Game 87, Tigers at Mariners
Bonderman vs Washburn, 7:05 pm.
Mariners run out the same line-up they did last night. Last night, they faced a lefty. Tonight, it’s a righty. Line-up unchanged.
Contrast that with Jim Leyland, who has Ryan Raburn in CF, Marcus Thames at first, and Craig Monroe in left field tonight, with Granderson and Casey on the bench and Thames switching positions after starting in left field last night. Why? Because Jim Leyland believes in the value of platoon splits and stacks his line-up with right-handed hitters when facing LHPs, such as Jarrod Washburn. If it’s good enough for Jim Leyland, who isn’t exactly a nerd with a blog who doesn’t understand the value of team chemistry and structured line-ups, it should be good enough for the Mariners. /end soap box.
This is a big game for the M’s – Bonderman’s a terrific pitcher with lights out stuff, and the Tigers destroy left-handed pitching, hitting .304/.361/.503 against southpaws this year. Safeco should keep some of his flyballs in the park, but still, if the M’s can pull this one out tonight, it will be a steal, and the M’s need to keep stealing games they shouldn’t win if they’re going to get into the playoffs.