DETROIT -- Although it ended with a 4-0 loss to the Tigers on Opening Day, Paul Molitor said he was happy with the decisions he made in his debut as Twins manager.
The Hall of Famer, who had no managerial experience at any level before being hired in November, officially made his debut Monday. He said he wasn't too nervous heading into the opener, but just wanted to make sure he was on top of things as the game went along.
"My biggest area of anxiety was about missing things," Molitor said. "I wasn't worried about playing the right people or getting the right pitchers in the game. But you want to be sharp in terms of your timing and being clear-minded about your strategy and using your bench. But I thought I did that pretty well."
Molitor's biggest decisions were to bring in Rule 5 Draft pick J.R. Graham in relief of right-hander Phil Hughes and to use Eduardo Escobar as a pinch-hitter for Jordan Schafer in the ninth. Graham tossed two scoreless innings in his Major League debut, while Escobar grounded out to shortstop to open the ninth.
Molitor also decided not to bunt with Danny Santana with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth, as the Twins were already down 3-0 and he wanted to go for the big inning. Santana struck out before Brian Dozier grounded into an inning-ending double play, but Molitor stood by his decisions.
"I was just trying not to be a hindrance to us winning the game," Molitor said. "I was trying to do the right things and put the players in the right positions. But when you get beat by a good pitcher [Tigers lefty David Price], there's not a lot you can do."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.