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Memorializing a Tigers' victory

Verlander wins to inaugurate the summer. All is right with the world.

Valverde wears a camouflage hat to match his beard
Valverde wears a camouflage hat to match his beard
Duane Burleson

If you were wondering who was pitching today, all you had to do was look out the window. It was raining. It must be Justin's turn.

Verlander is fine. Pitchers with issues do not strike 13 Pirates out in 7 innings, and with a low-for-him 110 pitches.

Tony Randazzo was no help on the low strike. With another plate umpire, Verlander's day could have been even better.

The subs have filled in admirably, and the win/loss record has improved, but it is time for Austin Jackson to return. On a good day he tracks down McCutchen's triple in the first inning.

Gaby Sanchez dropped a popup when he collided with the tarp. The ball was not quite over the railing into the front row. But remember you front-row foul-ball seekers: if his arm crosses the railing, that ball is yours!

Miguel Cabrera was 0 for 4. He is not superhuman after all. When Fielder singled and Martinez doubled following a Miggy strikeout, it was a glimpse of what this deep lineup can do all summer.

It was a joy to see Inge back at Comerica Park, and aiding the Tiger's cause. Whenever we needed a timely out, he provided a strikeout. He received a World Series ring before the game and expressed his gratitude well.

Jhonny Peralta outsmarted the shift and punched a couple to right field, part of a four for four day. More importantly, he moved ahead of Joe Mauer for second spot in the batting race. Yes, I am still bitter about Friday night.

Two line drives, one to left field and one to right field, were reminders of the improved corner outfield defense. Hunter caught one and Don Kelly just missed one, but last year those were both trouble.

Pittsburgh looks like a team that will contend for the playoffs long after Cleveland falls back.

Who makes you more nervous coming in from the bullpen, Benoit or Valverde?

Benoit's pickoff of Josh Harrison on second base, when Harrison represented the tying run, was a joy to behold. Check out the Wins Above Replacement formula. Pickoffs are not included. But today, that may have been the deciding play.