Game 66: Tigers at Phillies
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?
- Bonderman had allowed 5 homers all season, and then 4 solo shots tonight. He wasn’t nearly as sharp as his last outing against the Mets, yet the result was the same.
- Great game once again by the offense, and everybody contributed in one way or another. Casey had 4 hits, but Pudge gets the nod for blowing the game apart with 5 two-out RBI.
- I really think Casey will get his first homer this series, and really thought he had it tonight.
- Brandon Inge drew 2 intentional walks. That was the good. After having a great couple of weeks, he went back to looking tentative with a couple half/check swing strikeouts.
- The one good thing about pitchers batting is watching all the other pitchers laugh at the sacrificial lamb from the dugout. And with Bondo going station to station tonight, there was quite a bit to take in.
- Technically, Fernando Rodney’s string of 5 straight appearances allowing a run was snapped. Yes he only recorded one out, and yes an inherited runner scored, but the streak is broken.