St. Louis 9, Detroit 5: Tigers' Drew Smyly doesn't overwhelm against Cardinals


Final - 3.28.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 5 10 2
St. Louis Cardinals 0 0 2 0 1 2 3 1 1 9 9 2
WP: Mitchell Boggs (2 - 0)
LP: Phil Coke (1 - 1)

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Fifth-starter candidate Drew Smyly didn't overwhelm with his performance, but receives a passing grades after starting against the St. Louis Cardinals' starting lineup today. Jim Leyland told the press Smyly has made a good impression -- whether or not he makes the team.

Smyly reached a pitch count of around 80 after 4 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. Two runs allowed came in a rough third-inning. A third came in the fifth when he gave up a solo home run. Smyly told MLive's Chris Iott he hung that pitch up. Smyly also picked off a runner.

I'd grade this an acceptable start. I don't think it's the kind of start you can use to declare the fifth-starter race over either way. I think ultimately that's going to be decided after the coaching staff and front office meet to sort through what they've seen during the past few weeks along with long-term goals and scouting reports. I'm going to continue sticking to my projection of Duane Below for now.

So how's the Clete Thomas-Andy Dirks thing going? Allison noted to me earlier that Clete Thomas -- 0-for-3 today with a strike out -- has 15 strikeouts in 48 at-bats. Austin Jackson has 16 strikeouts in 52 at-bats. Thomas is now batting .208, though he does have four extra-base hits. Dirks went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs. He also made a fielding error.

Brandon Inge went 1-for-3. (I think he's going north. Too much foreshadowing out of the team to believe otherwise.)

Oh, and Detroit lost 9-5 to St. Louis. The bullpen stunk.

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