The game thread has to go up a bit early today, as rumor has it that I will be attending my first ballgame of 2007 this afternoon. (How did it take this long? I'm asking myself the same question.)
Our long local blister nightmare is over, as Bonderman and his newly healed middle finger rejoin the Tigers' starting rotation for a matinee at Comerica Park. After missing his last two starts, I suppose it's realistic to expect that Bondo won't be at the top of his game. And considering that the Angels knocked him around back in Anaheim (five runs and 11 hits in six innings), maybe this would've been a rough one even if he didn't have to shake any rust off.
For the visiting team, Santana provides one of the more eye-opening splits you might ever see. If the Tigers were facing him at Angel Stadium, there might be some anxious moments in the clubhouse before the game. At home, Santana is 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA. But on the road, something happens to this guy. Maybe it's flying. Maybe it's eating room service. Maybe he has a phobia about hotel room sheets. Whatever the cause, it results in something ugly. When visiting other ballparks this season, Santana is 0-4 with a 7.86 ERA.
(Am I far too familiar with these splits because Santana is on one of my fantasy baseball teams? Oh, I suppose that's possible.)
He also is tied with A.J. Burnett for most home runs given up among American League pitchers with 11.
As mentioned, I'll be at the ballpark today, watching from the mezzanine. If you see me, don't be too impressed by my companion. That's my sister, dude. She's visiting from out of town and wanted to see the Tigers. I stupidly talked her out of using some of that sweet pharmacist's salary on two posh infield box seats. What was I thinking? Hey, the kid has a wedding to save for. I'm doing what I can to give her the day she's always dreamed about. I'm also looking forward to roasting under what the weather guys are saying could be a record high temperature for this time of year. Over the weekend, I can probably look forward to my pigment changing from Lobster Boy's into George Hamilton's.
I'm sorry - what were we talking about?
▪▪ Your Detroit Tigers lead the American League in slugging percentage during the month of May.
▪▪ If the Tigers are interested in adding Troy Percival to their bullpen, they might face some competition from the Phillies. Even more so, I imagine, after Brett Myers hurt himself last night. (Oh, is he on my fantasy team, too? Pardon me while I scream into my baseball cap.)