PREGAME: Ooohhh, subplots abound. There’s that whole Jim Leyland quitting on the Rockies thing, but he’s already made his one statement about that. Plus there is that Jason Grilli commenting on team chemistry thing, and the fact that he pitches awful at Comerica Park.
Of more concern though are the Tigers simultaneous marches to mediocrity and contention. The Tigers are 2 games below the .500 mark and Sunday marks the end of the first half of the season. If Detroit can somehow muster a sweep, they’d be +1 for the first half which isn’t a big deal on its own. But given the struggles of the first 2 months would be a mighty accomplishment.
The Rockies have lost their last 4 and are 15 games below .500. Tonight they send out Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenz has been on a bit of a roll of late allowing only 3 earned runs in his last 3 starts. He strikes out a fair amount, but walks a batter every other inning.
For the Tigers it will be Eddie Bonine making his 3rd career start. The red flag with Bonine in the early going is that he’s allowed 3 homers in his 12.1 innings. And those innings came at notorious non-homer parks Comerica Park and Petco.
Game Time 7:05
POSTGAME: I’d laud the outstanding efforts of Eddie Bonine and Curtis Granderson, but I’m leery. I touted Gary Sheffield’s awesomeness only to see a GIDP and a K in a hitless stat line. Maybe I should just let Bonine’s 8 innings of 1 run ball and 17 ground ball outs speak for themselves. And offensively, how much commentary is required when a player puts together back to back 4 hit games and extends a hitting streak to 15 games? Those kind of accomplishments don’t need to be propped up by some blogger. They stand on their own.
I will just reiterate a statement I made a few days ago. Watching Granderson go to third is a thing of beauty. There is that moment between first and second when you just know he’s going for the triple. It’s all so smooth with perfectly turned angles to the bases that an engineer can appreciate. But there’s still something about that moment when despite the smoothness, there is that one explosive step where he seems to get an extra gear as he braces himself to round second and head to third. Simply a joy to watch.
- The Tigers plated 7 runs, but it felt like it should have been so much more. Like Wednesday’s game I can’t really bag on an offense that racks up 15 hits and forces a starter to throw over 100 pitches in 4 innings. But this game seemed like it had double digit runs written all over it.
- Joel Zumaya had a nice outing. Sure there was the double and wild pitch. But a swinging strike out is what we really were looking for. Most important were no walks allowed.
- Oh yeah. And Clete Thomas reached base 4 more times. That’s not too shabby.
- Now if only the Twins would lose.