August 2008

Willis out after one inning

UPDATE @ 10pm: Hens manager Larry Parrish told reporters after the game that Willis had tightness in his left forearm. Not sure if that was a lingering issue or something that came up during the game. Willis did not speak to reporters afterwards.

Monday: Tigers vs. Indians

You know it’s getting towards the final weeks of the season when the sun bounces off the left-field seats in a way that lets off some nasty glare … or at least, that’s how I know it’s getting late in the season. But that’s just me. I suppose the drop in comments on the blog would be another clue, of course.

Gary Sheffield hits fifth ahead of Carlos Guillen for the first time since the day Guillen came back from that pinched nerve in his lower back last homestand. The left-handed starter likely makes a difference in that regard, reducing the need to mix in a switch-hitter in the middle of the order.

TIGERS (64-66)

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

INDIANS (62-67)

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Franklin Gutierrez, LF
  3. Ben Francisco, RF
  4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  5. Shin-Soo Choo, DH
  6. Ryan Garko, 1B
  7. Kelly Shoppach, 1B
  8. Andy Marte, 3B
  9. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B

Garcia to start Wednesday for Toledo

Just figured I’d post that in case you missed it. Dave Dombrowski confirmed the promotion Sunday. Realistically, they had to do it sometime this week, since Toledo’s season ends in eight days. By pitching him Wednesday, they could conceivably give him another start in the Hens’ season finale the following Monday.

Sunday: Tigers at Royals

Leyland thought about starting Matt Joyce again today but went with Marcus Thames, wanting to get him some at-bats before they face back-to-back left-handers with the Indians Monday and Tuesday (Zach Jackson and Cliff Lee).

Brandon Inge, meanwhile, gets the start on a day game after a night game as Leyland tries to get him into that mode.

“It’s good for him to learn how to do this,” Leyland said.

TIGERS (64-65)

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

ROYALS (55-74)

  1. Mike Aviles, SS
  2. Esteban German, LF
  3. David DeJesus, CF
  4. Jose Guillen, RF
  5. Billy Butler, DH
  6. Miguel Olivo, C
  7. Ross Gload, 1B
  8. Mark Teahen, 3B
  9. Alberto Callaspo, 2B

According to STATS

Friday marked just the third time since 1980 that a game ended on a 2-1 putout. The Tigers were involved in the last one, too, under similar circumstances July 24, 2001 at the Yankees. Mariano Rivera’s pitch got away from Jorge Posada, but Posada recovered to throw out Roger Cedeno to seal a 6-5 Tigers loss.

Saturday: Tigers at Royals

Apparently those vehicles out above left field here at Kauffman Stadium are becoming big targets. After Miguel Cabrera hit the netting in front of the white Dodge Avenger last night, Marcus Thames supposedly cleared the netting and hit the car during early batting practice this afternoon. That comes after Cabrera cleared the blue truck further towards left-center during BP yesterday.

I don’t know if there’s any contest going on with those cars like in years past, where a home run off the car would win it for somebody (Chris Shelton hit it on a bounce once, but it didn’t count). A few dents, and those are going to lose their value a bit.

Anyhoo, Edgar Renteria is back in the lineup.

TIGERS (63-65)

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

ROYALS (55-73)

  1. Mike Aviles, SS
  2. Albert Callaspo, 2B
  3. David DeJesus, LF
  4. Jose Guillen, RF
  5. Billy Butler, DH
  6. Ross Gload, 1B
  7. John Buck, C
  8. Mark Teahen, 3B
  9. Joey Gathright, CF

Lambert on Tuesday

Chris Lambert will have his contract purchased from Triple-A Toledo to make the start for the Tigers Tuesday against Cleveland. They won’t have to make a move on the 40-man roster, but they’ll have to send somebody out from the 25-man roster.

Quotes from Nate

Robertson was very reflective about the decision. He said he knew he was going to have “a conversation” with the manager after the Texas outing, but seeing it coming didn’t help much.

“It’s tough, probably the lowest point for me that I’ve had to deal with. I think I’ve kind of bottomed out. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe that I can come back and be a legit starter for this club.”

On his slider, Robertson said, “Throughout my career and especially when it comes to situational pitching, I’ve always felt like when I’ve had my legit slider, which is my out pitch, I’ve felt like I could get out of anything. And this year, for whatever reason, it’s just been inconsistent, off and on. You can just see that in times when I’ve gone up against a good left-handed bat. It’s been a very, very effective pitch. It’s been a plus pitch. And it’s not a plus pitch right now. It’s inconsistent. When it flattens out, it’s very hittable and it’s cost me in bad situations in a ballgame.”

On the decision to take him out of the rotation: “Skip’s got a job to do, and he’s got to make the decision for this club, and right now you can’t feel good about me going out there after what happened in Texas. I mean, I don’t feel good about me going out there after what happened in Texas. I know I have better stuff than that. If I don’t have anything to throw off of that fastball, then I’m in trouble.”

Robertson also said they would “probably have to make some changes” in his offseason program. It sounded like that could be a combination of working on his mechanics and altering his workout program. The word that Robertson used was “flexibility,” as in he doesn’t have much of it, and it’s affecting his game.

Robertson to bullpen

According to manager Jim Leyland, “Nate is not going out with all his weapons, especially his slider.”

As a result, Robertson is going to work with pitching coach Chuck Hernandez to work on that and move out to the bullpen while he’s doing so.

Asked who will start in Robertson’s old spot next Tuesday, Leyland said, “I have no idea.”

Friday: Tigers at Royals

Early lineups …

TIGERS (62-65)

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

ROYALS (55-72)

  1. Mike Aviles, SS
  2. Esteban German, 2B
  3. David DeJesus, LF
  4. Jose Guillen, RF
  5. Mark Teahen, 3B
  6. Billy Butler, DH
  7. Ross Gload, 1B
  8. John Buck, C
  9. Joey Gathright, CF

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