PREGAME: The return of the game posts, also known as “it’s about time baseball season is back.” If you’re new to the site, this is where we discuss the game at hand.
The Tigers will send out Jeremy Bonderman. Bonderman is expected by many (myself included) to make a big leap this year. He’ll get his first chance against a very formidable offense, on a pretty big stage. He has been highly effective against most of the Blue Jays with the exception of Vernon Wells. Wells is 5 for 12 with a couple doubles and a couple walks. Fortunately, Bonderman’s nemesis Matt Stairs (10 for 21, 3 walks, 3 homers) will not be in the lineup today.
The Tigers will be facing perhaps the best right hander in the American League in Roy Halladay. Current Tigers have had very little success against Halladay with a combined 7 extra base hits. Four of those belong to Pudge Rodriguez is is 10 for 18 off of Halladay.
Game Time is 1:05pm with Pennant Raising ceremonies and booing of Governor Jennifer Granholm and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick set to begin at 12:30. The game can be seen Fox 2 and FSN Detroit and heard on 1270 WXYT.
As a reminder on commenting rules, it is basically 1. Don’t swear, 2. Be nice, 3. Don’t be a jerk
Fangraphs will have live win probability calculations all season long (for more on WPA see here).
Blue Jays Lineup
1. LF Reed Johnson
2. 1B Lyle Overbay
3. CF Vernon Wells
4. DH Frank Thomas
5. 3B Troy Glaus
6. RF Alex Rios
7. C Gregg Zaun
8. 2B Aaron Hill
9. SS Royce Clayton
1. CF Curtis Granderson
2. 2B Placido Polanco
3. DH Gary Sheffield
4. SS Carlos Guillen
5. RF Magglio Ordonez
6. C Ivan Rodriguez
7. 1B Sean Casey
8. LF Craig Monroe
9. 3B Brandon Inge
Well, they came up a little short today on a rough first inning by Bonderman, and a rough last inning by Fernando Rodney. What was really impressive is that threats were very limited in between. The loss is far from devastating, but getting a solid outing from your starter and putting 3 up on Roy Halladay normally gives you a good chance to win (as my buddy Russ said on the way home). To let it get away is a little disappointing.
Because I was too giddy to sleep last night, and worn out by the day, just some bulleted thoughts on the game:
- Carlos Guillen looked simply amazing defensively. Sitting in leftfield I didn’t have a great view of everything going on today, but I did have Guillen in my sights and it was something to see.
- I was a little surprised to see that after his rough first inning, Bonderman was actually much more efficient that Halladay. A lot of the credit goes to the Tiger hitters who didn’t offer at a first pitch until Sheffield’s at-bat the second time through. In fact, the first 8 hitters all took the first 2 pitches.
- And along those lines the 2 strike approaches were sound. Granderson fell behind with 2 strikes in his first AB before drawing a couple balls and ripping a single. Carlos Guillen later fell behind 1-2, fouled off 2 pitches, and hit a line drive deep to right that was hauled in by Rios.
- The Tigers actually had a few well hit balls, 2 by Guillen and 2 by Sheffield, that just didn’t fall. Sometimes that’s the way it goes. By the same token, the Blue Jays were just a couple feet short of 2 home runs as well.
- Craig Monroe, not a good day at-bat
- Strange outing for Fernando Rodney today. He was consistently getting ahead (6 of the 7 batters he faced he got 1st pitch strikes), yet couldn’t close out the at-bat. He was ahead 0-2 to both Frank Thomas and Troy Glaus before both reached base.
- One more note on Rodney, it was last year I believe that Chuck Hernandez was trying to limit the number of change-ups that Rodney through, to get him to concentrate more on his fastball. In the Glaus at-bat he threw him 3 straight changes. Maybe it is something to address again?