PREGAME: Frequently fans will complain when their struggling team has to go take on the best team in the league. I say bring on the Diamondbacks. It’s not like Arizona is going to “cool-off” Detroit. Might as well play them now because it doesn’t actually matter who the Tigers play given their recent production.
As for the match-up, it will be Dan Haren for the Diamondbacks and Jeremy Bonderman for the Tigers. We’ll see if Bonderman will be more willing to come inside, or if he’s staying away because he’s lost 2.5 mph on his fastball.
As for Haren, he’s been awesome per usual fanning 4 for every guy he walks and only allowing 4 homers in 50.1 innings this year. And at home opponents have mustered only a .518 OPS though Haren has benefited from an unsustainable .227 batting average on balls in play.
The first pitch is pretty important in general, but the numbers are remarkable for Haren. Batters who see a first pitch ball post a 854 OPS but those who see a first pitch strike manage only a .327. The Tigers have been fairly passive on first pitch strikes this year and it will be interesting to see if they deviate in their game plan to be more aggressive.
Game Time 9:40
POSTGAME: How do they lose thee? Let me count the ways…
Once again it was another game that flat out blew, and it’s not like the Diamondbacks played well. What team successfully sacrifice bunted leading to one of those manufactured runs? The Tigers. What team failed to properly execute a sac bunt leading to an out at third? The Diamondbacks.
What team made a big baserunning gaffe on a missed bunt attempt? The Diamondbacks.
I don’t want to hear how they did it the right way. The Diamondbacks won because the Tigers once again completely broke down in the field. A lazy effort on a foul pop up by Miguel Cabrera wasn’t costly, but Carlos Guillen and Edgar Renteria failing to call for a foul pop ended up costing Bonderman big. And to cap it off Guillen bounced a routine throw to first which plated the losing run.
It was a punch in the gut killing a team that had otherwise played a decent game. Miguel Cabrera hit a 2 run homer which was the first homer the Tigers hit with someone on base since May 1st and the first homer by a right hander since May 2nd.
Jeremy Bonderman was awesome and deserved a better fate than 3 runs in 6 innings. He was pitching to both sides of the strike zone and mixing his pitching well. Yet he has a very generic no decision quality start to show for it.
This season and this game somehow simultaneously blows and sucks.