelee to 3rd. Brian Dozier to 2nd.
3 - 1

B:3 S:2 O:3
Wilkin Ramirez grounds out, shortstop Jhonny Peralta to first baseman Prince Fielder.

3 - 1 AFTER 6 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:44 pm

DET - Top 7th
Defensive Substitution: Eduardo Escobar replaces Wilkin Ramirez, batting 9th, playing shortstop.

Pitching Change: Casey Fien replaces Vance Worley.


B:1 S:3 O:1
Austin Jackson called out on strikes.

B:0 S:3 O:2
Torii Hunter strikes out swinging.

B:3 S:3 O:3
Miguel Cabrera strikes out swinging.

3 - 1 AFTER 6.5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:06 pm

MIN - Bot 7th
B:0 S:0 O:1
Aaron Hicks grounds out, shortstop Jhonny Peralta to first baseman Prince Fielder.

B:1 S:2 O:1
Joe Mauer singles on a line drive to left fielder Andy Dirks.

B:3 S:1 O:1
Josh Willingham singles on a ground ball to left fielder Andy Dirks. Joe Mauer to 2nd.

B:4 S:1 O:1
Justin Morneau walks. Joe Mauer to 3rd. Josh Willingham to 2nd.

Pitching Change: Al Alburquerque replaces Drew Smyly.

Coaching visit to mound.


B:1 S:0 O:1
Ryan Doumit singles on a line drive to left fielder Andy Dirks. Joe Mauer scores. Josh Willingham to 3rd. Justin Morneau to 2nd.
3 - 2

B:1 S:3 O:2
Trevor Plouffe strikes out swinging.

B:3 S:3 O:3
Chris Parmelee strikes out swinging.

3 - 2 AFTER 7 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:20 pm

DET - Top 8th
Pitching Change: Brian Duensing replaces Casey Fien.

B:2 S:2 O:0
Prince Fielder singles on a ground ball to center fielder Aaron Hicks.

B:4 S:0 O:0
Victor Martinez walks. Prince Fielder to 2nd.

Coaching visit to mound.


B:0 S:0 O:1
Andy Dirks out on a sacrifice bunt, pitcher Brian Duensing to second baseman Brian Dozier. Prince Fielder to 3rd. Victor Martinez to 2nd.

B:4 S:0 O:1
Brian Duensing intentionally walks Jhonny Peralta.

B:1 S:3 O:2
Alex Avila called out on strikes.

Coaching visit to mound.

Pitching Change: Josh Roenicke replaces Brian Duensing.


With Omar Infante batting, wild pitch by Josh Roenicke, Prince Fielder scores. Victor Martinez to 3rd. Jhonny Peralta to 2nd.
4 - 2

B:2 S:0 O:3
Omar Infante pops out to second baseman Brian Dozier.

4 - 2 AFTER 7.5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:31 pm

MIN - Bot 8th
Pitching Change: Joaquin Benoit replaces Al Alburquerque.

B:2 S:3 O:1
Brian Dozier strikes out swinging.

B:2 S:2 O:2
Eduardo Escobar grounds out, first baseman Prince Fielder to pitcher Joaquin Benoit.

B:4 S:1 O:2
Aaron Hicks walks.

B:2 S:0 O:3
Joe Mauer flies out to left fielder Andy Dirks.

4 - 2 AFTER 8 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:38 pm

DET - Top 9th
B:3 S:1 O:1
Austin Jackson lines out to left fielder Josh Willingham.

B:2 S:2 O:2
Torii Hunter grounds out to first baseman Justin Morneau.

B:0 S:3 O:3
Miguel Cabrera strikes out swinging.

4 - 2 AFTER 8.5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:53 pm

MIN - Bot 9th
B:0 S:0 O:1
Josh Willingham pops out to catcher Alex Avila.

Coaching visit to mound.

Pitching Change: Phil Coke replaces Joaquin Benoit.


B:0 S:3 O:2
Justin Morneau strikes out swinging.

B:1 S:2 O:3
Ryan Doumit lines out softly to right fielder Torii Hunter.

TIGERS WIN 4-2

CLICK HERE FOR BOX SCORE

W: Verlander (1-0)
L: Worley
S: Coke (1)


Game Info

WP: Smyly, Worley, Roenicke.
IBB: Peralta, Jh (by Duensing).
Pitches-strikes: Verlander 91-54, Smyly 42-18, Alburquerque 13-8, Benoit 19-9, Coke 7-6, Worley 101-69, Fien 17-13, Duensing 18-7, Roenicke 16-9.
Groundouts-flyouts: Verlander 3-3, Smyly 2-1, Alburquerque 0-0, Benoit 1-1, Coke 0-0, Worley 13-0, Fien 0-0, Duensing 1-0, Roenicke 1-0.
Batters faced: Verlander 21, Smyly 10, Alburquerque 3, Benoit 5, Coke 2, Worley 27, Fien 3, Duensing 5, Roenicke 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Alburquerque 3-1, Roenicke 3-1.
Umpires: HP: Jim Joyce. 1B: Jim Wolf. 2B: Ed Hickox. 3B: Cory Blaser.
Weather: 35 degrees, sunny. (28 degrees wind chill)
Wind: 17 mph, Out to CF.
T: 3:28.
Att: 38,282.


