It was nice to see the Tigers fight back yesterday, and I was particularly happy to see Brandon Inge get the go ahead home run. Earlier in the game Inge had 3 solid at-bats with nothing to show for it (I included his weak grounder to second on a hit and run as a “good” at-bat because he had to get the bat on the ball). Franklyn German had another solid outing picking up the save. Bonderman pitched his best game since his turn in Oakland and looked real sharp (7K/1BB). He had to leave after 6 innings and 82 pitches due to a blister-but that might not be such a bad thing anyway. Avery “earned” the win by giving up a 3 run homer to tie the game. In all fairness, those 3 runs were the first he’d allowed this year.
Speaking of which, Avery’s call up has kept Wil Ledezma off the mound. Since Avery’s May 10th call up, Ledezma has only pitched in two games (5/15 and 5/21) and both opportunities were “inning-eaters” when the team was trailing. Based on what Jayson Stark and Peter Gammons have reported, Ledezma has starter-quality stuff. One article compared him to Johan Santana. While I appreciate Avery’s comeback, and that we have him cheap, why not use Ledezma more? I don’t know that he will be a contributor on this team in two years, or even next year. However, he’s much more likely to be a member of this team beyond this season than Avery. What’s frustrating is that you’d like to see Ledezma get work, but because he’s a Rule V guy, he has to stay and wallow in the bullpen.
I guess the bright side to Ledezma’s lack of work is that the starting pitching has been better than expected, and for the most part worked deeper into games than expected. The rotation is still intact, which has to have surprised everyone. Only the A’s, Yankee’s, and Mariner’s can say the same-and that is some good company to be in.