Postscript on the benches clearing

Both Jim Leyland and Carlos Guillen said they didn’t believe Cory Wade was trying to hit him on purpose. Guillen said the situation escalated when Wade told him to go to first base.

“He hit me and he said, ‘Go to first base,’” Guillen said. “I just said, ‘Hey,’ and he told me to go to … first base. When you hit somebody like that, respect it if you didn’t do it on purpose. But that’s OK. It’s part of the game. He started walking to me, so I [reacted]. … I don’t want to get suspended. I’m not trying to fight. I’m just trying to figure out what’s [happening].”

Replays showed Guillen said something first, then Wade reacted. But it was no big deal. Of greater concern might’ve been Guillen’s right wrist, which he hit on a foul tip on the first pitch of that at-bat. It was still bothering him a little bit. They’re hoping it’s nothing.

45 Comments

Jason, What is going on with Sheff??? Is there any time line on him??? No offense to Larish, but he is almost an automatic out and we really don’t need him as our DH. Even as bad as Sheff was when he was injured he had a hit every so often and took a walk every once in a while.
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Good news for Rodney. And good for Carlos. I’ll say it again a 2 run homer is the best revenge for being an #ss.
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GO TiGERS

We’ll see how Carlos feels today, but he made a nice play in the field with a strong throw after getting hit so let’s hope it’s nothing.
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Curious to see Bonine today, I’ve seen him in Toledo a few times being that I live here. He’s nothing fancy, but he gets the outs at the AAA level. Scuffling a bit as of late so let’s hope he can put it together. The tough thing about bringing up a rookie for a situation like this is that it’s likely for a long-term position (barring a miracle with Bonderman’s recovery) instead of just a spot start. We’ll see how he reacts with the pressure on.
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Go Tigers!

Gentlemen and Gentle Ladies:
I’ve decided to go ahead and eat my crow now; Carlos has made a remarkable transition at third, and Thames continues to be a big contributor. It was never my intention to downplay their significance to the team, i was merely looking at what I saw as reality. Sometimes crow pie tastes okay, and I’m in one of those situations right now. It’s amazing in the fact that our improved play began when Leyland didn’t have to manage that extra contract(Sheffield). He has more flexibility now, not less. I agree with the comment on Larrish. He just is not ready to hit big league pitching. Thanks for all of the good comments.
Bleeding Old English D, and enjoying it much more.

Greg

Oh, and I can’t agree with you more about the revenge thing GK. Just show them up on the field, it’s the best way to get back.

Jason,Any word on Dontrelle?Today would be his normal day in rotation.Hope Carlos can go against Penny.We should know today on the severity of his injury.I hope the hitters will be aggressive today in support of him.Right on GK

Just looked at the Lakeland schedule.It appears that they wont play again until Monday.Good luck to Mr. Bonine.We really need him to fill the vacancyin the starting rotation.

Rich
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To answer your question about the earned/unearned run off Rogers the other night…
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… Official scorer Chuck Klonke reviewed the scoring of Chicago’s lone run Thursday and determined it should have been an unearned run. That lowers Kenny Rogers’ earned run average from 4.74 to 4.63.

Everyone seems to have a short term memory :) . Larish, currently is horrible, and Sheff was too. Now we have a .150 hitter at DH.. we want the .190 hitter back.
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Sheff should only be back when he is ready to contribute, not a minute earlier.
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Leyland should stop reserving that DH spot for Sheff. Play a better bat at DH. Get Hessman. Everone needs a long look, but Larish had his chance for now. Don’t keep him at DH till Sheff returns. HORRIBLE plan.
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The reason Sheff looks better now is cuz Larish is worse. Average wise. Don’t pine for the Sheff we had this year.
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@davidtiger. I am with you. Ever since Sheff went on DL, the team played better. JL’s favorite was finally benched. It is not right, the chances he got. I hope JL or DD learn from it. What people forget is Larish is NOT batting in the 3 hole and NOT killing rallies. Sheff did that. Please look up some stats on rallies and it should be clear.
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Go Tigers.

Aha! on that scoring thing. Thanks Chad! That 4.63 ERA of Kenny’s sure looks better than that 6.66 he was carrying not long ago.
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I don’t think the absence of Sheffield has much to do with the improved play lately. I think they just collectively underwent an encephaloproctectomy procedure. :-)
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If anyone is blacked out today because of FOX, the game is supposed to be carried on a spanish speaking channel, if you have that package with cable or satellite. Looks like it’s 425 on DirecTV here in this region.
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–Rich

well the Squeeze play is definately not something we see very often from this Tigers team…glad to see JL trying to manufacture some runs today.
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after reading everything about Rodney coming back and maybe Dolsi going down…how about this…let’s keep Dolsi, and send down Larish. We can DH someone who is just sitting on the bench, i.e. Raburn, Hollimon, Clevlan, etc. Whoever isn’t playing that day could maybe just DH. That way we can keep some solid guys in our bullpen instead of keeping some not so solid guys on our bench :)…just an idea. probably would never happen though.
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Bonine looks good so far today…I’ve never seen him before, but I am happy so far.
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I also agree GK…no sense in fighting like the Red Sox team, and getting guys suspended, just go out there and beat them up on the scoreboard :)
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I’m excited for Rodney to come back and soon after Zumaya.

Rich, Is that the medical/latin term for removing their brains from that place where the sun doesn’t often shine?

By the way, I’m also blacked out from the game and I don’t get that Spanish station “El Tigeros de la Televisiona” on my cheap cable of not so many stations Rich. (I’m sorry, my Spanish is not too good/ what I wrote was probably something like The Tigers of the Television) My Fox offering is Boston and Cinncinatti. So I finally sat down, turned on game day and watched a cartoon version of the Tigers coming from behind to take the lead. Marcus’s HR looked pretty good in my mind:)

I hope Dolsi stays.
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I was thinking the same.. why not replace Larish with a pitcher. That won’t put a hole in our defense, if anyone needs days off. We DH anyone else..
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Also, Fossum should go. IMO, if Leyland wants to make sure that we stay strong, Dolsi can’t be sent down just cuz he has options. Quoting JL, it’s better to have Zumaya, Rodney and Dolsi, than to have ineffective Left handers in Fossum or even Seay, at this point.
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Hoping it’s 2 out of those 3. Seay, Fossum and Larish. Even if we lose Seay, we will have a stronger team.

Can anyone please find a stat on Seay. # Runners inherited/scored.

Bhavin,still searching for that stat.Can tell you he has a.375 on base average with runners in scoring position with 1 IBB.Congrats to Mr. Bonine for first ML win.Not to impressive in box score though with 10.13 ERA.But, I guess a win is a win.Way to go Marcus.Good hitting today by the team.Rooting for the sweep tommorrow

It appears I’m going to again run smack up against this in the box thinking by management. There’s no reason to send down Dolsi, that would be asinine. The answer, as usual, is right on the big club. Zach Miner should be the fifth starter. He has experience and enough pitches to do the job. That makes Bonine excess baggage. I was not impressed with him at all. You have to keep in mind that this Dodgers team has a horrid offense and there’s no way they should even get enough bat on the ball to get those dinks. I’m sure the spin doctors will make Bonine appear like the second coming of Greg Maddux, however. These roster decisions are not difficult, management makes them difficult.
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They send down Dolsi then Rodney struggles, then what? There’s no guarantee that Rodney will help at all.
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Miner to the rotation, Bonine to Toledo, activate Rodney. Next decision?

Zumaya returns, chose between Fossum and Seay. Next decision?
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It’s frustrating because it seems so clear in my usually muddled mind.
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I’d think Larish will go down when Sheffield returns, whenever that is. My wife, after watching Jeff hit a few times, began calling him “The Little Wooden Boy.” I think his stance looks like one of those Fathead things that you stick on your wall. Or a cardboard cutout. I do think he’s got a future, but it isn’t right now. And when he does come up again, he should get to play a position.
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The big boys were boppin’ today. Thames again. Cabrera again. I suppose it’s time to give them both a day off.
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Just for fun today, I rigged up my stuff so I could watch the spanish speaking feed while listening to Dan and Jim on MLB.radio. One thing I found out is that neither the TV or radio broadcasts are anywhere close to live. Both of them ran some three minutes behind Gameday and the two feeds had a race. First radio was ahead, then TV was ahead. I was using my TiVo to get them in sync, and that would last about two pitches. Very strange. But fun to play with. And attempting to answer the trivia question in spanish was fun too. :-)
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This is not a very good Dodgers team, let’s get the sweep.
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–Rich

Just answering the question about Seay:

He has inherited 23 runners and 9 of them have scored, easily worse than last year where only 6 of his inherited 43 runners scored.

