Five Things For June 4th: Grand Ledge and Charlotte Win Semifinal Games of Diamond Classic
1. The finals of the 53rd Diamond Classic are now set. Eaton Rapids got the game-winning run thrown out at the plate against Charlotte in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Orioles got a 4-3 win to advance to the championship game.
Their opponent will be Grand Ledge, who got a big 11-6 win over DeWitt. The Comets advance to the finals once again, and lost last year to Lansing Catholic. The two teams will play tonight at seven o'clock at Kircher/Municipal Park.
2. The Tigers offense was quiet in their 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays. They only got one hit from someone without the last name 'Martinez', and four hits total. They were one out away from getting shut out for the second straight game by a reasonably unaccomplished young pitcher. JD Martinez got Detroit on the board with a 3-run homer with two gone in the ninth, but that was the only sign of life the offense has shown in the last two plus games.
Anibal Sanchez started, and he was excellent once again. Sanchez pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball. However, Joe Nathan continues to scuffle. His ERA is all the way up to 6.86, as he was bad again last night. Nathan recorded only one out, yet he walked two batters and gave up two hits. Al Alburquerque came in and let up the three-run home run that effectively ended this game.
The two teams will play at 7:08 today. Rick Porcello faces RA Dickey, who comes in sporting a 4.30 ERA. We'll see if the Tigers offense perks up and pushes some runs across.
3. The shortstop position has been an a hole for the Tigers this year, but they may receive some good news today. According to Mlive.com, Jose Iglesias has a medical evaluation scheduled. In that article, it states that there is a good chance he could return to the lineup this season if all goes well.
4. The Stanley Cup Finals begin tonight, and it is one of the special occasions in professional sports where teams from the biggest two markets in America meet. The New York Rangers come in as heavy underdogs against the Los Angeles Kings. However, the Rangers have the best goalie in the world, and they block a ton of shots. If they keep the games low scoring, I think they have a chance to make this a long series. New York may also get a boost in game 4, because depth forward Dan Carcillo had his suspension reduced from 10 games to 6 games. Carcillo isn't a massively important player, but he is a physical forward who plays hard and can chip in with occasional scoring.
5. In baseball, Nelson Cruz continues to haunt teams that missed a chance to sign him this offseason. Last night, against his former team, he belted his league-leading 21st home run in a Orioles win.
The Astros' Jonathon Singleton, who signed a controversial contract earlier this week, hit his first home run in his first major league game.