Detroit Tigers 2012 Season Opening Game

Tigers defeat the Boston Red Sox in the bottom of the 9th

Posted In: Sports, Local Sports, National Sports,   By: Thomas Baird

05th April, 2012     0

The 2012 baseball season started off on a great note for the Detroit Tigers.   Under 50 degree temperature and sunny skies 45,027 fans released all the excitement that they have built up since last years defeat in the American League Championship series.  I have not attended an Opening Day with this much hype in many years.  Great things are expected this season with all of the additions in the off season.   Spending 224 million dollars in acquiring 1st baseman Prince Fielder the son of former Tiger great Cecil Fielder and other key moves to keep the Tigers at the top of the Central Division of the American League. 

The Boston Red Sox would be the Opening Day opponent on ESPN's national game on the opening day of the 2012 season.  Excitement was in the air as the fans started arriving in downtown Detroit at 7:00a.m. to begin the tailgating that was seen all around the ballpark this morning.   The lines were long everywhere at the bars and block long party on Woodward Avenue.   I would estimate that there was another 10,000 people around the ballpark that didn't even bother going to the game but would be listening on their car radios and satellite dish hookups.  

The sold out crowd enjoyed all of the pre-game ceremonies that included a military fly over and the throwing of the first pitch by Detroit Tiger Hall of Famer and legend Al Kaline.   The the crowd was able to see what they came to see 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.   This promised to be a great pitching match-up between Verlander and Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester.   The game didn't disappoint the overflow crowd.   Justin pitched the first 7 innings before the Tigers pushed across a run in the bottom of the 7th inning to lead 1-0.

Verlander came out and pitched the 8th inning and looked as strong as he did in 2011.   The Tigers got an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th to lead 2-0 and manager Jim Leyland removed Verlander after 8 innings of shut out ball with 7 strikeouts.   Tiger closer Jose Valverde did something in the 9th inning that he didn't do all season long in 2011.   He gave up 2 runs to the Red Sox to tie the game at 2-2.   The Tigers then showed was looks like was will be an exciting season by loading the bases for Austin Jackson to drive in the game winning run in the bottom of the 9th for a 3-2 victory.

This sent the 45,000 plus crowd home happy gave them the feeling that 2012 will be something special.   The Tigers whole goal this season is to win the World Series.  They took a big step in the right direction at the Home Opener.  I know that I will be traveling to Comerica Park quite often this summer.   I'm sure that many from the Great Lakes Bay region will be also.   Having bumped into several people that I knew from the Bay City and Saginaw area today.  


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