Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tigers Pitching Calms Down

After allowing 26 runs in the past three games, five Tigers pitchers combined to allow just one run on six hits tonight in a 9-1 win over the Royals. Zach Miner went five shutout innings before allowing a lead off single in the sixth. I was surprised to see him removed at that point but Jim Leyland wanted Bobby Seay to face left-handed batters David DeJesus, Mark Teahen and Mike Jacobs. One run did score but that would be it as Brandon Lyon, Nate Robertson and Joel Zumaya held them scoreless the rest of the way.

Zumaya looked OK in his first appearance of the season. He allowed two singles but was helped out by a double play. He threw a couple of pitches as fast as 99 MPH and had good movement but just middling command. He was a bit wild but didn't walk anybody.

Jeff Laird continued his hot hitting with two singles and his first home run as a Tiger. He is now batting .342 but it shouldn't be a surprise that he is off to a good start. He generally has big first halves before tiring later the season. For his career, he has hit .280 before the all-star break and .229 after.

Magglio Ordonez also got his first round tripper of the season in the ninth. In fact, it was his first extra base hit in the 17 games into the season.

Curtis Granderson hit his sixth homer of the season and his fourth of the week. Mario Impemba mentioned during the broadcast that Granderson is second in the American League behind only Alex Rodriguez with 152 extra base hits since 2007. That statistic surprised me so I confirmed it using Lee Sinnis's Baseball Encyclopedia. It turns out most of the biggest extra base hitters have been in the National League or both leagues. There were ten Major League hitters ahead of both ARod and Grandy including Miguel Cabrera with 155. Hanley Ramirez is the Major League leader with 163.

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