Kenshin Kawakami vs. Jeremy Bonderman, 7:05 p.m. EST
So who was the brainiac at FOX Sports Detroit that decided to schedule a Tigers Spring Training telecast on the opening night of the NCAA Tournament? Even Ryan Field wouldn't have made that call. (He's a Sparty - he knows better.)
Of course, FSD had no idea Michigan's first-round game vs. Clemson would be playing at the same time. And not everyone in the viewing audience is a Michigan fan or a college basketball fan. (Nor might you have such a conflict outside of the region.) Plenty of people will surely be happy to see the Tigers (Detroit, not Clemson) on TV tonight. But still... you're killin' a lot of us here, FSD.
Sure, tonight's game is a preseason affair, but it's kind of important too (perhaps really important, if you ask Blake), with Jeremy Bonderman making his first start of the spring. The Braves should provide a good first test, as they've been outstanding in Grapefruit League play (14-3, vs. Detroit's 7-9). What could be interesting, as Jason Beck pointed out on Twitter, is that there's no DH tonight. Bondo could be batting, ladies and gentleman.
But if he throws well tonight, doesn't have any discomfort afterwards, and stays on track, Bondo could still be ready for Opening Day. That would be a huge plus for a pitching staff that will take all good news it can get.
Also on tap to pitch for Detroit is Dontrelle Willis, whom I'm assuming will go six innings after Bondo's three. (Unless he's just terrible, and even then...) Atlanta will counter with Kenshin Kawakami, Rafael Soriano, Buddy Carlyle, and Manny Acosta.
So you can root for the Tigers on one channel, and against them on another. You gotta love that. Have fun tonight!