September 2008

Game 2 lineups

Dusty Ryan will catch in both games.

“We’re looking at him, obviously,” Leyland said. “This is a little bit of a showcase for him.”

TIGERS (70-77)

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

WHITE SOX (82-65)

  1. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  2. Brian Anderson, LF
  3. Jermaine Dye, RF
  4. Jim Thome, DH
  5. Alexei Ramirez, 2B
  6. Ken Griffey Jr., CF
  7. Juan Uribe, 3B
  8. Nick Swisher, 1B
  9. Toby Hall, C

The rain has finally ended

The White Sox just announced they’re hoping to get the field ready for a 5:15 or 5:30 ET start. That would make this a straight doubleheader, though I’m not sure what this would do for the ESPN broadcast.

Here are the lineups for Game 1 …

TIGERS (70-76)

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

WHITE SOX (81-65)

  1. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  2. Dewayne Wise, LF
  3. Jermaine Dye, RF
  4. Jim Thome, DH
  5. Alexei Ramirez, 2B
  6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  7. Ken Griffey Jr., CF
  8. Nick Swisher, 1B
  9. Juan Uribe, 3B

 

Another delay

The word from the White Sox is that they’re hoping for the rain to clear out around mid to late afternoon. Depending on when that happens, they could try to get in both games as part of a straight doubleheader. If that’s not feasible, look for a single game tonight.

Sunday morning, still raining

It’s raining about as hard as it has all weekend — a steady, drenching pour. And a look at the radar shows that the only part of Chicagoland not covered in green is covered in yellow. It’s supposed to clear up by tonight, but that might be too late for the day game. So you could end up with a single game here out of this whole series, and a potential doubleheader on Sept. 29. And given that the Twins swept the Orioles Saturday to move into a virtual tie with Chicago in the AL Central standings, it sure appears these games are going to mean something.

I’ll try to keep you updated.

It could be a long day in Chicago

The word around the Tigers clubhouse is that they’re looking for a dry window in which they could at least get this game started and then play through the rain. But as Ramon Santiago put it, the window is open and there’s water pouring in. At the moment, it’s raining hard here again after it had lightened up in the late morning. Given that the alternative could require making up a game after the season’s over, I imagine they’ll try very, very hard to get at least one game in today.

The fact that the remnants of Hurricane Ike could be headed up towards the Midwest tomorrow complicates matters further. Even if they play, the Tigers could have a delay — or at least a big flyaround — trying to get to Texas Sunday night or Monday morning.

The only news coming out of today is that Brandon Inge will likely leave the team for a day or two. His grandfather passed away on Thursday, and services are Sunday. He was going to fly out after the game tonight before they scheduled a doubleheader. For that matter, a lot of players were caught off guard by the doubleheader today, since they didn’t announce it until the Tigers were headed back to their hotel or other points in the city for the evening.

In case you didn’t see it in the game preview, Game 2 will NOT be televised in Detroit. Your options there are to listen on the radio or try to catch the Chicago broadcast on MLB.TV.

Here’s the lineup for Game 1 …

TIGERS (70-76)

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

WHITE SOX (81-65)

  1. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  2. Brian Anderson, LF
  3. Jermaine Dye, RF
  4. Jim Thome, DH
  5. Alexei Ramirez, 2B
  6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  7. Ken Griffey Jr., CF
  8. Nick Swisher, 1B
  9. Juan Uribe, 3B

Look for Dusty Ryan to catch Game 2, though not because of Inge’s loss.

Game called

Just announced. No details on a makeup date.

Starting on time? Um, no

Much to our surprise, despite a steady rain, they had the tarp off and players warming up to start this game on time. And then, right before the game would’ve started, they put the tarp back on. No idea what kind of delay we’re looking at here, but if you look at the radar, there appears to be no let-up in the rain. It might be a matter of hard rain versus light rain.

If they do somehow start this game, here are the lineups …

TIGERS (70-76)

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Sheffield, DH
  6. Inge, C — 4-for-10 lifetime vs. Danks
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Thames, LF
  9. Hessman, 3B

WHITE SOX (81-65)

  1. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  2. Dewayne Wise, LF
  3. Jermaine Dye, RF
  4. Jim Thome, DH
  5. Alexei Ramirez, 2B
  6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  7. Ken Griffey Jr., CF
  8. Nick Swisher, 1B
  9. Juan Uribe, 3B

Wednesday: Tigers vs. A's

Day off for Renteria and Polanco, meaning Santiago and Raburn comprise the double-play combo. Ordonez is also off, with Matt Joyce in at RF and Sheff batting third. That’ll give those three a couple days off ahead of the Chicago series, and Leyland has placed a priority on putting out a representative team for a series that carries playoff implications.

TIGERS (70-75)

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

ATHLETICS (66-78)

  1. Rajai Davis, CF
  2. Aaron Cunningham, LF
  3. Ryan Sweeney, RF
  4. Jack Cust, DH
  5. Daric Barton, 1B
  6. Jeff Baisley, 3B
  7. Cliff Pennington, SS
  8. Rob Bowen, C
  9. Eric Patterson, 2B

Tigers postmortem

Leyland on taking out Robertson: “Really didn’t want to take a chance with him. To me, that was a no-brainer. He hadn’t been out there for quite a few days, hadn’t really pitched much. I thought it was great for him to do what he did and walk away with a good feeling. We just didn’t hold it, that’s all.”

Eventually, that last part started building for Leyland, until he just went off on the pitch location on the eighth inning — specificially Seay’s leadoff walk and Rodney’s 0-2 pitch to Rajai Davis that ended up as the game-tying triple that set up the game-winning sac fly.

“This is simple,” Leyland said. “This has happened to us way too many times this year. We walked the guy to lead off the eighth inning, and walks will haunt, that old saying. We’ve been making the same mistakes all year long, 0-2, giving guys a fat pitch to hit, which we did to Davis, and he hit it. You can’t make these mistakes, and that’s why we’ve lost so many games from the seventh inning on. You just can’t make those mistakes. It’s that simple. Guys can talk about it all they want. You can be patient and all that type of stuff, but it can’t happen if you’re going to be successful up here.

He said he used Seay to keep Oakland’s left-handed bats on the bench, but then he got back to the pitching.

“It’s a perfect situation, in my opinion,” Leyland said, “and we walked the first guy. You can’t do that. If you want to stay up here and pitch and be successful, you can’t make these mistakes. [On] 0-2 all year long, we’ve gotten killed, night after night after night. I mean, eventually you get tired of watching it. 0-2, right there, fastball right down the middle of the plate. You can’t do that and win up here. You can’t win close games doing that in the big leagues. It just won’t happen. It’s that simple. And we’ve done it time after time after time after time. It’s not excusable. That means to me that you’re just throwing the ball. You’re just throwing the ball without any idea what you’re trying to do.

“Doing the job part-time is not acceptable up here. It’s just not good
enough. You can’t do the job part-time. You’ve got to do the job up
here most of the time.”

As for bringing in Rodney in the eighth, Leyland testily asked a reporter who he would’ve brought in. And that’s when he said that Kyle Farnsworth was not available. We talked with Farnsworth after that he said that he’s day-to-day with a sore groin. It surfaced when he was pitching Sunday at Minnesota and it was worse by Monday. The worry, on his part and the athletic trainers, is that he could try to pitch through it, compensate for it in his mechanics and end up hurting his arm.

“We’re trying to get rid of it,” Farnsworth said. “It’s just day-to-day right now.”

One thing that I think gets overlooked tonight was the speed of Davis on what would’ve been a game-tying double for maybe 97-99 percent of the league. He was flying out of the box and around second base, and ended up turning that into a triple — which, in turn, set up the go-ahead sac fly.

Still, it was the pitch that got to Leyland

“I’m not second-guessing the choice of the pitch. I’m second-guessing
the location. You have to make sure that you don’t throw a ball right
down the middle of the plate, 0-2, in that situation. You can’t do it.
You throw one up out of the strike zone or a changeup down out of the
strike zone. But the one thing you can’t do is throw the ball down the
middle of the plate.”

Tuesday: Tigers vs. A's

Dusty Ryan gets another start behind the plate. Why tonight instead of, say, Wednesday? One factor, manager Jim Leyland said, was the chance to get Inge a game at third base with Nate Robertson on the mound. If Robertson’s effective, you could see a good number of ground balls to the left side.

TIGERS (70-74)

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

ATHLETICS (65-78)

  1. Rajai Davis, CF
  2. Daric Barton, 1B
  3. Emil Brown, DH
  4. Ryan Sweeney, RF
  5. Kurt Suzuki, C
  6. Bobby Crosby, SS
  7. Aaron Cunningham, LF
  8. Jeff Baisley, 3B (Who are these guys?)
  9. Cliff Pennington, 2B

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