Sunday, April 3, 2011
So much for the “brand new Penny”
As the season started, many experts voiced concerns over the fact that during the previous 11 years of his MLB career Brad Penny has a 101-80 record, with a 3.99 ERA, while pitching in the National League, and a 7-8 record with 5.61 ERA in the American League.
One game into “Brad Penny: AL edition 2.0”, the experts concerns appear to be valid.
After going 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA in spring training and coming into the season with confidence. Tigers’ starter Brad Penny gave up 3 runs in each of the first two innings before settling himself down and holding the Yanks scoreless in the next two. After the Tigers scored 1 run in the 3rd, they added two more in the top of the fifth inning go reduce the Bronx Bombers lead to 6-3, Robinson Cano hit a disputed lead-off, double in the bottom of the 5th for the Yanks, Penny got Nick Swisher to ground out, but he walked the DH, Jorge Posada, and that was the end of the day for Penny on the mound.
The book wasn’t closed on the Tigers right-hander until Russell Martin hit a 3 run homer to left-center field off Brad Thomas to give the Yankees their 9-3 lead that eventually turned into the 10-6 win. Penny ended up allowing 8 of the Yankees 10 runs, while striking out 3 and walking 4.
Penny was making his first American League start since August 1, 2009, when he was a member of the Boston Red Sox, ironically against the New York Yankees.
The Tigers and Yankees conclude their opening weekend series from Yankee Stadium this afternoon, when Max Scherzer takes the mound for Detroit, against the Yankees Phil Hughes.
If you have been paying attention to the predictions heading into the 2011 MLB season, it would appear that the opening weekend series against the New York Yankees would loom to be important.
Many writers and sportscasters have predicted that the Boston Red Sox would win the American League East, leaving the Yankees to battle for the Wild-Card slot. Of the 45 experts to pick for ESPN, all 45 picked the Sox to win the east. While 34 picked the Yankees to win the wild card, 6 of the 45 picked the Tigers to win the AL Central, while another two picked Detroit to win the Wild Card.
So, if the prognosticators are correct and the Tigers and Yankees are battling for the Wild Card slot in the playoffs, thru games 1 and 2 of the season, advantage goes to the Yankees.
Despite the fact that the Tigers can’t win this series against the Yankees, for the season opener, they have a chance to redeem themselves against the bombers in a 4-game series back at Comerica Park May 1-5.
Let’s hope that during that series, Brad Penny, has returned to the form he showed in spring training, and “Brad Penny: AL edition 2.0” is proving the so-called experts wrong.