The day after clinching can be an interesting game for teams. For some, it’s a hangover game and everybody drags. For teams still fighting for something more than a playoff spot, such as seeding, it can be business as usual. We’ll see which team comes out for the Indians. J.D. Martinez admitted last night he’s hoping for the hangover.
“What you hope for now is they’re happy,” Martinez said. “You know they won and maybe they stay off the gas pedal a little bit and we can take over this series.”
Their lineup seems to reflect the celebration that went on after last night’s game. Backup catcher Chris Gimenez starts at third base. Michael Martinez starts at second.
TIGERS (numbers off Clevinger)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B
- Cameron Maybin, CF (0-for-1)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH (0-for-0, walk)
- J.D. Martinez, RF
- Justin Upton, LF (1-for-1)
- Erick Aybar, 3B
- James McCann, C
- Jose Iglesias, SS (0-for-1)
P: Justin Verlander
INDIANS (career numbers vs. Verlander)
- Tyler Naquin, CF (2-for-10, HR, 6 K’s)
- Michael Martinez, 2B (2-for-5, walk, 2 K’s)
- Abraham Almonte, RF (2-for-8, triple, walk, 2 K’s)
- Carlos Santana, DH (13-for-63, 2 walks, 7 HR, 8 walks, 15 K’s)
- Brandon Guyer, LF (0-for-2, K)
- Jesus Aguilar, 1B
- Chris Gimenez, 3B (0-for-2, K)
- Adam Moore, C (0-for-3, K)
- Erik Gonzalez, SS
P: Mike Clevinger
The Tigers, with their season on the line, will turn back to Nick Castellanos to give them an offensive boost for the stretch run. The team activated the slugging third baseman from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday after seven weeks out with a fractured left ha Add Contact Form nd.
Castellanos played in an instructional league game and an intrasquad game Monday and Tuesday, respectively, in Lakeland, Fla. He boarded a flight for Detroit Tuesday afternoon and was expected to arrive sometime during the Tigers’ game against the Indians Tuesday night.
“He won’t be here in time for the start of the game,” manager Brad Ausmus said, “but he’ll be here at some point in the middle.”
Castellanos could be in the Tigers’ lineup Wednesday night. It would be a quick transition back after just two days of game action, but the Tigers aren’t in a position for patience.
“He’s a little short on reps right now,” Ausmus said. “He’s only played a couple games. But I think Nick has the ability and the confidence to hit on short repetitions. It’ll be good to have the lineup back intact, really.”
The 24-year-old Castellanos was batting .286 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs when an inside pitch fractured his hand on Aug. 6. Initially timetables projected Castellanos to miss 4-6 weeks, but didn’t account for the struggles Castellanos would encounter to regain strength in his hand once he was cleared to hit again.
He lasted one at-bat in a simulated game a couple weeks ago and had similar issues facing live pitching early last week, but felt much stronger in two days against live pitching last weekend, including some tape-measure drives.
Castellanos wanted to join the team after that, but Ausmus wanted to get some game action first. He went 1-for-3 in instructional play against minor leaguers Monday and felt good, then went 2-for-3 Tuesday with a double off the center-field fence.
While Castellanos can’t make the hand any worse by playing as long as he doesn’t take another impact off of it, his timing against Major League pitching could be an adjustment. In another situation, the Tigers might have waited until next season. But with Detroit struggling for production at third base since Castellanos left — primary replacement Casey McGehee went 21-for-91 with a double and one RBI — they were willing to take a chance.
Jose Iglesias returns to the starting lineup against Corey Kluber. Erick Aybar gets the matchup start at third base. But when you look at the lineup, the key is obviously (as usual) going to the middle of the order. Though Cabrera’s numbers below reflect a ton of success, he’s just 1-for-10 off Kluber this season. Victor Martinez is 2-for-9 against him.
Meanwhile, expect Brad Ausmus to be just as aggressive going to the bullpen early as he was yesterday.
“Even if you look at yesterday’s game, I managed that differently than I would have during the regular season,” Ausmus said. “Part of that’s because of the expanded roster, part of that’s because we have to win. I wouldn’t normally bring Shane Greene in that early in the game, but I felt like if he could keep us in the game for a couple innings, we could fight back offensively and it would give us a shot. You still have to take into account the usage of pitchers. Guys you have used a lot, you try to avoid, but at the same time, they all understand.”
