May 18th, 2008

Out of the frying pan …

EggPan.jpgIt’s a cloudless day in Phoenix, and the roof is closed. It’s that hot — mid-90s already and headed above 100. So they’re playing indoor baseball today. But hey, it’s a dry heat, right?

After looking at Gary Sheffield’s stats against Randy Johnson (6-for-39, 1 HR, 7 BB, 10 K’s), Jim Leyland thought better of starting him today. He’ll have had three days off by the time the Tigers are back in action Tuesday against Seattle, but Leyland plans on DHing him all three games there. Granderson’s off, too. This is not the lefty the Tigers want him to try to hit, especially the way he’s been going the last couple weeks.

The other interesting thing is Renteria batting third. He hasn’t done that at all this season, but he did a little of that the previous couple seasons in Atlanta. Interestingly, he’s hit in all nine lineup spots in his career, though his 21 plate appearances in the nine spot came as a pinch-hitter.

So it’s:

  1. Rodriguez, C
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Renteria, SS
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Thames, LF
  7. Raburn, CF
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Robertson, P

For Arizona:

  1. Chris Young, CF
  2. Stephen Drew, SS
  3. Justin Upton, RF
  4. Conor Jackson, 1B
  5. Eric Byrnes, LF
  6. Mark Reynolds, 3B
  7. Chris Burke, 2B
  8. Miguel Montero, C
  9. Randy Johnson, P

Wrapping up postgame issues

Pudge said he decided to let the ball drop after he didn’t see Orlando Hudson running down the first-base line. Had he seen Hudson pass him, he said, he would’ve caught the ball. Both Leyland and Rodriguez said it was a risk, partly because it was somewhat close to foul territory and they could’ve given away an out, but it was a heady play.

The socks-up look was apparently Edgar Renteria’s idea. He went around to players and suggested that they do it, according to a couple different players.

You probably know this by now, but that’s their first win this season when scoring less than five runs in a game. Last time was last Sept. 15 in a 4-3 win at Minnesota over Johan Santana and the Twins.