I thought they would lose at least one game in the series.
But instead the Detroit Tigers ended up sweeping the Boston Red Sox over Easter weekend to the start the 2012 season.
In game one, the Tigers won 3-2 on a game winning single by Austin Jackson. Closer Jose Valverde ended up getting the win even though Justin Verlander pitched great by going 8 innings, giving up only two hits in that span. He deserved to win the game but you had to know at some point “Papa Grande” was going to blow a save. It’s baseball, things like that happen. The hero though was Jackson, getting the last of his three hits in the bottom of the 9th to drive in the winning run.
In game 2, there were a lot more fireworks to be found. The Tigers won 10-0 behind the bats of Miguel Cabrera and newly acquired Prince Fielder. They combined for four home runs and five runs batted in, including back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fifth. While the outcome was good for the Tigers, they did lose starting pitcher Doug Fister to the 15 day disabled list to a strain in his left side. Hopefully, it is nothing too seriously and he comes back as good as new.
Game 3 brought one of the most exciting games on the young season around the league. The game went back and forth all game. The Tigers opened up the scoring by putting a four spot up in the bottom of the first and one in the second. However, the Red Sox came back in the next two innings to take a 7-5 lead. The game would be 10-7 Red Sox entering the bottom of the ninth.
Then the comeback began. Jackson lead off with a single, followed by a Brennan Boesch single, which set the stage for Cabrera. The first pitch was sent into the bleachers in left and the game was tied. The Tigers would go into the bottom of the 11th down 12-10. They then got a run off of a Delmon Young sac fly. That brought up Alex Avila and he delivered in the clutch for 1 walk-off 2-run-home run and the Tigers won 13-12.
This series was exciting as any opening series I can remember. This team had a lot of hype going into opening day and I thought they would struggle early on. Yet with this offense, there are not a lot of teams that can shut these guys down, especially the 3-4 combo of Cabrera and Fielder, as nicknames are starting to float around Detroit already (MC Prince, Motor City Bomb Squad, etc). However, the pitching was the worry for this team and still should be.
However, if they can keep the magical play going, I would not worry about a thing Tiger fans. I know it’s early, but this team is the real deal.