Not even a 1-3 start for the Tigers can ruin the holiday feel that Opening Day gives Detroit. Well, maybe it's a little bit of a bummer. But I think people are willing to look past that for what's often an official sign of spring around here. Hopefully, the Tigers respond positively to beginning the home portion of their season, and the bats adapt nicely to their first dose of cold weather.
But the Texas Rangers come into town looking strong after sweeping the Indians at home, and demolishing that Tribe pitching staff with 29 runs in three games.
Armando Galarraga gets the nod for the home opener, as a tip of the cap from Jim Leyland for the season he put together last year. With a 13-7 record and 3.73 ERA, Galarraga was easily the Tigers' best starting pitcher. At Comerica Park last season, he posted a 5-3 record and 4.18 ERA in 13 starts.
And I'm sure Galarraga won't mind getting a chance to face the organization that gave up on him after two seasons. In one start against the Rangers last year, he got the win against his former team, giving up three runs and six hits in six innings at The Ballpark in Arlington.
Jeff Larish gets his first start of the season, batting sixth as the designated hitter.
For the Rangers, Kris Benson returns to the majors after missing the 2007 and 2008 seasons recovering from a torn rotator cuff. He last pitched with the Baltimore Orioles. In three career starts against the Tigers (two of which were in 2006), Benson has a 2-1 record and 2.38 ERA.
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