From the week at home I took away both positives and glaring weaknesses as I think most of us saw.
First, Opening Day was great. JV looked strong except for one inning and a nice come from behind win with shortstop fill-in Alex Gonzalez coming through in the clutch not once but twice. Lets not forget however that he botched a ball for an out in the inning which JV gave up 3 and then there was Torii's dropped fly ball. The bullpen looked amazing though with Reed, AA, and Joe Nathan holding it down. One of the other interesting things to watch for me was rookie Nick Castellanos (#19 in the Pepper Top 100 MLB Prospects for 2014) and his flailing swings at times bur also how he was able to regroup and end the day 2 for 4. Victor's and AJax's swings were on too, so I'd say a pretty good day.
Game 2 brought us another walk-off win with newcomer Ian Kinsler the hero this time with a homer in the 4th before Joe Nathan blew the save after eight strong innings from Max, to only come back up again in the 10th to drive in AJax.
Detroit walloped Baltimore on Friday after a rain delay sent Ricky P to the showers early and Drew Smyly came in to keep the game locked down before Joba came in to give up 2 runs in the 9th for a 10-4 win. By the way, pretty awesome to see Miggy homer for his 2000th hit (7th youngest player to reach that milestone). The only negative besides Joba that I saw was Austin Romine's error at short.
Saturday's game was yet another blow out with Detroit taking a 7-1 lead in to the 9th with Torii collecting 5 RBI on the day, but the human gas can Phil Coke threw 14 pitches for 2 hits and 3 earned runs, with Al Al giving up a run, along with Joe Nathan before Nathan got the final 2 outs for the win. By the way, Alex Gonzalez had another error.
Sunday saw a very nicely pitched game by JV throwing eight and giving up 2 along with another run in the 9th given up by Al Al, but Detroit could only muster 5 hits against Orioles ace Chris Tillman losing 3-1. I did forget to mention that Torii homered for the 3rd consecutive game! Hey, you can't win them all.
So, my take a ways are kind of what we thought early on. Shortstop is going to be weak, but 3 errors in a week could catch up to us. What baffles me more is the 9th inning relief right now. Nathan is going to blow a save or two, it just happens, but for Detroit relievers to give up every earned run in the 9th (9 total) is just weird.
Positives Through Week One
- Head to the west coast 4-1
- Starting rotation ERA of 1.93
- Evan Reed has looked good out of the pen
- DKB is hitting .750 (for you Suchy & McConnell)
- Nick Castellanos is looking good with a .385 average and .928 OPS
- Nick C, Gonzo, Cabby, AJax, Rajai, Kinsler, and VMart all hitting over .300. Good for 3rd in the MLB with a team .288 batting average and 2nd in slugging at .488
- 3 Stolen bases already
- Lots of room to improve on the pitching side and they rank in the top 3rd in most team pitching stats
Concerns Through Week One
- In 2 starts, JV has given up 11 hits and 5 walks while striking out 5. Very un-JV like.
- Per the usual early on, the starters only have 1 win amongst them in the first 5 games
- Bullpen ERA is at 6.08
- Evan Reed is being investigated for a possible sexual assault
- Phil Coke and his 81.00 ERA
- Alex Avila hitting .083
- 4 team errors, 3 from SS and one from Torii which I don't expect to see again
Now the true test comes of the early trip out west with two in LA against the Dodger and three against the Padres eliminating the DH. LA has been ok at 5-3 (watch out for Matt Kemp) and the Padres have been pretty poor at 2-4 but keep and eye on Friday nights starter Andrew Cashner.