Nate Robertson was having a very good spring. In his first two starts he gave up only one unearned run in five innings. Yesterday against the Twins, he gave up eight hits and seven runs (four earned) in only two innings of work. If the Tigers are going to have any chance of being good this year, they need solid pitching up and down their rotation for the entire year. Robertson’s done well the last two years in the first half but then has dropped off in the second. Hopefully he can get over that hump this year.
Brent Clevlen has had an exceptional spring. While I don’t have the box score for this afternoon’s game (the Tigers just lost 3-1 to the Jays), Clevlen’s eight for nineteen with two doubles and a team leading three homeruns. He also has five walks next to five strikeouts. Not that we need yet another outfielder, but in a lot of ways it makes the Magglio Ordonez signing that much more excessive. Brandon Inge (.400/.478/.650 in 20 at bats) and Marcus Thames (.304/.360/.652) have also hit the ball well. Inge’s stats don’t include his first homerun of the spring, which he hit off of James Baldwin today.
First it’s Barry Bonds and now it’s Roger Clemens. I’m not sure who Jeff Passan is and I’m sure he’s a top notch journalist, but this column kind of irked me. Passan is basically telling us that the best pitcher of our generation, and possibly ever, should just “end the charade” and call it quits. I also thought that bringing Clemens wife into it wasn’t appropriate. And I don’t understand how it’s a charade. Maybe I’m missing the point so it could be me.
A lot of people tend to forget that the Astros started this by not offering Clemens arbitration. Had they done that, odds are things would have been resolved by now, but the Astros weren’t willing to play their hand. The way I look at it, if Clemens comes back, that’s great because I’ll get to see one of the greatest pitchers to ever lace them up pitch again, even if it is just on television. Although Houston comes to town in late June so maybe Clemens will make a curtain call. And I know he might not even travel with the team if he’s with the Astros, but whatever.
And if he decides to call it quits, that’s fine too. If he quits, then comes back, then that’s also fine, because who the heck am I to say what Roger Clemens should or shouldn’t do.
Today’s a fun day because the WBC is on all day (although I have to run out to get some errands done soon). In what could be a huge upset, Cuba is taking it to a stacked Venezuela team and is now on top 7-0 in the seventh. Omar Vizquel couldn’t convert a double play in the fifth that would have ended the inning with a 2-0 score. Then the next batter hit a three run shot and that was followed up with a solo shot. Costly error. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m really enjoying the WBC. There’s been some great games and they have drama. It’s not what I’m used to in March.
Spoke too soon. Endy Chavez just hit a two run shot and it’s now 7-2. Of course if you can’t get to a TV, you can follow the action at Baseball Musings. David’s doing a great job of commenting on the games as they happen.