Tonight, in Lakeland, one of our favorite baseball players ever (non-Tilde’d edition) took another shot at redeeming his career.
This was Dontrelle’s line:
7 IP 8 H 2 ER 2 K 0 BB
No, it’s not overly impressive, considering he was facing Class A hitters and we need Dontrelle to baffle MLB hitters. But there is a lot of good that lies beyond the basic box score.
First things first – Dontrelle did not walk a single batter. And he pitched 7 full innings. WITH NO WALKS. He threw strikes and pitched to contact and did a fine job of it. For three innings, his first trip through the order, the Train was unhittable. No hits, no walks, 2 K. From that point on, he was a little more human.
One run in the fourth, another in the fifth, and then a two run homer in the sixth. Take away that homer and you’ve got yourself a pretty damn good overall line. Alas, we can’t take it away, but it was one of only a handful of balls that got into the air.
The most amazing stat of all, and the one that is tucked away, is the fact that Dontrelle had an insane groundball to flyball ratio of 16:3 for his outs. He was throwing strikes and he was keeping them low. No wildness, just an ability to locate the strike zone.
Having only the box score to work off of, I have no idea what kind of pitches Dontrelle was throwing nor what kind of velocity and break his pitches had. We already know that Leyland was extremely pleased with Dontrelle’s extended spring training outing. There seems to be a lot of positive to believe in from tonight’s game in Lakeland.
The Tigers have 30 days to figure out what they are doing with Dontrelle and hopefully Day 1 of his rehab assignment was a step north towards the Train returning both to Detroit, and to form.