Offense Sputters, Bullpen Shows Life, In Detroit Tigers’ Loss To Marlins
The Detroit Tigers fell to the Marlins by a score of 4-2 Sunday afternoon, in Alfredo Simon’s third spring start. The loss, which came at the hands of Dan Haren, who pitched four shutout innings, dropped the Tigers to 6-9 on the spring.
The Marlins jumped out to a lead from the outset, after a Michael Morse single in the first, and scored three more runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings respectively. Behind Haren, that was enough to put Detroit away.
The Tigers, meanwhile, could only muster two runs, and Simon could not match Haren’s production. In 4 innings-pitched, the Tigers’ starter struggled with his command, and allowed three runs, on three hits.
There were plenty of encouraging signs to go around for Brad Ausmus’ club, however.
In his second appearance on the young season, Bruce Rondon made it through an inning, and threw 19 pitches, without feeling any discomfort. Much like Simon, the young reliever did struggle with command, only throwing 10 of those 19 pitches for strikes, but at this point his health is the Tigers’ main concern.
Also encouraging was the performance of some other key bullpen arms. Blaine Hardy, and Angel Nesbitt, who are both competing to fill out the Tigers’ much maligned bullpen, each tossed scoreless innings.
Nesbitt, in particular, has pitched well, and could be a surprise addition to the roster, if he continues to outperform expectations, and other pitchers on the roster. In five games, Nesbitt has a 1.80 ERA, and 3 strikeouts, in five innings pitched.
One offensive bright spot, was J.D Martinez, who continues to hit well in Florida. He put his third home run of spring camp over the right field wall against reliever Nick Masset, finished 2-3, and is now batting.385, early on.
Another offensive standout has been Hernan Perez. Perez collected another hit, this time off of Marlins’ reliever Pat Misch, and could end up beating out Andrew Romine in a utility role, if his hot hitting continues.
Perez, Romine and the rest of the Tigers will travel to Roger Dean Stadium tomorrow, to take on the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 ET. David Price will square off against John Lackey.