PREGAME: The Tigers make their first journey to a National League park this season. So here we are, real baseball. Pitchers hitting. Double switches. There’s nothing like seeing a sacrifice bunt with 1 out. Or the excitement of seeing a pitcher who’s having a great game lifted for a pinch hitter. Maybe it’s because I’m from an American League city, and I’m at an age where the DH has always existed, but I just don’t get the appeal of the NL. I’m pro DH all the way.
But on to tonight’s contest. The Phillies are currently residing in second place in the NL East. They lead the NL in scoring, walks, and on base percentage. They’re 2nd in slugging percentage and 3rd in home runs. So it’s probably a good thing that Bonderman-Miller-Verlander (aka The Future) are set to throw in this series.
Tonight it’s Jeremy Bonderman’s turn. In his last start, he seemed to pitch pretty well but his final line was an unimpressive 6 runs allowed in 6+ innings with 4 K’s.
The Tigers will be facing Jon Lieber. Lieber’s last start was a complete game 11 K shut out of the Kansas City Royals. He’s been much better on the road with a 651 OPS allowed on the road and 824 at home. Sean Casey is 17 for 38 lifetime off Lieber and Neifi Perez has 2 homers in 21 at-bats against him.
And as a final note, Jose Mesa made his first appearance for the Phillies and allowed 2 runs in 1 1/3 innings with 2 wild pitches.
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME Ergh the bullpen. Again. Is there any other team that can really use every bit of an 8 run cushion like the Tigers?