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The bullpen steps up in a 3-0 shutout of the Phillies

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Final - 3.20.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Philadelphia Phillies 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Detroit Tigers 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 3 8 0
WP: Fu-Te Ni (1 - 0)
SV: Ryan Perry (1)
LP: Roy Halladay (1 - 1)

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Roy Halladay may have been, as Jim Leyland claimed,"working on stuff," but the Tigers still managed to tag the Phillies' prize off-season acquisition for 3 runs and 6 hits during a 3-0 win in Lakeland.

The Tigers offense did just enough damage against Halladay, and it was all in 1 inning, the 2nd. Ramon Santiago tripled in 2 runs, then scored on a Robinzon Diaz ground out. It turned out to be more than the Tigers' bullpen arms needed.

As the rotation guys got the day off (Leyland said it was due to both Dontrelle Willis and Max Scherzer throwing on Thursday), the story of the day was the Tigers' bullpen. Leyland used 5 relievers, who combined to toss a 6 hit shutout.

Surprise starter Fu-Te Ni, asked to show he could be more than just a LOOGY, gave up 2 hits in his 3 strong innings to get the win. Eddie Bonine, who apparently is being groomed for middle relief duty, gave up 2 hits in 2.1 innings. Brad Thomas, Enrique Gonzalez and Ryan Perry finished the game without incident.

With Bobby Seay's arm distress creating opportunities in the bullpen, Ni will be asked to do more than get out the occasional left-handed bat. Which is why he got the start, according to Jason Beck:

While Seay underwent further tests on his ailing left shoulder, tests that will be examined by multiple specialists such as Dr. James Andrews, manager Jim Leyland lined up two of his remaining left-handed relievers to give them a test in Saturday's 3-0 win against the Phillies. He assigned Ni the start precisely so that he could face left-handed hitters Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. In the sixth, Brad Thomas entered in relief to face that same pair.

As for Ni, he has all the clichés down, even if he still struggles with the English language:

"He said Spring Training not over yet," said interpreter Steve Xiu. "He hopes that he'll make the 25-man roster at the end of spring. While we still have two weeks left, in that time, he will do as best to his ability to compete for a spot on the roster."

All that was missing from Ni's quote was, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." Give him time...

Comment of the night:

After Brandon Inge was hit by a pitch, murrajo, like all Tigers fans, still has issues with the umpiring in game 163...

at least the ump called it

You know, I still can't believe the ump missed that damn call...