DETROIT — It’s raining at Comerica Park, but very lightly, and the grounds crew is preparing to remove the tarp from the field. It’s only 38 degrees at the moment, but it’s clear that the Tigers and Twins will play Game 2 of this season-opening three-game series today.
Tomorrow? That’s another story. Thunderstorms are due tomorrow morning, and while it should be warmer, it’s far less certain, according to the forecast, that that game will be played as scheduled.
The Twins will send Ricky Nolasco, who makes no secret of his preference for warm weather, to the mound today, against righthander Anibal Sanchez. Manager Paul Molitor hopes he sees the Nolasco that he watched in spring training.
“The biggest thing is his ability to use and trust his fastball,” Molitor said. “He’s got excellent secondary pitches — a change, slider, curve — and last year he had to rely on those a little bit too much, as far as I’m concerned. He just didn’t have the confidence that he could get the fastball in the strike zone where he wanted it.”
Nolasco is the Twins’ third-highest paid player, and Molitor believes he felt pressure to perform last year. “There are expectations that come with that type of a deal,” Molitor said. “But this is a fresh start for him.”
Here are the lineups for today’s noon (CDT) first pitch, with Molitor going with the same setup as Monday, while the Tigers switch center fielders:
V. Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez RF