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The split squad split: Tigers 6 - Yankees 2; Mets 9 - Tigers 0

Final - 3.13.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 1
New York Mets 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 X 9 9 0
WP: Hisanori Takahashi (2 - 0)
LP: Ryan Perry (0 - 1)

Complete Coverage >

(Sorry, no line score available for Tigers - Yankees)

The Tigers split their squad this afternoon, with most of the starters staying in Lakeland to take on the New York Yankees, while the rest were sent to Port St. Lucie to take on the New York Mets.

The result? The split squad split.

The Tigers hammered the Yankees 6-2, and got hammered by the Mets, 9-0.

In the victory, former Yankee (and former unfrozen caveman centerfielder) Johnny Damon led the onslaught on the evil empire with 2 hits, 1 a home run, and 2 RBI. Ryan Raburn also continued to mash the ball this spring, with a 4-4, 2 double day, raising his Grapefruit League average to .500. Gerald Laird also had a nice game, going 2-3 and threw out God's gift to NYC, Derek Jeter, trying to steal.

Brandon Inge made his first appearance of the spring, and nothing of note happened (which is good), save for being hit by a pitch. (No, it wasn't in the knee)

On the mound, Dontrelle Willis got the start, making his case for going north with the team. The D-Train did nothing to take himself out of the running for the rotation, as he scattered 4 hits over 3 innnings, giving up 1 run. As is his wont, Willis occasionally battled his control, allowing 1 base on balls and a hit batsman.

Jeremy Bonderman followed, and pitched well, putting up nearly the same stat line as Willis (3 IP, 4 H, 1 R 2 K, 0 BB). Nate Robertson continued with his strong spring, throwing 3 innings of scoreless baseball. I know, it was just one game, but Jose Valverde showed signs of being a Rodney/Jones type of closer, allowing 2 singles and a walk while striking out the side in the 9th. I'm not sure my heart can take another "Rollercoaster."

Overall, it was a fun day of baseball in Lakeland. Not so much in Port St. Lucie.

The Mets went yard 4 times, and held the Tigers hitless for the first 6 innings, causing me to have flashbacks to last season's hitless wonders.

It's not worth our time to talk about the offense against the Mets, so let's move on to the pitching.

Starting pitcher Max Scherzer, who had struggled badly this spring, broke out of his funk with a very strong performance. Penciled in as the Tigers' number 3 starter, Scherzer pitched 4 innings, giving up only 1 hit, with 5 K's, lowering his spring ERA nearly 20 points in the process.

The Tigers' 2009 2nd round draft pick, tall, hard-throwing (in other words, your typical Dombrowski drafted pitcher) Andy Oliver, also held the Mets scoreless in his 2 innings of work.

Then things fell apart on the mound.

Ryan Perry, who had been having an excellent spring, was shelled in 0.2 innings of work. The Mets knocked Perry around for 5 hits, 3 home runs, 7 runs, 5 earned.

Zach Miner took over for Perry, giving up a 3 run shot to Jason Bay in his 1.1 innings of work.

After the game, the D-Train said he was not feeling or throwing his best, making his latest appearance that much more impressive.

"I've got to be honest, man, and not knocking anybody, but I felt terrible," Willis said. "I didn't have very good rhythm, and I'm a weird guy in the sense that I fall behind and then I zero in. And then, all of a sudden the big guys come up and I'm strike one, strike two. I don't know what that is, but when I had to make pitches, I was able to make pitches against some good hitters.

"You're not going to feel great every time out, but I battled and I grinded it out. I'm actually more happy about this than my other outings before, because [today] I was grinding and I got some good ground balls for some guys."

I have to admit, I'm rooting for Willis.

Comment of the night:

After Jim Leyland's favorite utility man Don Kelly committed an error, C Bass gave us this gem:

I guess just because you say a guy can stand at every posistion

doesn’t mean he can play it