You can't ask for better support as a pitcher than you get from our club. I would stack up my club's lineup against any lineup for any team in baseball. If we're not the best offensive club, then we're certainly one of the best.
That's not taking anything away from any other team, but I like our lineup one through nine as much as I like the Yankees', the Indians', etc. You name them and we're right there with them.
One of the keys to our lineup is our depth. When you look at it from a pitcher's perspective, there's no taking a hitter off; there is no breathing room. In other words, you can't just blow by someone.
There are a lot of excellent one-two punches in the game right now, but I feel that the combination of Gary Sheffield and Magglio Ordonez, the two guys in the middle of our lineup, are as good as any combo. Both guys are proven and both guys are producing at a high rate right now. They are both great, professional hitters who also possess a lot of power at the plate.
Our catalyst, Curtis Granderson, is a one-of-a-kind threat at the top. He can hit for a lot of power; he hits a lot of triples; he steals his fair share of bases, and at a very successful rate; and he can motor from first to home on a double. He has the sort of tools that can quickly change a game. He improves our chances of scoring runs and winning games.
As a pitcher, when you give up only a few runs, you know you have a good chance to win the game. You know you're probably going to get strong support.
If I had to face our lineup, I would do it like I attack any other good lineup. I would attack them and try to put the hitters back on their heels.
We're in a tight race and it remains to be seen whether our offense will be able to help carry us all the way to October. I know one thing: I wouldn't trade our offense for anybody else's offense.
Jeremy Bonderman, the 26th overall pick out of high school in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, is 10-4 with a 4.50 ERA and 121 strikeouts over 136 innings for the Tigers this season. He won 14 games in each of the previous two seasons.
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