I did not attend the Twins season opener at Target Field yesterday but I did watch it from the comfort of my home where it was nice and warm and the game came in crystal clear on Fox Sports North in HD via Comcast. The folks at the ballpark had to endure a windy 35 degrees with a wind chill in the 20’s at game time (3:10 PM) as they watched the Detroit Tigers beat the Twins 4-2. I thought I would take a few minutes and share my observations of the game.
Twins starter Vance Worley was out there in short sleeves while many players wore ski masks and winter hats to keep warm. Worley gave up 8 hits and a walk while striking out three in 6 innings. I have not seen Worley pitch very much prior to this game but I was impressed with his effort today. Yes, he gave up more hits than I would like but what I took away from this game was that Worley is fighter. He had a lot of guys on base early on but he kept pitching and kept his team in the game, which is more that most Twins starters have done in the last year or so. Take Francisco Liriano for example, as soon as he had a runner or two on base you could count on him folding like a $2 umbrella. The man could not pitch with runners on base. The weather was miserable and the Tigers are a top-notch team and it was the season opener with a lot of hype, I though Worley acquitted himself very well.
I felt bad for Aaron Hicks, a rookie that skipped AAA and in his major league debut he gets to face Jason Verlander on a 35 degree day at home. A tough task and those three strikeouts will hopefully just be a small speed bump in what promises to be a long and succesful career for Hicks. Hang in there Aaron.
The Twins lost but they had their chances multiple times but they let the Tigers off the hook by being over-anxious. The Tigers bullpen stinks and the Twins were just not patient enough and didn’t wait for good pitches. When you leave 12 on base you don’t deserve to win and the Twins didn’t. The Twins took 6 walks and they could have had several more in key situations but they swung at “balls” to often.
Although it is a game in the loss column we have to remember it is only one game, I am anxious to see the Twins next game.
Elias says: Justin Verlander improved his record to 7-0 with a 1.22 earned-run average over his last seven starts against the Twins. The last pitcher to win seven consecutive starts against the Twins was David Wells, who won nine in a row against them from 1996 to 2000.