Detroit Tigers opened their 2022 campaign in front of more than 43,000 fans on a chilly spring day at Comerica Park. It’s been an eventful and exciting off-season for the Tigers who’ve brought in shortstop Javier Baez, starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and outfielder Austin Meadows, among others.
For the first time in over five years, there seems to be a lot of optimism about this ball club. The Tigers’ newest starting pitcher, the left-hander Rodriguez got the Opening Day nod for Detroit against the Chicago White Sox. This was an exciting game which did not disappoint.
The Tigers and their fans arrived at the ballpark knowing what an important series this would be to kick off the season. The White Sox won the American League Central resoundingly last season, and they enter into 2022 as heavy favorites to run it back.
As Rodriguez took the hill in the first, things didn’t exactly start Detroit’s way. Eloy Jimenez drove in a run on an RBI single in the 1st which was followed by two more RBI hits by AJ Pollock and Luis Robert put Chicago up 3-0.
The Tigers struggled to score runs as Chicago starter Lucas Giolito shut them down through four frames. Giolito made an early exit due to abdominal tightness which made this a bullpen game for the White Sox.
The White Sox are supposed to have one of the best bullpens in baseball, but that did not prove to be the case in the late innings of this game. Reliever Kyle Crick came in in the 6th and struggled as he was charged with an earned run and a walk in just 0.1 innings work.
The Tigers scratched a run in the 6th on Jeimer Candelario’s RBI single off Kendall Graveman. They then tied the game up 3-3 on a bases loaded single by Tigers’ legend Miguel Cabrera who hit it off Sox’ closer Liam Hendricks in the bottom 8th with two outs in the inning.
The Tigers’ bullpen had held Chicago until the White Sox’ Andrew Vaughn hit a home run in the top of the 9th to put his team up 4-3. However, the Tigers were more than prepared to respond. Backup catcher Eric Haase answered Vaughn with a solo home run of his own, and Detroit went on to walk it off 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th on a Javier Baez RBI hit in the All-Star’s first regular season game as a Tiger.
What a way to start the season for the Detroit Tigers. This is exactly what the Detroit faithful wanted to see and they got their money’s worth on Friday afternoon.
2022 Detroit Tigers at Large
With 161 games left to play, the Detroit Tigers need to use this big Opening Day win as a springboard to get off to a strong month of April. It’s going to be very hard for this team to succeed if they can’t get off to a consistent start, and they certainly don’t want to be playing catch up to start the season.
Baez said of the White Sox’ chances of repeating as AL Central champs, “They [White Sox] have a great team but it’s not going to be easy for them or anyone. We’re going to go out there and compete and compete and compete”
If you’re a Detroit Tigers fan, you’ve got to love the confidence and success that a veteran like Baez is bringing right out of the gates to start the season. This team has to continue to compile wins and play their best brand of baseball.
This Tigers squad is a great mix of veterans and young guys with a lot of potential. Detroit has two more games against the White Sox in their opening series and then they’ll host the Boston Red Sox for another three game set.
As the season continues, the Tigers need to prove that Friday’s win was no fluke and this team does indeed have that clutch gene and “never say die” attitude that will keep the wins coming.