Thoughts after 6 1-2 innings Tigers, Pirates Tuesday
- It took the Tigers longer than you'd expect to break through against Pirates' starter A.J. Burnett. The two-out hit by Rajai Davis was huge. I think it was a good decision by manager Tigers' Brad Ausmus to not over-react there and pinch hit either Anthony Gose or Victor Martinez for Davis. It was a good piece of hitting by Davis to lay off Burnett's breaking ball and a high fastball that was close before delivering the hit.
- It continues to be obvious just how important the return of Jose Iglesias is to the Tigers. It's weird, but he seems like a more settled and consistent player than he was before forced to sit out the entire '14 season because of injury. Watching Iglesias and Ian Kinsler turn a routine double play is like watching some sort of baseball arm form.
- Shane Greene does have the ability to miss bats, but what is really impressive is how it doesn't seem like hitters get quality swings against him. It's a lot of weak grounders. The Tigers improved defense should help him. In fact, it has tonight. That was nice play by J.D. Martinez in the sixth.
- This could be the Tigers' bullpen first real test this season. We'll see if it passes.
My column. Tigers, Royals and how opposites clash in American League Central: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150414/pat-caputo-detroit-tigers-kansas-city-royals-and-how-opposites-clash-in-al-central