LAKELAND, Fla. — Sunday’s game against the Houston Astros showed why spring training is necessary.
The pitchers are getting ready for the season and they’re nowhere near where they need to be — or where they will be — when April rolls around.
The Astros had a split squad Sunday, one team playing the Atlanta Braves and one in Lakeland to play the Tigers.
One of the Astros’ squads was a no-hit 2-2, 10-inning game.
The other squad pounded out 14 runs on 20 hits in a 14-9 victory.
Unfortunately for the Tigers’ pitchers, they met the 14-run, 20-hit squad.
Shane Greene, making his first start of the spring, gave up three runs on six hits while striking out two.
"His stuff was fine, just up in the zone, that’s all," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Slider was up, cutter was up, sinker was up."
Although it’s just the spring and it’s still very early, Greene wasn’t too thrilled.
"When the results don’t go your way, I don’t care if it’s the offseason and you’re playing a video game. If you’re not winning, you’re not having fun," Greene said. "I’m a little frustrated but it’s still early and like I said, it could definitely have been worse. I’m decently happy with it."
Greene was in good company.
Only Joakim Soria emerged unscathed in terms of runs allowed.
Alberto Cabrera (3 runs on 2 hits), Joba Chamberlain (2 runs on 3 hits), Tom Gorzelanny (2 runs on 2 hits), Josh Zeid (1 run on 3 hits), Drew VerHagen (2 runs on 2 hits) and Buck Farmer (1 run on 1 hits) were all part of the fun.
"As a whole, we didn’t throw a lot of strikes so when you get behind in counts, you’re going to give up hits or you’re going to give walks if you continue to throw balls," Ausmus said. "It wasn’t a great day overall pitching-wise but it was a spring training game, people got their work in and we’ll put it behind us."