On his sixth try, Justin Verlander got his first Opening Day victory for the Tigers in Monday's 4-2 decision over the Twins. But it was a strange one. It was strange because Verlander was out of the game after five innings. Manager Jim Leyland said the pitch count for Verlander would have been "100 max" — and because he was at 91 after five innings, with a left-handed hitter (Justin Moreneau) coming up first in the sixth, Leyland felt it was the right time for the move. "It was his first start of the year and he's really not a quick out guy," Leyland said. "I just thought it was the right thing to do. You have to remember one thing: We've just come from where it was 80 degrees to where it's 30-something. Ninety-one pitches were enough. "That was a no-brainer for me. I'm not going to do anything silly. He has more security than I do, but I make the decisions. He wanted to stay in, but that's what I get paid for." Said Verlander: "I told Ricky (Porcello) when I came out, 'I don't know what to do.' It's kind of different. If the weather hadn't been the way it was, I would have pitched more innings. I argued a little bit, but I understood." What cold? He slimes himself up pretty good in cold weather. All of Torii Hunter 's home games in 11 years with the Twins were played inside the Metrodome, where weather wasn't a problem. Hunter knows how to combat the cold, though. After all, he still says that one of the coldest games he's ever played in was his first outdoors road opener — at Tiger Stadium in 1999. Temperature at game time that day was 44 with a 13-mph wind from left.
Quick hook for Tigers' Justin Verlander a 'no-brainer' on cold opener
Detroit News | Apr 2