If anyone is curious about this with other relievers go to ESPN.com’s player pages and look up whatever pitcher you are curious about, and under stats on the player’s page in the third (and last) box on that page you’ll see a stat called IR (inherited runners) and IS (inherited runners scored) I have not found anywhere that has this as a part of sortable stats to see who is the best at it, but you can just look up your favorite middle relievers and see what they do and compare them to each other.

Rich, I`ve been hoping all along for Miner to get a shot at starting.We got Rapada too.He`s pretty effective against leftys.Fossum is more of a starter.But,I dont know the conditions of thier contracts to make an intelligent decision concerning them.But I doubt we need 3 soft throwing lefties in the pen.With rodney and Zu and Dolsi throwing hard seems logical to start Zach.I might be wrong,but I`d be curious to see if that would help us

Hey Rich, I’m with you on all the moves up until sending Larish back. I don’t know what it is, but I really like this mix of veterans and youngsters. Not playing the boring baseball of early May maybe has something to do with it. With Larish and Clevelen, and Raburn in the lineup, there just seems to be that little bit more energy there. I really don’t know what you do with Sheffield. The team seems to be coming together now and I would hate to see a return to the April-May Tigers. If and when Gary comes back, how much time should he be given to prove he can still do it?

–Ed–

Just checked the roster.Rapada is not active.I thought he was off theDL.I dont know where he is currently.Problem with Shef is,he has another year left under contrac.Hope he is 100 per-cent when he comes back and management doesnt try and force fit him in lineup cause of contract.Someone earlier suggested moving him out of 3 spot.Itotally agree with that.Give Cab a shot at the 3 spot.He worked an 0-2 count to 3-2 in the first.He has been working the count a 100 percent better than a few weeks ago.Maybe they ought to give him a chance there

Have to eat crow pie too… I was really getting discourages, its like a metamorphosis, that the Tigers have begun to act like ball players.. It would seem like we are on a roll, however, the LA Dodgers have major problems with hitting too! It isn’t going to be against the BOSox , or LA Angels that you see Leyland play somebody like Bonine starting.. but really a lift for Torre’s crew, that they got some hits too. I can see what he is doing, resting some guys, but letting those farm club boys come in.. see what the “big ” show looks like, and that they aren’t forgotten down in the lower system. Those managers know more than we do. I think that that is a testament to the game. THe runs given up hurt.. yes, but not to kill us, but help them get some confidence too for the Dodgers guys. I am not a LA, or NY fan in any way.. but feel sorry to see Torre getting such a low start out of the gate out there. big change!.
Leyland and Torre both been there.
Great to see Cabbie, Granderson, and Marcus getting eye on the ball!
I know its a long way to fall.. hope some rise out of this club stays, and they all take vitamin V ,, ‘like ole Roger Clemens!”

I like your thinking Rich. Miner has proved in the past he can start, so move him to the 5th starting slot. It would be foolish to send Dolsi down the way he is pitching. I can’t see that happening. You take your best guys and then figure out when to use them. It’s pretty simple as you have pointed out. So you’ve got Dolsi, Rodney, and Zumaya covering 6-8, Jones as the closer, keep Seay as the situational lefty, and you have Lopez and Bautista for long relief. That’s a pretty decent pen. You could bring up Fossum or Bonine for a spot start. Rapada will be on the roster at some point.
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Didn’t get to see any of the game today so I can’t judge Bonine, but I imagine he was fortunate to get that much run support. Today’s game was probably a good example of the kind of win we thought we’d be seeing more of this year. Kind of ironic that Bonine comes up and immediately becomes the benefactor.
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I like them all, but if I had to pick my favorite Tiger he would be Marcus Thames. The guy has a great attitude and can change a game in a flash. You can’t keep that kind of power on the bench. I could see him hitting 30 HR’s easy this season….given the opportunity.

