Detroit Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will toe the slab for Opening Day next Thursday at 3:10pm as Detroit starts the season on the road against the Rays. For Rodriguez, this will be this second Opening Day start in a Tigers uniform as he looks to bounce back from a season in which he only threw just 91 innings.
Rodriguez joins fellow lefty Matthew Boyd in starting multiple Opening Days. In case you were wondering, the starting pitcher with the most Opening Day starts was Jack Morris, with 11 straight seasons from 1980 to 1990. Here’s some other random Detroit Tigers Opening Day facts.
- 2000: Hideo Nomo, who only played one season in a Tigers uniform, started the opener on the road against Oakland, in which he pitched an impressive start. 7IP 3ER 3H (all runs coming off solo shots) and finished with eight strikeouts. Oddly enough, during his first stint with the Dodgers from 1995 to 1998, he never got the opportunity. However, when he rejoined the Dodgers in 2003, he would start back-to-back Opening Days. He was the first Japanese pitcher to ever start on Opening Day.
- In 2002, Jason Johnson, who the Tigers signed as their big free agent target from Baltimore, threw six shutout innings as he, along with three other Tigers relievers, combined for a 7-0 shutout of the Jays. It was the first time since 1970 that the Tigers threw a shutout on Opening Day on the road. Mickey Lolich tossed a complete game shutout against the Washington Senators.
- April 7th, 1978: Mark Fidrych threw a complete game in a 6-2 win over the Jays. He would follow up with another complete game win over the Rangers five days later. He would make just one more start the rest of the season.
- In the final season at Tiger Stadium, Brian Moehler got the start on Opening Day, while Jeff Weaver got the last start ever against the Royals at Michigan and Trumbull.
Photo Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports