The Tigers opened the Grapefruit League with several nice pitching performances and beat the New York Mets, 5-4, today.
Toledo starter Chad Durbin went two near-perfect innings as the Tigers starter. Star pitching prospect Andrew Miller relieved him and struck out four of the nine batters he faced, walked one and allowed a hit. Lefty journeyman reliever Felix Heredia, fighting to make the Tigers roster, went a perfect inning, as did Bobby Seay to earn the save. The Mets had 19 runners stranded.
The only hiccups were Zach Miner, who allowed a run, and Preston Larrison, who had a rather tough inning and gave up three.
Just remember at this point in Spring Training, pitchers are ahead of batters still trying to find their timing.
There were a few defensive hiccups along the way — get ready for this, Neifi haters — by second baseman Neifi Perez. Both fielding. Without video, can’t really say too much more than what the stats sheet tells us, but if there were going to by 2 E’s, at least it wasn’t a teamwide thing.
And speaking of team, most of the starters stayed back in Lakeland anyway. Just Curtis Granderson (1-4, RBI, walk, no(!) strikeouts) and Sean Casey (1-2, RBI) made the trip. But so did some familiar names, such as Vance Wilson (1-3) Omar Infante (2-4) and Marcus Thames (2-3). With no chance of making the major league squad, Ryan Rayburn hit a solo second-inning homer. A lot of the Tigers offense came off Mets starter Oliver Perez. After that, they just scattered a hit here and there. Nine times Tigers struck out — twice by Neifi.
Can’t read too much into it, but it is nice to see Thames continue to see the ball.
I will update with links from reporters who saw the game when their observations come out.