“I’ve always said, ‘Your momentum is only as good as your next day’s pitcher,’” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “If their pitcher throws better, we’ll lose. If not, we’ll win. But the big thing is, we’ve got to hit, no matter who’s throwing.”
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For one thing, this is a very convoluted statement. For another, it’s not even accurate. There are plenty of times a team can win a game when “their pitcher throws better.” Heck, I’ve seen guys throw no-hitters and lose. Steve Barber comes to mind. I wish JL would get off this one particular mantra.
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Okay, with that out of the way (thanks for bearing with me), we are now .5 games behind Cleveland, 2.5 behind Minnesota, and 7 behind Chicago. For it being this point in this particular season, that ain’t bad. Especially since we still really don’t even know which of those teams we’re chasing. This might be one of those deals where nobody in the division wins 90 games.
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On the other hand, I said earlier that there would be a time when we’d have a nice little run and we’d all get excited. That would seem to be now. This is to be enjoyed for now, keeping hopes alive, and see how it goes. Because brother, it is one long season.
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The thing with Thames is, he has 9 homers in limited playing time. Ordonez and Cabrera lead the club with 10 apiece. JL is playing Marcus more, to be sure, and it’s paying off. I just hope this will remain the case when Thames goes about five games with little offense.
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I think I may have sounded a little hard on Larish up there, and I don’t mean to be. We were just having fun with his rather unique hitting style. Personally, I think Jeff will come along to become a slugging firstbaseman for us, or somebody. I’m thinking a Matt Stairs type, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
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Ed, I’m not sure how long to give someone like Sheffield. It depends on what he’s contributing, and cold hard stats often don’t reflect that. I would definitely confine him to DH and not be afraid to give him a day off so I could get some other guys into games. I agree that a mix of veterans and experience is the best way to go, and I do want to keep Clevlen (Brent, just a few hits, buddy), Raburn, and/or Clete Thomas. I do think there are a bunch of people out there who are convinced Sheff is through. I just don’t see how they can be so sure of that. One thing’s for sure: when he returns, it’s going to be controversial.
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If they want to keep Bonine, fine, but don’t send down Dolsi. This guy seems to have that intangible called, for lack of a better term, escapability. And that cold-eyed look about him. Hard to find those kinds of pitchers.
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The bottom line here is that it’s just good to be able to look forward to all of tomorrow’s games on a daily basis.
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–Rich

Bruce–Clay Rapada was optioned to Toledo in order to bring up Bonine.
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IMO–I would send back Fossum or Bonine once Rodney comes back. Miner was a starter for us before then got moved to long relief, but I think he could make the transition once again.
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In regards to Larish, I don’t think it is really doing him much good coming up here and just getting batting practice. If he’s going to be up here, at least give him a chance to play 1B for a game or maybe towards the end of a game or something. I don’t know. If not, send him back. Raburn went 3 for 3 on Friday…put him in to DH if he isn’t playing a position. Give Hollimon a chance to get a few at bats if he isn’t playing a position. It seems like sometimes these guys are better off playing in Toledo if they are actually going to get playing time down there.
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In regards to Sheffield, I really don’t see them bringing him back until they are sure he’s ready. Obviously at the beginning of the season, he wasn’t really helping the team out. I think DD and JL will figure something out and maybe just keep him on the DL longer if necessary.
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Tomorrow’s game should hopefully be a little better than todays. Too many errors today. A win is a win, but 3 errors is a little excessive for one game.

Thanks for the stat on Seay. 2 other points, recently, seay has been taken out of games, when the runners on base have been his responsibility. Dolsi cleaned up after him. Seay’s overall stats seem good, but we should remember that he was good early on, and quite bad in recent games, which averages it out.
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I am all for going with the hot hand :).
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Miner starting makes perfect sense. I think he and JL had problems earlier and i hope they get past that. Giving Bonine a fair chance is good, but as someone said, he picthed against an awful offense, and came up short. Also, his recent AAA outings were bad, so he is going downhill.
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I am sure JL has a thought process, and there is some inside information that we are not privy to. He makes decisions accordingly. But some bonehead moves are excatly that.
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You send Rapada down, why? Fossum deserved to go. Maybe we don’t want to lose fossum. Then we still keep Rapada, and give fossum a spot start. He was starting in AAA, right? so he can try to get his groove back. We still have 2 lefties in the pen. We don’t lose fossum or rapada, and we don’t get Bonine, who was going downhill anyways, performance -wise. Fossum has a chance to show his stuff. Get his ERA down. AND it’s fair to everyone.
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One thing with JL, he is never going to be fair. He says what he has to. Sounds politically correct when he wants to. Blasts of like an old timer when he sees fit. He says stuff that he forgets the next day. All hot air. Every day is a new day, and he doesn’t care what he said yesterday.
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That quote from JL, mentioned above, is BS. :) . He is 1 man trying to stand on all 4 bases at once.
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We are on a roll, and if JL goes back on his statement of giving Bonine multiple starts, I won’t mind. He once said he wats the 12 best pitchers on his team. Thats how Zumaya, Rodney et all had the 2006 season. He has forgotton his theory since Sheff joined the club.
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The Tigers no longer field the best starters/pitch the best pitchers, or even the 25 men on the team are necessarily not the best 25 in the organization.

