Delayed gratification is still gratification, right? After Joe Nathan blew his first save ever at Comerica Park -- also his first save attempt as a Tiger -- Ian Kinsler made up for it. A liner to the left-center gap sent the Royals walking off the field as Austin Jackson crossed home plate in the Tigers' 2-1 victory. Detroit is 2-0 on the year.
Four plots at work today:
First: Kinsler is making himself at home in his new ballpark after an 0-for start on Opening Day. He drove a home run to left-center for the Tigers' first run (and his first hit as a Tiger) before accounting for the second run as well. He went 3-for-5.
Second: Max Scherzer tossed eight shutout innings in his 2014 debut. He struggled at the top of the first, allowing a walk and a single before Eric Hosmer flew out and Billy Butler grounded into a double play. And from there? He was pretty much lights out -- especially the second time through the order. He recorded five of his seven strikeouts during that trek through the lineup. He finished the game having allowed four hits and a walk.
Third: Nathan certainly did struggle against the Royals. He allowed the game-tying run on a single, pair of walks and sac fly, following that up with an uncharacteristic balk. It was just the second balk of his career. He got out of the inning, but that wasn't exactly the shutdown closer fans were expecting to see!
Al Alburquerque got the win.
Finally: Replay. Both calls at first that went to replay were initially ruled against the Tigers. The first came in the sixth inning when Tyler Collins appeared to ground into a double play. Replay showed he beat the throw. The second use came in the 10th inning. Nori Aoki was ruled safe at first (stepping on Miguel Cabrera's foot in the process). After the replay went to New York, the call was overturned for the third out of the 10th inning. The Royals would have had runners at the corners with two outs without the change in decision.