TIGERS (career numbers against Kluber)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (5-for-31, triple, walk, 9 K’s)
- Cameron Maybin, CF (0-for-4, 2 K’s)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (21-for-45, 2 doubles, 5 HR, 3 walks, 8 K’s)
- Victor Martinez, DH (11-for-34, 3 HR, 3 walks, 4 K’s)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (6-for-24, double, HR, 5 K’s)
- Justin Upton, LF (3-for-9, double, 2 HR, walk, 4 K’s)
- Erick Aybar, 3B (6-for-15, 2 K’s)
- James McCann, C (0-for-4, 2 walks, K)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (1-for-9, K)
P: Buck Farmer
INDIANS (career numbers off Farmer)
- Carlos Santana, DH (1-for-3, double, 2 walks, K)
- Jason Kipnis, 2B (2-for-4, walk, K)
- Francisco Lindor, SS (2-for-3, HR, 2 walks)
- Mike Napoli, 1B (1-for-3, K)
- Jose Ramirez, 3B (0-for-3)
- Lonnie Chisenhall, RF (1-for-2, double)
- Coco Crisp, LF (0-for-1)
- Tyler Naquin, CF (2-for-3, HR, K)
- Roberto Perez, C
P: Corey Kluber
The tragic death of Jose Fernandez had a profound impact on the Tigers clubhouse and, by extension, their lineup today. Jose Iglesias was originally in the lineup at shortstop, but he was emotional over the news of his good friend and fellow Cuban player.
“We’ve been through a lot together,” Iglesias said. “It was just very fortunate. He was only 24. His family feels like … I can’t explain how his family feels.”
Iglesias was scratched minutes shortly after the lineup was posted, with Andrew Romine starting in his place.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia played with Fernandez for parts of two seasons, catching eight of his starts. He was in the video room while the clubhouse was open to the media, so his state of mind is unknown. He traditionally catches Matt Boyd’s starts, so he’s in the lineup.
On the Royals side, Eric Hosmer is off. Whit Merrifield starts at first base, his fifth different defensive position this season.
TIGERS (career numbers off Edinson Volquez)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (10-for-25, 2 doubles, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
- Cameron Maybin, CF (1-for-4, walk, K)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (6-for-16, double, 3 walks)
- Victor Martinez, DH (3-for-24, double, walk, 4 K’s)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (3-for-18, double, HR, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
- Justin Upton, LF (11-for-26, 5 doubles, HR, walk, 5 K’s)
- Erick Aybar, 3B (1-for-2)
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (1-for-10, double, walk, 6 K’s)
- Andrew Romine, SS (2-for-3, double)
P: Matt Boyd
ROYALS (career numbers vs. Boyd)
- Billy Burns, CF (0-for-3, K)
- Whit Merrifield, 1B (2-for-3, double)
- Kendrys Morales, DH (8-for-11, 2 doubles, triple, HR)
- Salvador Perez, C (2-for-10, 2 K’s)
- Paulo Orlando, RF (1-for-2)
- Alex Gordon, LF (0-for-3, walk, 2 K’s)
- Alcides Escobar, SS (2-for-8, K)
- Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B (1-for-3)
- Raul Mondesi, 2B
P: Edinson Volquez
Jose Iglesias is in the starting lineup after leaving last night’s game with a bruised right hand. James McCann gets behind the plate for Daniel Norris, while Andrew Romine gets the start at third. McCann is just 1-for-14 against Royals starter Yordano Ventura, but has caught Daniel Norris for his last three starts, and nine of his 12 starts this season.
On the Royals’ side, Salvador Perez returns to the lineup after missing last night’s game with a sore knee. Youngsters Hunter Dozier and Raul Mondesi get starts against Norris.
Reminder: Today is a 1:05 p.m. ET start, not 1:10, due to the FOX network broadcast.
TIGERS (career numbers vs. Ventura)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (9-for-29, double, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
- Cameron Maybin, CF (3-for-6, double, K)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (5-for-21, double, 2 walks, 7 K’s)
- Victor Martinez, DH (7-for-26, 3 HR, 4 walks, 5 K’s)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (8-for-17, 3 doubles, 7 walks, 3 K’s)
- Justin Upton, LF (1-for-11, walk, 3 K’s)
- James McCann, C (1-for-14, 3 K’s)
- Andrew Romine, 3B (4-for-13, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (6-for-20, double, K)
P: Daniel Norris
ROYALS (numbers off Norris)
- Paulo Orlando, CF (0-for-5, walk)
- Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B (2-for-6, double)
- Eric Hosmer, DH (1-for-7, double, walk, 3 K’s)
- Kendrys Morales, 1B (2-for-10, walk)
- Salvador Perez, C (0-for-5, K)
- Alex Gordon, LF (2-for-2, double, walk)
- Alcides Escobar, SS (3-for-7, triple, HR, walk, K)
- Hunter Dozier, RF
- Raul Mondesi, 2B (0-for-4, 2 K’s)
P: Yordano Ventura
UPDATE: Salvador Perez has been scratched from the Royals lineup with a sore right knee. Drew Butera gets the start behind the plate.
