D-Train rockin’ the D against C.C.

Dontrelle’s Spring Training Debut
credit Deran @ lftblog.com. Click pic for more.

While a game the first week of spring training probably means little, you can’t help but wonder if today’s 3-3 10 inning tie between the Tigers and Indians could be an indicator of how the 2008 season will transpire for these teams.

Of more immediate importance today was the debut of Dontrelle Willis in a Tigers uniform. Dontrelle was admittedly nervous at the start of the game. Willis allowed three hits, including a homer in two innings of work. But the reports were positive with Leyland complimenting Willis’s fastball and Willis tipping his cap to Ben Francisco who’s homer came on a good pitch. No word on whether Willis was using his full repertoire of if he was focusing on fastball-change as the other starters have done in their first appearances.

Other notes:

  • Brent Clevlen made a couple of nice plays in center field, at least according to Dan and Jim on the broadcast.
  • Speaking of Dan and Jim, they gave listeners a little bit of a scare saying that Miguel Cabrera limped to the bench after a ground out. They later clarified saying that everything was OK, but jeez. Don’t scare us guys.
  • I don’t put a lot of stock in spring stats, especially for established players. Like I’m not worried that Carlos Guillen doesn’t have a hit. But it is worth noting that Brandon Inge has only made 2 outs over 4 games. He’s 3 of 5 with 4 walks.
  • It was the locks for the roster that gave up the runs today with Willis, Todd Jones, and Tim Byrdak all surrendering a run on multiple hits. But it was a solid outing for Denny Bautista who fanned one and allowed a lone hit in his 2 innings.


  1. rings

    March 2, 2008 at 2:49 am

    The Willis reaction is interesting, because it sounded to me like the Tribe did nothing but hit line drives against him. Hopefully, he was just throwing fastballs, b/c his outing was not impressive…

    While none of us have seen the AB’s, I’d agree that perhaps Inge has a new approach at the plate…I’d be – and would always have been – thrilled with Brandon if he was more concerned with getting on base – and advancing runners – from the 9-hole, than in trying to hit HR’s all the time. Hopefully, he’s received the message and will honestly work on “handling the bat” this year.

    Sounded like a great crowd in Lakeland…over 9000 for a matchup that will likely be as close as todays’ score this season…

  2. Deran

    March 3, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Yeah, both of those catches by Brent were fantastic. I don’t get all goosebumpy when players run in and dive for a catch, but the play he made while running backwards was spectacular!