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Game 3: Royals (2-0) at Tigers (0-2)

Zack Greinke (0-0, 0.00) vs. Jeremy Bonderman (0-0, 0.00)

UPDATE: As NYRoyal mentioned in the comments, Miguel Cabrera is a late scratch from the lineup today, due to soreness in his left quadriceps. As a result, Brandon Inge will move to third base, with Clete Thomas starting in centerfield (and also leading off). Getting the start in left field will be Marcus Thames.

Pointing to some consolation probably isn't necessary two games into the season, but for anyone who has one foot on the ledge or is wondering where they put that panic button already, here are a couple of things that might make you feel better.

First, it's not just the Tigers that are having trouble scoring runs. As Baseball Musings pointed out this morning, run production after the season's first three days is down compared to last year. What we saw from the Tigers yesterday is happening throughout baseball; fewer men are getting on-base. (Fewer batters are getting hits with runners in scoring position, as well, but that wasn't quite an issue for Detroit against Brian Bannister.)

Secondly, bullpens are bleeding all over baseball (as From the CoPa pointed out on Tuesday). Thanks to Comcast's free preview of MLB Extra Innings, I was able to see Arizona's Brandon Lyon blow a two-run lead by not getting any outs and serving up a home run pitch to Edwin Encarnacion. (The hilarious thing is that Dusty Baker originally wanted a bunt, but I'm digressing.) As Encarnacion took his victory lap around the bases, I was thankful that wasn't Detroit's bullpen.

(Of course, neither of those factors have prevented the Indians from going 2-0, so maybe I'm stretching a bit.)

Onto more pressing matters, Jeremy Bonderman went home sick yesterday, but is expected to be fine for this afternoon's start. No news to report otherwise, as I write this. And maybe, just maybe, Bondo will bring his new little friend, the change-up, with him. Could that pitch finally be ready for prime time? Bonderman was outstanding against the Royals last year, racking up 17 strikeouts and allowing just four runs in 20 innings.

Zack Greinke, on the other hand, largely struggled when facing the Tigers in 2007. allowing 10 runs and 17 hits in just 9 2/3 innings. Most of that damage took place in Greinke's first two starts against Detroit, one of which only lasted 2/3 of an inning.

Short Hops:

▪▪ The Tim Byrdak era with the Tigers is now officially over. He signed a minor-league deal with the Houston Astros yesterday.