Curveballs in Bloom
Jim Leyland kept saying he was real pleased with Kyle Bloom’s curveball early in Spring Training. Bloom kept using his other pitches in his first couple outings. Well, Bloom got the message, even if he said nobody intentionally delivered it to him.
“They wanted me to throw it,” Bloom said, “so today I was bound and determined to throw it.”
It’s a good thing he did, because it got him a big out in a key situation. After a Ruben Rivera double with one out in the fourth, Bloom got to face a left-handed hitter in Audes De Leon. He not only walked De Leon on four pitches, but his wild pitch on ball four allowed Rivera to advance to third and set up a sacrifice fly.
Just as Panama had a chance for its first win, Bloom took it away. Facing Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, a right-handed hitter, Bloom moved ahead on a 1-2 count before dropping the breaking ball on the corner for a called third strike. A popout to third escaped Bloom from trouble, and sent him on his way to two scoreless innings.
“I’m happy to get out of a jam this early,” he said.
What to look for Thursday:
- Zach Miner gets his first start of Spring Training as he tries to continue his case for the fifth starter’s job, not to mention rebound from a rough outing Sunday against the Pirates.
- Juan Rincon, Scott Williamson and Fernando Rodney are all slated to pitch in relief. All three of them pitched in a simulated game Monday to give some actual game innings to other relievers, so this will be their first game action since last Friday against the Blue Jays.
- Casey Fien is also pitching in relief.