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PostSubject: Re: GDT: 4/01/13 - DET (0-0) AT MIN (0-0) - 4:10 p.m. ET    Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:29 am

Game 1 wrapup: Prince quietly has big opener
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on April 2, 2013 at 3:13 am

Between Justin Verlander’s five dominant innings, the debate over the decision to remove him, and the unveiling of the bullpen by committee in action, Prince Fielder’s Opening Day will get overlooked. Considering how many layers of clothing Fielder was wearing to keep warm, he was hard to recognize.

His manager, however, didn’t overlook him, and what he meant to their season opening win.

“Quietly, he had a heck of a game,” Leyland said.

For somebody who came to town with as much fanfare and attention as he received a year ago, it’s a rare feat for him to do anything quietly. Yet he might have reached that point as a Tiger where not everything he does gets spotlighted.

Fielder pulled off his first .300 season last year thanks to a good share of hits to left field, but his first base hit of 2013 was a rare piece opposite-field hitting even for him. Fighting off a Vance Worley pitch inside, he slapped a double just inside the third-base bag that allowed Miguel Cabrera to score the second run of the opening inning.

In the field, he came up with the defensive gem of the afternoon at a time when the Tigers desperately needed it, scooping Jhonny Peralta’s throw out of the dirt to retire pinch-hitter Wilkin Ramirez and strand the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

“Probably the play of the game,” Leyland said.

Fielder has made plenty of those types of scoops before, but rarely in a bigger situation. He also had to stretch for that one.

It might well have been a benefit of the offseason workout program Leyland hinted at for the first time.

“He’s in very good shape,” Leyland said. “I mean, he has worked very hard this winter. He’s got a regimen that he does with somebody, but he’s in tremendous shape. He was bouncing around real good today.”

As it preserving a one-run lead wasn’t enough, Fielder made it two runs in the eighth when he singled leading off the eighth and scored on a Josh Roenicke wild pitch.

“That extra add-on run was huge,” Leyland said. “That takes you off the lines the next couple innings. You’re not playing for no doubles. That was a huge add-on run.”

Play of the game: It looked at first like a classic hit-and-run play in the opening inning, but Leyland said Torii Hunter was simply reacting and hitting behind the runner once he saw Austin Jackson take off following his leadoff single. The resulting single looked like a slow-motion replay, the ball rolling through the right side as second baseman Brian Dozier tried futilely to reverse course and run it down.

“It was not a hit-and-run,” Leyland said. “I’d like to take credit for it, but it wasn’t. Torii just saw him going and shot it over there on his own. It was a heck of a play by Torii Hunter. I’d like to say I was smart and put it on, but I didn’t. He just saw the pitch and saw Jackson going, saw the hole and just fisted it over there. That’s a credit to him.”

Biggest out: Though Leyland cited Fielder’s dig as the play of the game, Al Alburquerque’s back-to-back strikeouts in the seventh arguably stopped the Twins’ momentum in its tracks after a second consecutive bases-loaded jam. The last out, in particular, was huge, a full-count slider that Alburquerque buried knowing that he could walk in the tying run but strongly believing that Chris Parmelee would swing at it thinking it was a strike. More on that in the game story on the site.

Strategy: Leyland met with pitching Jeff Jones at some point before Monday’s game and put a pitch count on Justin Verlander. It wasn’t just a general range, but a limit of 100 pitches, strong enough that Leyland decided not to send Verlander out for the sixth despite five shutout innings.

“It was his first start of the year,” Leyland said. “He had 91 or 92 pitches. If you let him start the next inning, he’s really not a quick out guy so much. A hundred was going to be the max, so I just decided that was enough. Are you going to send him out for one hitter? I didn’t think that made sense with the left-hander coming up.

“You have to remember one thing: We just came from basically 80-degree weather to 30-some degree weather. First start, 90-some pitches, that was enough.”

What worked for Verlander: “I was very pleased with my curveball. It was kind of average to subpar all spring. Just playing catch the other day, I was something and I was able to carry it over to the game today and it was really good. I got some big outs off of it.”

Line of the day: Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-5 with a run scored, an RBI and two strikeouts. It marked the first time since 2006, two years before he joined the Tigers, that he did not reach base safely on Opening Day, yet he still drove in a run by beating out a double play and scored another on the next hitter.

Stat of the day:
0 — Number of outs recorded by Twins outfielders behind Vance Worley during his six innings. Worley recorded 13 ground-ball outs, two pop-ups to short and three strikeouts.

Print it (best quote): “This weather, I was talking with some the trainers, and they were like, ‘Guys don’t run as fast in this weather. Your muscles just don’t work. It’s not as efficient. It’s like trying to stretch out a cold rubber band. It doesn’t stretch like it does when it’s warm.” — Verlander on the effect of the cold weather (can’t believe I forgot the attribution the first time, sorry)


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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