Rich,
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Sheff might end up contributing eventually. Point is, he should be back when 100%. He is fearsome slugger, but only when healthy.
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And i want to repeat, that we started playing better once Sheff went on DL. A lot of hitters were under performing. Cabby, Pudge, etc. We reached the World Series on Pitching in 2006. But we had really really good clutch hitting then, in Monroe, Guillen etc.
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If you try to predict our wins based on the current averages of our hitters, we should be way ahead than where we are. I think pitching has something to do with it, as does clutch hitting. We had a very bad avg. as a team with RISP. Renteria on the other hand is very good in the clutch. Thats where sheff was not only bad, but ground into DP’s.
Larish will be a good slugger in the future. But not sure that we should experiment with that right now when we are trying to win this year.
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Looks like I have missed a bunch the last couple of days.
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Nice to see Nate get thru the 4th today. That is often a difficult inning for him. Now the boys have to go out and hit the baseball. No reason not to get to this rookie southpaw who is getting behind in the count.

Glad that Nate is pitching good now.. Everyone, including me, wanted him moved to the pen back when Willis needed a spot. I thinking most players started performing when they had to start fighting for playing time, or their spot.
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I appreciate what Seay has done for until now for us, but I think he should be on his way out.

Seay has not been able to get LHB out with any kind of consitency like he used to. Gives up too many 2 strike hits, has trouble throwing strikes at times. In general he has been not bery good.
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Bad feeling about this one. Wish Jones could be a lock-down kind of pitcher instead of an adventure.

MIN and CWS both were trailing by 1 and have 3 outs on hand. Both games are now 2 run games. Hoping to make up another game.

Tigers Win … that was a close one … barley escaped.. .. but a win anyways ..

Chicago got beat.They are having trouble scoring runs lately.Hope we can continue to move up on them.JL needs to keep Marcus in there.He has opposing pitchers thinking about him now.He is hot.JV faces a tough matchup tommorrowso I hope he comes out throwing real hard.Seems like Seays curve is really hanging up and over the plate.If he cant get ahead in the count,I`m afraid he is gonna continue to get clobbered.I agree wiith Bhavin,we barely escaped,and (dare I say) it took another vintage TJ outing to pull this one out.All kidding aside,though,they looked pretty darn good up until the 9th.Lets keep the streak going Tigers.

So it’s Lopez going to Toledo, to be stretched out to become a starter. IF THAT’S TRUE, then I can live with it. You just never know if it’s another JL smokescreen. They might get by with Bonine during interleague, but most AL teams will light him up big time. He throws strikes, so let’s dig in and fire away, will be the opposition position.
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Six back now. That took all of five days to accomplish.
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–Rich

Whew!
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I, for one, am really looking forward to Zumaya coming back and hopefully being as effective as he once was. My hopes are that he can become the closer for the club this year. Jones has done the job but barley. Let’s face it, he does not shut the other team down and really does need a 3 run lead most of the time. He seems on the verge of a total collapse almost every outing. It is going to be a very daunting task to have a successful season without this critical element that defines a great baseball team.
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Great to see this team play as well as they have been.

Hey all, I just read that Aquilino Lopez was sent to triple A, it said they are going to make him a starter. Is this for the near future? Anyone know?

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

I am no longer cautiously excited- I have full-on Tiger fever. Don’t know if I can stay up late all week for the west coast games, but we’ll see.

I was thinking JL was putting Seay out to fail today to justify sending him down- but I know he has a thing about LHP, whether they are effective right now or not.

