May 31st, 2008

Verlander on steal of home

He basically said he noticed Johjima taking off and purposely threw the pitch in the dirt so that Miguel Cairo couldn’t get off the squeeze bunt attempt.

“I was getting ready to deliver to the plate [when he noticed Johjima], so I spiked it,” Verlander said. “It was a curveball. I can’t change pitches, but I can throw it where he can’t bunt it.”

Leyland said that Pudge would’ve had the ball in time for the out, but he looked up for Johjima as he tried to grab the ball.

It's the end of May, right?

Hard to tell in Seattle, where it’s a cool, overcast day. What was a sunny morning gave way to showers, which has closed the roof here at Safeco Field. The nice thing about this place, and one of many reasons why it’s one of my favorite ballparks anywhere, is that it still feels like you’re outside even when the roof is closed. Without windows beyond the outfield, you still get the northwest air coming in.

UPDATE @ 3:10pm ET: The roof is now opening. Still overcast, though. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game here with the roof closed. That’s fine with me, though.

As for the game, it’s a pretty standard lineup …

TIGERS (23-31)

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, 3B
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Thames, LF
  6. Cabrera, 1B
  7. Larish, DH
  8. Renteria, SS
  9. Rodriguez, C

MARINERS (20-35)

  1. Ichiro, CF
  2. Jose Lopez, 2B
  3. Jose Vidro, DH
  4. Raul Ibanez, LF
  5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  6. Kenji Johjima, C
  7. Jeremy Reed, RF
  8. Miguel Cairo, 1B
  9. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

On the rehab front, both Rodney and Zumaya threw today with Dave Dombrowski watching. Jim Leyland said that Rodney’s velocity was down around 93 mph, but that his changeup was supposedly outstanding. Zumaya topped out at 97 mph but was more often around 93-95. They’ll get a couple days off, then probably head out on rehab — Rodney to Triple-A Toledo, Zumaya to Class A Lakeland.

Dontrelle to start Tuesday, Guillen working out in LF

Leyland revealed his bigger changes after the game.

  1. Dontrelle Willis and Armando Galarraga will both pitch on Tuesday, with Willis getting the start and Galarraga relieving him. Essentially, that day’s going to be a piggyback start day, like what some teams do with pitchers in the lower levels of the minors.
  2. Carlos Guillen is taking fly balls in left field. There’s no timetable on giving him playing time out there or whether they’ll actually start him there eventually — Thames is going to keep starting in left for the foreseeable future — but Leyland wants to have that as an option in games so that he can start Inge at third some days and still have Guillen in the lineup somewhere other than DH.
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