It's simple really.
Justin Verlander had to come out of his Opening Day-slump at some point. And after five strong innings and a 3-0 lead, his Detroit Tigers made sure he emerged victorious with a 4-2 decision over the host Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Verlander, who was 0-5 on Opening Day prior to Monday, struck out seven before giving the mound to Drew Smyly and the Tigers bullpen.
Only 161 more games to go.
No Need to Blast Jim Leyland Just Yet
Tigers fan love to second-guess manager Jim Leyland; it's been a MoTown tradition since the day he joined the Tigers. However, Monday's criticism was unnecessary. Fans and followers of Detroit love to see Verlander pitch complete games.
And he will.
When it's warmer.
The temperature in Minneapolis was a balmy 37 degrees, and after 91 pitches, Verlander made his exit.
That didn't satisfy some who wanted to see Verlander go the distance and get the complete-game shutout. But Leyland's decision to remove Verlander was in the best interest for everyone, even fans.
The Tigers ace pitched well enough for Detroit to gain a 3-0 lead. It was cold. It wouldn't have made sense for Verlander to risk injury. Cool temperatures aren't good for hot arms, especially arms of the $202 million, five-year extension variety.
Follow MichiganBaseball.net creator Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81
Feel free to e-mail Adam at Adam.Biggers@Yahoo.com with story ideas, questions, sponsorship inquiries or to get your team highlighted on MichiganBaseball.net