The series: Hosted the White Sox (win, win, loss) and visited the Athletics (loss, loss, win).
The news: Victor injured himself on the basepaths on Opening Day for the second straight year and was replaced in the lineup by Shoppach for the rest of the week, although he has pinch-hit. The Tigers, expected to compete in a tight division race with the Indians, opened the season with six straight losses, put new star Miguel Cabrera on the shelf, and got outscored 39-15. And in the biggest news of the week, manager Eric Wedge did not start Gutierrez on Sunday, sparking explosive bursts of existential angst as Indians fans everywhere try to make sense of a mysterious and inexplicable universe.
Post of the week: Now taking nominations.
Who fed it: Sizemore and Garko got off to superfine starts, posting near-identical lines right around .341/.442/.568. Carmona, Westbrook and Lee rattled off easy quality starts, collectively allowing just 3 ER over 21 IP. Perez blew a late-inning lead on his second batter of the new season but looked dominant in the next two games. Marte went 1-for-3. Absolute Best: Sizemore. Relative Best: Lee.
Who ate it: Sabathia tanked his first two starts – you might say he was 0-for-4 in quality start criteria – so that'll be the last time I write 800 words about whether he will or won't or should or shouldn't leave after 2008. Okay, probably not, but that's how it feels at the moment, anyway. Betancourt gave up seven hits in his first two innings, and he allowed more than one run in a game for the first time since September 2006. Dellichaels posted perhaps the worst week in the history of LF platoons, batting .050, which even a .20 walk rate can't redeem. Shoppach looked strangely uncomfortable behind the plate and allowed three passed balls. Finally, Gutierrez and Blake, after electrifying the faithful on Opening Day, combined for exactly one base hit, a single, in their next 28 at bats. Absolute Worst: Sabathia. Relative Worst: Blake.
UPDATE: JulioBernazard helpfully points out that Dellichaels' lone hit of the week actually came while Michaels was playing RF, not LF, and to make matters worse, Dellucci was technically a pinch-hitter when he was HBP. Taking these key facts into account, the LF platoon's production for the week was actually .000/.238/.000, and not .050/.269/.100 as previously implied. LGT-WIR deeply regrets this rare understatement. [Jay]
The other guys: We rocked Buerhle, Vazquez, MacDougal and Dotel but were baffled by Danks, Duchscherer and Eveland, three guys who collectively had 37 career starts coming into the week. Dye, Pierzynski, Bobby Crosby and Daric Barton all had big series; Thome hit two Opening Day home runs improbably off our lefty ace but forgot how to hit after that. Oakland had both Ryan Sweeney and Mike Sweeney in their lineup at one point, like some kind of very weird dream, Alan Embree and Keith Foulke in their bullpen.
- Royals and White Sox in first place.
- Tigers in last place.
- Sabathia and Betancourt being terrible.
- Shoppach fumbling.
- Pronk, or just Travis?
- New Jake or Good Old Jake?
- Why must C.C. be such a disappointment?
- Too soon for a Dellichaels death watch?
- Too soon for a Tigers 2008 season death watch?
- How healthy will Victor be this season?
- Can Cliff Lee really bounce back to be a pretty good pitcher?
- Can Carmona just continue being awesome without interruption?