Reporting Dan Roche
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DETROIT (CBS) – The Bobby Valentine era is underway here in Detroit.
WBZ-TV photographer Matt Colson saw Bobby V on his bike outside our hotel at 8:15 this morning. Matt said Bobby was wearing a black helmet, black top, and of course, red socks.
Valentine said he hoped to be nervous at first pitch. Valentine and the coaching staff had dinner together in the team hotel last night. Valentine said “a player” picked up the tab which he thought was “nice”.
Nice to see the usual Opening Day pomp and circumstance here at Comerica Park. Fighter jets fly-over was pretty cool. Al Kaline threw out the ceremonial first pitch. It’s believed that was the first time ever Kaline had done it on Opening Day.
Read: Opening Day Live Blog
It’s much colder here today than yesterday. 43-degrees and partly sunny. It was about 60-degrees during the Red Sox workout Wednesday afternoon.
Tough opening assignment for the Sox in having to face Justin Verlander. He was 24-5 en route to the AL MVP and CY Young awards last season.
David Ortiz had a nice slicing double to left, the only Sox hit through three innings, and he was stranded at third. Verlander struck out three, including slugger Cody Ross on a wicked 3-2 curveball.
Read: 2012 Red Sox Predictions
Jon Lester is off to a much better start than last year’s opening day in Texas. Lester gave up lead-off singles in both the first and second innings, but got ground ball double plays to erase both runners. One of those singles was to newly signed franchise first baseman Prince Fielder. The large lefty got a standing ovation from Tiger fans as he walked to the plate for the first time. The only problem for Lester is nit-picking when he gets runners on base. Needs to go right at hitters, especially in this spacious ballpark.
This great pitching duel continues. Lester puts first two hitters on to start the fifth, but gets Avila, Santiago, and Jackson to get out of it.
Then in the top of the sixth, with two on and two out, Ortiz battles Verlander hard but sits down after an 0-2 fastball inside followed by a wicked hook. Good night and thanks for playing David.
Verlander did it again to Youk. Wow, great to watch!
Really feel for Jon Lester in that 7th inning. Gave up the two out double to Peralta and then had Avila 1-2. Threw him a fastball that was close, but high. Then 2-2 he threw a close pitch, but home plate ump Dale Scott called it a ball. Next pitch, RBI double and 1-0 Detroit. I’m thinking… scoreless duel, you have to give that close pitch to the pitcher. Now I know Lester complains to umps, but he deserved that one.
Verlander tosses a 1-2-3 eighth inning after throwing 105 pitches and leaves to chants of M-V-P.
Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on twitter @RochieWBZ