July 5th, 2008

About that Renteria sitting thing …

Forget it. Turns out he’s in the lineup tonight after all, and Hollimon is sitting. Leyland said after Friday’s game that he would probably play Hollimon, but having the knuckleballer on the mound might have given him some second thoughts. When asked Saturday how much of a factor the pitcher played in the lineup, Leyland pointed to the splits: Opponents are batting .196 against him from the left side and .364 hitting right-handed. That said, Curtis Granderson is leading off.

TIGERS (43-43)

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

MARINERS (34-52)

  1. Ichiro, RF
  2. Jose Lopez, 2B
  3. Raul Ibanez, LF
  4. Jose Vidro, DH
  5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  6. Jeremy Reed, CF
  7. Richie Sexson, 1B
  8. Jeff Clement, C
  9. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

Verlander moved up a day

UPDATE @ 6:30pm ET: It’s official now. Justin Verlander’s next start has been moved up from Wednesday to Tuesday, essentially using the off-day to flip spots with Eddie Bonine. It’s a small move that could be big from a competitive standpoint. Plus, well, if you have tickets to Tuesday’s game against Cleveland, it’s good news for you, since you could see Verlander match up against C.C. Sabathia. It’s also good news if you have tickets for next Sunday, since he’d get that start out of this deal, too.

Leyland said the other day that’s not the reason he was considering it, but he doesn’t have to point out that there’s a benefit in that. There’s an advantage from the Tigers’ standpoint, too, in keeping Verlander on schedule to pitch every fifth day rather than having him store up extra rest and bring too much energy out to the mound, especially the way he’s been battling his command lately.

Actually, you can see it a little bit in the stats. Verlander has basically split his 18 starts (except for opening day, of course) between five and four days of rest. He’s 3-3 with a 4.09 ERA and .713 opposing OPS in eight starts on four days’ rest, and 2-6 with a 4.40 ERA and a .680 OPS with five days’ rest. Smaller picture, his two starts before last — when he topped 110 pitches without getting out of the sixth — both came with the extra day of rest.