As expected, Ian Kinsler is back in the Tigers lineup, having passed the concussion protocol today with no symptoms following his baseball activity yesterday. He’s back in the leadoff spot.
The one guy getting a day off after the late-night travel back from Minnesota is catcher James McCann. He’s 3-for-17 with seven strikeouts for his career against Royals starter Danny Duffy. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has just three at-bats against the lefty, but two of them are home runs. It’s not a big enough sample size that Saltalamacchia would’ve played regardless, manager Brad Ausmus indicated, but it presented an opportunity for McCann to get a day off with a quick turnaround from night game to day game.
TIGERS (career numbers off Duffy)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (6-for-28, double, 2 HR, 3 walks, 4 K’s)
- Cameron Maybin, CF (1-for-3, K)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (7-for-30, 3 doubles, 8 walks, 8 K’s)
- Victor Martinez, DH (10-for-33, double, 2 HR, 3 walks, 4 K’s)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (3-for-20, double, HR, 2 walks, 8 K’s)
- Justin Upton, LF (2-for-9, HR, 4 K’s)
- Erick Aybar, 3B (3-for-6)
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (2-for-3, 2 HR, walk)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (4-for-13, triple, walk, 2 K’s)
P: Michael Fulmer
ROYALS (numbers vs. Fulmer)
- Jarrod Dyson, CF (1-for-5, walk, K)
- Whit Merrifield, 2B (1-for-3)
- Eric Hosmer, 1B (2-for-9, HR, walk, 2 K’s)
- Kendrys Morales, DH (3-for-7, 3 walks, K)
Salvador Perez, CPaulo Orlando, RF (3-for-8, double, walk, K)
- Alex Gordon, LF (2-for-6, K)
- Alcides Escobar, SS (0-for-8, K)
- Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B (4-for-8, 2 doubles, 2 K’s)
- Drew Butera, C
P: Danny Duffy
Turns out Victor Martinez was OK to play today; he just wasn’t going to start both games. He gets the nightcap at DH, with Miguel Cabrera returning to first base. Tyler Collins replaces Cameron Maybin in center field, with Erick Aybar starting at third base.
Justin Verlander does not have to face Joe Mauer tonight. He’s out of the Twins lineup, as is Miguel Sano.
TIGERS (career numbers off Ervin Santana)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (1-for-6, K)
- Tyler Collins, CF (3-for-7, 3 doubles, 2 K’s)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (7-for-27, HR, 6 walks, 5 K’s)
- Victor Martinez, DH (11-for-35, 2 HR, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (2-for-14, HR, 4 K’s)
- Justin Upton, LF (2-for-9, double, walk, 2 K’s)
- Erick Aybar, 3B (2-for-10, K)
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (3-for-19, double, HR, 2 walks, 7 K’s)
- Andrew Romine, 2B (3-for-5, double, walk)
P: Justin Verlander
TWINS (career numbers vs. Verlander)
- Brian Dozier, 2B (4-for-21, double, 4 walks, 6 K’s)
- Logan Schafer, LF
- Jorge Polanco, SS
- Max Kepler, RF (0-for-2, walk, K)
- Robbie Grossman, DH (0-for-3)
- Eduardo Escobar, 3B (2-for-10, walk, 2 K’s)
- Juan Centeno, C
- Byron Buxton, CF (0-for-3, 3 K’s)
- James Beresford, 1B
P: Ervin Santana
No Ian Kinsler (concussion protocol) or Victor Martinez (right knee) again. With a doubleheader, a late-night trip home, then a night game-day game transition back in Detroit from Friday to Saturday, manager Brad Ausmus is giving Cabrera a game at designated hitter. Jarrod Saltalamacchia gets the start at first base.
