Zumaya strikes out side, including Granderson

Joel Zumaya and Curtis Granderson were roommates in Detroit in 2006, their rookie season. They were teammates for three years after that. On Saturday, for the first time in their pro careers, they were opponents.

At least, it was the first time against each other officially.

“Curtis was probably 2-for-2 off me before that,” Zumaya said. “He got me a couple times in live BP [last year].”

Granderson doesn’t remember that, but he remembers facing him during fall instructional ball in 2003.

“The one at-bat I remember was in 2003, the instructional league,” Granderson said. “I hit the ball to the shortstop, live drive. But he was throwing 93. This is a lot harder.”

That explains why he went down swinging in the sixth inning. Zumaya threw a fastball by him at 100 mph for strike three.

“Stay like that,” was Granderson’s advice afterwards. “You locate first pitch great, then get some movement on the second and third pitch, to be able to get movement [throwing] that hard and be around the zone, it’s pretty neat.”

Zumaya acknowledged their history with a head nod as Granderson stepped in. At that point, they became opponents.

“As soon as the at-bat’s over, [the friendship] pops right back up again,” Granderson said.

At that point, Zumaya became another hitter’s problem. He threw a fastball, then a changeup, then spotted a curveball for a called third strike on Randy Winn. His last pitch hit 101 mph to send down Ramiro Pena swinging.

“I’m real pumped,” Zumaya said. “I’m in good form now. I mean, that’s what Spring Training is for, to get the blues out of you and start working on stuff. I’m starting to feel pretty good now.”

Zumaya was originally slated to pitch again Sunday to test him out on back-to-back days, but manager Jim Leyland pushed him back to Monday. He’ll probably pitch back-to-back days at some point next week, just not quite yet.

“He’s been better the last few times,” said Leyland, who pushed for Zumaya to better mix his pitches.

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