I hope it’s the truth about Lopez becoming a starter- I think he could do real well, and he deserves a chance to prove himself. I feel for him today- just losing his dad and getting sent down to the minors on Father’s Day. I hope he can find a positive in it and come back roaring as a starter.

Go Tigers!!!!!

/tmh

The Tigers have been playing great and Leyland seems to be making all the right moves right now. The shift in the team came when Sheffield went to the DL and most importantly got out of the 3 spot. The Tigers are getting leads earlier in the game which gives JL more flexibility using defensive replacements.

I wasn’t sure how Pudge would take Inge catching more but let’s give him credit for continuing to play hard, act as a team player and start to have better at bats. I wonder how much the improved pitching has to do with the catcher situation. Calling a game at catcher is as important as how the catcher hits and JL may be on to something with the alternating catcher idea. The move looks better with Guillen’s improved play at 3rd. Let’s attribute the early season errors to his injured status.

Speaking of injuries, I can’t see how Sheffield can help the team. I don’t think he will ever be 100% healthy again.

Thames has more clutch homers than the rest of the team combined and has played very well in the field. He should keep playing. Batting him in the 6 to 8 spots is perfect. You can’t beat the 3 run homer from the bottom of the lineup.

Cabrera is starting to heat up. I still say he is the #3 hitter, but I can live with Guillen in that spot. Polanco has been on fire and makes tough plays look easy at 2nd. Does he ever dive for a ball, he always gets to it on his feet.

Renteria is OK in the field, he will make the routine plays. He loves batting in the top 3 in the order. Whenever he is up there, he is getting on base 2 or 3 times a game. Some guys are just better at the top of the order.

Moving Granderson from the top of the order to the bottom is OK till he gets going. I like the rotation with Renteria.

Larish might be more relaxed if he had been given the chance to play the field for a game or two, but I wouldn’t feel the need to get him in for the NL games at the expense of resting Cabrera. That could have been done by DH’s Miguel over the last 10 games.

Clevlen has played great in the field. We can’t underestimate his influence. My example would be the CHW games this week. On Tuesday, Clevlen squashes the White Sox rally in the 8th by throwing Quentin out at the plate. (Killer out in a huge game for the Tigers). Flash to Thursday…… 1-1 game, Quentin leads off the 9th with a sure double to the left field wall… But wait he knows Clevlen is out there, remembers the play on Tuesday and for some reason holds at first base. Little plays like that are so important to winning close games. Chances are if Quentin gets to 2nd he scores and the Sox win. Instead Jones gets out of the inning and the Tigers complete the sweep in the 9th. Those are the things that make a winning streak.

Keep doing the little things and throwing strikes on the west coast Tigers.

Regarding Lopez that is my thought that he is going to become a starter. They probably were not completely happy with how Bonine turned out. He won, but only because we were slapping around the ball everywhere gloves weren’t.
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Regarding Bobby Seay he really has not been good at all this year. I don’t know what happened, and why they would send down Rapada over him. Rapada really had one bad outing and that was the day before he was put on the DL, he was hurt. Bobby has not been at all realiable and seems to have a real hard time with Lefties. We can’t have that.
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I for one thinks that Sheff can be of great help if he is healthy. But only if he is healthy. Does anyone remember that before he got hurt last year he had over 20 homers and stole over 20 bases. And that is after a bad April and a bad August and September when he was hurt?? If he is healthy he is valuable.

Well, not happy that they sent down Lopez, but at least it wasn’t Dolsi. It’s all an options game, i guess. Seay and Fossum, both are not performing, but they don’t have options. Tigers need to pull the trigger on at least one of them, to activate Zumaya.
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Hope this decision by JL and/or DD doesn’t bite us. Lopez is good, but we might be ok without him, since our pen is pitching good for now. Problem is, when we put Seay or Fossum in a game, and they might mess it up.
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Sheff to rehab in Lakeland. Please Please don’t activate him until healthy AND please don’t put him in the 3rd hole again… at least for now.

