Justin Verlander is the first AL pitcher to get a hit on Opening Day since 1972
Madison Bumgarner ... Zack Greinke ... Max Scherzer ... Bartolo Colon. These are the kind of power pitchers that come to mind when you talk about #PitchersWhoRake. In part because they play in the National League and get a chance to take some cuts once every five days, but also because they've built reputations for themselves at the dish.
Neither of those sentiments apply to Justin Verlander.
The Tigers ace entered 2016 with 10 full MLB seasons under his belt, but had managed to accumulate just two hits in 32 career at-bats. We all had a good laugh when the Tigers had him lay down a bunt to lead off an inning during Spring Training, but Verlander is serious about his craft and wasted no time proving that this season.
In the second inning of Tuesday night's Marlins-Tigers game, Verlander stepped to the plate with two out and Anthony Gose on first base. He promptly looped a single to right-center field:
The hit allowed Gose to move from first to third on the play, but that was all for naught when Ian Kinsler knocked a pitch out of the park shortly thereafter.
That homer obviously brought Verlander around to score. It was just the second time he'd scored a run in his MLB career.