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Carlos Guillen's bat finally makes it to Florida, leads the Tigers to victory

Final - 3.17.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 1 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 6 10 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 8 0
WP: Nate Robertson (1 - 0)
SV: Josh Rainwater (2)
LP: D.J. Carrasco (0 - 1)

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After the bats took the day off in a loss to the Phillies yesterday, the Tigers' offense came out of a 1 day slumber in a 6-3 win over the Pirates. Maybe it was those God awful green caps? (There seems to be no photos of the game available. I'm going to say that's a GOOD thing). More likely, it was the 12 base on balls allowed by Pirates pitching.

Remember Carlos Guillen? You know, the former SS/3B/1B/LF, who is supposed to be the primary DH? Guillen had all but disappeared at the plate this spring, but broke out in a big way this afternoon. Starting the game as the LF, Guillen had a pair of hits, reached base in all 4 plate appearances, and knocked in 2 runs. That's the sort of game the Tigers need from Guillen this summer, and haven't seen often enough due to his injuries/position hopping/ineffectiveness the last couple of seasons.

In the game thread, after finding out Jim "I never saw a screwy batting order I wouldn't try" Leyland had Clete Thomas leading off, I posted a pic of a facepalm (That was really me with the facepalm, by the way). I seem to have a reverse jinx mojo happening, as Clete's Cult had plenty to cheer. Thomas was 2-4, with 2 walks, 1 run scored and a RBI.

Also chipping in at the plate were Scott Sizemore and Miguel Cabrera, each with RBI hits, and the much maligned Brandon Inge got his first hit of the spring. I'm sure it's the first of...well, he's bound to get one more.

On the mound, Nate Robertson kept himself in the battle for the open 4th and 5th spots in the rotation, scattering 4 hits and allowing 2 runs in 4 innings of work. This was a typical Robertson performance when he was at his most effective, pitching well enough to keep the Tigers in the game, while giving the offense a chance to pull out a win in the later innings.

Josh Rainwater pitched a scoreless, hitless 9th to nail down his 2nd save of the spring. Fu-Te Ni and Phil Dumatrait also threw scoreless innings, while Zach Miner was, well, Zach Miner (1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 12.15 Grapefruit League ERA).

Talking to the media after the game, Robertson admitted he's had to change his style of pitching since having surgery on his elbow.

Via the Free Press:

The injuries are behind him, but so are Robertson’s days as a power pitcher. This spring, he said, his fastball has been in the upper 80s.

"I’m a different pitcher," Robertson said. "I feel strong. I can still get in there, as long as I change speeds. You’ve got to get a hitter to look at different speeds and planes and things like that."

Could the Tigers have found the next Frank Tanana? Wishful thinking, I know...

Comment of the night:

After the Pirates gave up their 12th walk of the game, while talking about the Tigers' long-time propensity to swing at anything, Dale S gave us this gem...

Which would probably be 18 walks

Against any other team.