And a perfect example of exactly why.
The Toronto Blue Jays, after a few big trades and some free agent acquisitions, are expected to have their best team in decades. It’s possible, even likely, that Toronto and Detroit will both find themselves in the AL playoff bracket in October. We want our Tigers to be better than these guys, obviously, and a 10-3 drubbing in February could be construed as deflating in that respect.
Of course, this was just a Spring Training game. It isn’t as though those wins and losses factor in to pennant races. But more to the point – oftentimes these results don’t even suggest anything about the relative quality of the two teams. And that’s what this game was a great example of. The Tigers had 7 hits (to create those 3 runs) – all 7 of which were by the Detroit starting lineup, which matched – on this particular day – what we’ll see once the regular season starts in April. Guys who are unlikely to make the big-league roster (sorry, Danny Worth and Jeff Kobernus) were 0-13 with a couple of walks.
The Tigers gave 4 innings to pitchers with good shots to make the club, Anibal Sanchez, Bruce Rondon and Duane Below. Those three guys allowed zero runs, though Sanchez and Rondon did have to pitch their way out of trouble. The other 5 went to guys who will be hoping to earn a call-up should the big-league club be hit with a rash of injuries: Shaun Hill, Michael Morrison, Ryan Robowski, Melvin Mercedes and Trevor Bell. Hill, Robowski and Mercedes had a great deal of trouble with the unintentional walk (7 in 3 innings) and combined to allow all 10 of the Blue Jays’ runs. So… the Tigers scored 3 runs and allowed zero, the Mudhens scored zero runs and allowed 10. I’d say that this game suggests that the Mudhens might not have a great season in store, but nothing at all about the Detroit Tigers.