Some good points here re Sheffield. I think it is extremely important not to delude ourselves with the fact that his menacing bat is ready to return.
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“IF” he is not physically restricted he can help, no question. The Question is if his physical condition is being reported (by him and by the team) honestly and acurately.
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In my mind he is one of the big reasons (there were many other factors) for the falure of the team to win early on. It was discouraging for him and his his teammates and probabaly served to demoralize the team somewhat as well.
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If he can contribute even close to how he has in the past, he will be very valuable. There certainly would not be a roster problem to work him back in with Larish, Hollimon, and even Raburn not getting much playing time anyway.
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I am still very big on moving Cab to the #3 hole in front of Ordonez. I know JL probbly feels that he would like a little more speed on the basepaths ahead of Magglio but with Cab starting to hit now I think it might be really smart to get him up to the plate ahead of Magglio where he can take advantage of more fastballs and get me over sliders.
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JL will cut Seay a little more slack but Ihpe not too much. It is clear by the look in his face that he is not pitching with any degree of confidence. Dolsi has been good but my guess is that he is optionable and would be somewhat redundant in JL’s eyes with Rodney and Zoom coming back.
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I haven’t seen anything awe-insipiring about Fossum and Miner needs to prove himself every time out.
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Clevlen is really starting to come around and is an impact player on defense already. He is gonna start to hit too.
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Inge proves his worth in so many ways and if he could only learn to become a .270 hitter he would be one of the better players in the league.

Why we are winning in a word:
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STRIKES
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In the 8 wins out of the last 9 games the Starters have issued 8 BBs and the relievers only 4.
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We all know what happened in that one loss.
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Is there any doubt how important is throwing strikes is? In 3 of theose games the starters gave up ZERO walks.
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This is one of the reasons that moving Lopez into a starting role may not be a bad idea. He is another guy who has some command and does not give up too many bases on balls.
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Not sure how many 1st pitch strikes we have had over this time period but I would suspect the ratio is very favorable.

In the last 5 games, Tiger pitchers have walked a total of 4 batters!

dan,
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I am with you on strikes, but then again, location is always the key, which our starters had problems with. Most of them couldn’t command it. And every time willis threw a strike, it was a home run.
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I think Chuck might have finally been able to help our starters locate and command their pitches. Esp JV who is wild at times. Lack of command leads to more walks.
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In my opinion, the pitchers were pitching good in May, but our hitting hadn’t come around. We can thank Sheff, Jaques Jones et all for that. Plus granderson, polly and others weren’t in their groove.
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I like what Guillen is doing batting 3rd. And as someone pointed out, Renteria is hitting really really good when he is batting in the top 3rd of the order. So why not keep him in the top 3. Lead off, or the 3 hole.
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The hitting came around, in my opinion, due to a combination of things. Curtis is still iffy, but Renteria came around and so did polly. Sheff going on DL helped protect our sluggers. .. Polly, CG, Maggs, cabby, Thames, Renteria. This order afforded protection to everyone, and people who get on base are on the top of the order. Thames with his power protects Cabby. Opposing pitchers have to finally deal with the potent offense that was projected earlier.
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Go tigers

I think we’ve won some games here lately because the team is too good not to. This was to be expected. Whether they keep it up is the big question that will be answered.
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Same with the hitters. No way were they going to remain in such a massive funk, regardless of who plays or doesn’t play. The biggest improvement of all has been the defense. Could it be better? Yes. Is it damaging the team’s chances now? No.
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There are some fair and valid assessments of Gary Sheffield here on this blog, but if you venture out into the world wide wasteland, you’ll see him being blamed for everything but the cost of gasoline. It’s become en vogue to rag on the Sheff. I suppose that’s probably just as well, since Gary can take it. If not for him being in Detroit, much of that venom may have been aimed at Cabrera, who wouldn’t take it so well. So I suppose Sheff has done something to contribute. All those Sheff-shankers out there should remember that he had a horrific April last season, but the club finished out the month at 14-11.
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I’m glad he’s doing a rehab in Toledo. That should tell us where he’s at, health-wise.
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For those of us able to stay up late tonight, we just might be treated to a good ol’ fashioned baseball game, rife with strategy and big plays. Couple of pretty good pitchers set to go at it.
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–Rich

To answer the question about Lopez starting, it’s basically a question of depth. The Hens are really short on starters after Fossum and Bonine were both called up, and as such, the Tigers are short on insurance if they have any more starters go on the DL. Fossum would seemingly be next in line, but then they’d be short.

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