5 Things for April 18th: Kinsler’s HR lifts Tigers Over Indians
1. Ian Kinsler is off to a blazing start, hitting .327 with a .519 slugging percentage for the Tigers this season. The man he was traded for, Prince Fielder, is hitting .172 and slugging .276. When you consider the upgrade in defense and speed that Kinsler gives the Tigers, the early returns on that trade look great for Dave Dombrowski.
Kinsler hit a three-run homer off Danny Salazar to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead over the Indians:
Detroit's pitching and defense were somewhat sloppy. They made three errors in the game. Justin Verlander battled through five innings. He walked four batters, but struck out seven and did not give up any earned runs. Ian Krol and Al Alburquerque each gave up a run out of the pen, but the Tigers scored enough runs to get a 7-5 win. The good news from the bullpen is that Joe Nathan pitched a clean ninth inning.
2. The Red Wings drop the puck on a playoff series against the president trophy winning Boston Bruins tonight. The game starts at 7:30.
Boston is a terrific team. Tukka Rask is probably going to win the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goaltender. They are one of the deepest offenses in the league, and are very solid defensively. The B's have three of the top four plus/minus players of the league.
Detroit must use their speed and skill to create opportunities in transition, because they have no chance to out-physical Boston in corners. I like the way the Wings are playing, but they have a major challenge lying ahead of them.
3. Speaking of hockey, there were some outstanding playoff games last night. St. Louis and Chicago might be the best first round series in a number of years. It got off to a great start last night, as the Blues won in triple overtime.
The Rangers topped the Flyers. The Sharks did the unthinkable and put up six goals on Jonathon Quick. Paul Statsny scored a late third period goal to tie the game, then scored the winner in overtime as the Avs beat the Wild.
5. The NBA playoffs start tomorrow afternoon with four games. You can view the schedule here on espn.com.
Steve Miller is on-air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. producing ‘Mad Dog in the Morning’ on The Game 730 AM. Follow him on Twitter @SteveMilllerWVFN.