TIGERS (numbers against Dean)
- Cameron Maybin, CF (2-for-2)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (0-for-2, K)
- Miguel Cabrera, DH (2-for-4)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (2-for-4, double)
- Justin Upton, LF (1-for-3, K)
- James McCann, C
- JaCoby Jones, 3B
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B (1-for-2, K)
- Andrew Romine, 2B
P: Anibal Sanchez
TWINS (career numbers vs. Sanchez)
- Brian Dozier, 2B (6-for-29, double, 2 HR, 2 walks, 7 K’s)
- Jorge Polanco, SS (2-for-5, triple, K)
- Max Kepler, RF (1-for-6, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
- Miguel Sano, 3B (1-for-6, double, 2 K’s)
- Kennys Vargas, 1B (1-for-9, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
- Kurt Suzuki, DH (6-for-13, HR, walk)
- Robbie Grossman, LF (3-for-8, 3 K’s)
- John Ryan Murphy, C
- Byron Buxton, CF (1-for-3, walk, 2 K’s)
P: Pat Dean
Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez both are out for a second consecutive game. Kinsler needs a symptom-free day per concussion protocol, so his symptoms yesterday ruled him out. He said today he’s feeling encouraged, but still has to go through baseball activity before he can be cleared for tomorrow. Martinez apparently was feeling improvement in his right knee, but isn’t quite ready yet.
“He said he’s better,” manager Brad Ausmus said, “but from his description, he could use another day.”
Though Ausmus said Tuesday that Steven Moya could see time at DH if Martinez remains out, Justin Upton gets a day out of the field, with Tyler Collins starting in left.
TIGERS (numbers vs. Berrios)
- Cameron Maybin, CF (0-for-0, walk)
- Erick Aybar, 2B
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (0-for-2, 2 walks)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (0-for-3, walk, K)
- Justin Upton, DH (0-for-3, walk, 2 K’s)
- Tyler Collins, LF (0-for-1, 2 walks)
- James McCann, C (3-for-3, double, HR)
- Andrew Romine, 3B (0-for-3)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (1-for-1, double)
P: Buck Farmer
TWINS (career numbers off Farmer)
- Brian Dozier, 2B (2-for-3, 3 walks)
- Jorge Polanco, SS (0-for-2, walk)
- Joe Mauer, DH (2-for-4, double)
- Kennys Vargas, 1B (1-for-3, 2 K’s)
- Max Kepler, RF
- Robbie Grossman, LF (0-for-3, K)
- Eduardo Escobar, 3B (1-for-4, K)
- Juan Centeno, C
- Byron Buxton, CF (0-for-2, K)
P: Jose Berrios
Matt Boyd had a week between starts against the Twins to make adjustment safter giving up seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings at Comerica Park. But he knew what the adjustments were relatively quickly.
“Not a whole lot of tweaking, more just refining,” Boyd said beforehand. “Sometimes there’s just one or two little things that can take you out of your delivery.
They were smaller tweaks. But the results were vastly different. It wasn’t just about the run difference, but the pitches that led to it.
Boyd had a half-dozen swings and misses from Twins hitters over 74 pitches last week in Detroit. This time around, he had a half-dozen swinging strikeouts. He had 13 swings and misses out of 99 pitches, seven off his fastball alone. And until back-to-back 15-pitch innings in the seventh and eighth, including a Robbie Grossman homer in the seventh, Boyd not only had a chance at his first career complete game; he had a chance to get it done in less than 100 pitches, known as a Maddux.
He didn’t get it, but he got arguably the best performance of his Major League career. And he got it against the team that handed him one of his worst starts of the season.
“It was good to see Boyd bounce back, really,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He had an outstanding game. He did an excellent job. He saved our bullpen, pitched well, got the win. It was good for him to bounce back.”
The key to the difference was pitch location. When he missed his location last week, he missed by a lot, and he tended to miss over the middle of the plate. This time, he was more refined, missing by smaller margins and in areas where he couldn’t get pounded.
“The mechanical adjustment that we made, it’s just about location,” Boyd said. “If you can actually command it, it’s small, not big misses.”
He also had all of his pitches working at one time or another, no time more obvious than his five consecutive strikeouts from the end of the third inning into the fifth. Brian Dozier struck out swinging at an 89 mph slider, a pitch that didn’t get him results last time. The changeup that sent down Jorge Polanco swinging was a workhorse pitch for him most of the game. Robbie Grossman struck out on a foul tip off a 92 mph fastball. Kennys Vargas went down hacking at the slider. Kurt Suzuki chased the 0-2 changeup for a strikeout to lead off the fifth before Max Kepler hit the first pitch he saw from Boyd and grounded out.
Boyd retired 18 of 19 batters after Dozier led off Boyd’s outing with a single through the middle. Boyd had just two three-ball counts in that stretch, one of them the second-inning walk to Kepler that broke up the string.
“He just didn’t have his command when he saw the Twins the last time,” Ausmus said. “He had all four pitches working, used them all, but he was able to throw strikes.”
He didn’t use them all equally, moreso the fastball-changeup combination. Yet even with just 15 or so sliders and changeups, he got results, allowed no hits but inducing five swings and misses.