Friday, April 8, 2011

Tigers win 5-2 on Opening Day at Comerica!

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

There's no party like an Opening Day party in Detroit! And, despite early rain, the game went on as scheduled with no delays. In fact, the drizzle seemed to stop right in time for the opening pitch.

Even with the sprinkles, the pregame ceremonies continued. The team raised the #11 Sparky Anderson flag which will wave all season long. The visiting Kansas City Royals lineup was announced followed by that of the Tigers. The national anthem was performed by the winners of NBC's "The Sing Off." A military flyover also went on as scheduled. The flyover showcased A-10 Aircraft from the 107th Fighter Squadron, 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard. There was only one thing left to do: "Play ball!"

Sparky's flag flies at Comerica Park
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

The Detroit Tigers are introduced to the fans
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

The military flyover
Photo by Matt Harding /
In Play! Magazine

The field was meticulously groomed in preparation for this game and looked stunning. The grounds-crew deserves a standing ovation for the way the field turned out, despite the rain.

44,799 fans pack Comerica Park
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Now, let's get to the action! Max Scherzer wasn't stellar by any means today, but got the job done. He pitch six innings giving up seven hits and only one earned run. Scherzer also walked two and struck out three. Valverde came up with the save.

As for the offense, there were no shades of Carlos Pena or Dmitri Young this year. Actually, no home runs were hit on either side. However, in the first inning Victor Martinez drove in three runs (Rhymes, Ordonez, Cabrera) with a double to right-center field. A double to left field by Jhonny Peralta would soon score Martinez.

After leading 4-0 coming out of the first inning, things were looking very bright for the Tigers -- despite the overcast skies. In the top of the third, however, the KC Royals would score a run on a Melky Cabrera triple. The Tigers pounced back in the bottom half of that inning with a sacrifice fly.

Trailing 5-1 going into the 7th inning, the Royals managed to manufacture a run with three straight singles. That would prove to be the last run of the game. Final score: 5-2, Tigers.

And, in spite of the crowds and drunkenness and mostly gloomy afternoon, every fan in the ballpark was happy to see a win for the Tigers. Nothing beats a win on Opening Day. Well, aside from World Series wins.

Two fans stop to say "hey" to In Play!
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Check out more photos from Opening Day here.

Read In Play! Magazine Here