Thames in left, Magglio in right

Just got back from the Astros clubhouse at Minute Maid Park and a good chat with Pudge, who looks and sounds rejuvenated a bit here in Houston. Look for highlights of that on the blog a little later tonight.

As for the game, you’ll see in the lineup that Marcus Thames is in left. Jim Leyland said he had weighed starting him or Ryan Raburn, but wanted to put in Thames for the quick at some quick offense against Wandy Rodriguez. Magglio, meanwhile, is back in right.

As for Curtis Granderson, he said he isn’t as worried about the hill in center field as he is about playing the short dimensions in left. Keep in mind, the Tigers played two games here at the end of Spring Training last year.


  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. Thames, LF
  5. Inge, 3B
  6. Ordonez, RF
  7. Laird, C
  8. Everett, SS
  9. Verlander, P


  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Jeff Keppinger, 3B
  3. Miguel Tejada, SS
  4. Carlos Lee, LF
  5. Lance Berkman, 1B
  6. Hunter Pence, RF
  7. Ivan Rodriguez, C
  8. Kazuo Matsui, 2B
  9. Wandy Rodriguez, P


Now if we can just get magglio to lay off that 1st pitch.

JV is working too much tonight, 5 to the Pitcher. He is on a 5 Inn pace

JV has to find a way to cut down on that pitch count–and those darn foul balls.

This will be a big inning for JV

Too long outings are making him pay just like EJ

ok, its now or never

Ordonez is still lost IMO.

Now , Dolsi?

i had a feeling we were screwed with magglio up.
Verlander got through it and gives the bullpen an opportunity to hold on to this one. The tigers need to get a couple more runs though.

Hope that move doesn’t come back to bite jim.. i would have pinch hit raburn and put him in for magglio defensively. Verlander better have a clean inning.

I would have taken JV out for a PH there in the 6th. His pitch count is up and he has to come out sometime.
I realize the bottom of the order is up but he only has 1 more inning in him at most.

wow genius! leave him in so he can get 1 out and give up a run and then pull him and put that piece of garbage in.. Say bye to your chance at a W justin.

I can’t believe Verlander threw the pinch hitter 2 changes in a row. The old adage is never throw a change-up to a bad hitter holds true sometimes.
But he shouldn’t have been pitching there anyway.
Ordonez’s 2 DPs (with 5 men on base) look awfuly big right now.
Robertson? Oh Man.

There you go—exactly on cue. Get him out now before he throws the game away.

Houston we have a problem. NR is pitching

Well this is a tough situation for Miner–he has a pretty poor history with inherited runners and this scares me with what he has to deal with after this hitter.

Whew! Polanco hung in there nad made a pretty throw to complete that DP.

Sorry for the bad info. Ordonez has only hit into that 1 bases loaded DP. The other thing was a 1st pitch hack in the 1st after 2 walks. I must be getting old.

Ok Magg , life gave you lemons so.. hit the ball outside the infield

7 of DT´s 12 LOB for Boras

Houston has Pudge and Byrdal , why dont offer them NR?

Cecil Cooper has made some good moves this game so far—I hope this one is not another one of them. Byrdak looked good.

we could offer them NR and a box of baseballs for free and they’d say, we’ll take the baseballs.


lyon and seay are in the “do not want to use tonight” spots.

when can joel “get it done”??

Or in I want to waste my ace´s outing spot

Is deja vu all over again

that’s how hard it is joel.. throw it over the plate and let them hit em at your defenders.. dolsi can do it!

zumaya blows another lead anyone know how many that is now

i believe it’s his 4th blown save.. don’t know how many tie games he’s let go. I think that’s 3 BS in the last two weeks though.

I said it the last time he pitched and I’ll say it again. It may be time for Zumaya to make a trip to the minor leagues.

leyland is idiot managing tonight.

JL had his hand in this loss. Left Zumaya in too long when it was pretty clear to every other Tiger supporter that he wasn’t gonna be throwing strikes.

maybe a trip to the minor leagues would wake his *** up,that he need to throw strike

It was also a pretty ridiculous move to put Dolsi in that spot where he did. It could have been a lot worse but you can’t expect him to come in and shut the door with the sacks full just out of Toledo.

I think magglio earned a couple more nights off after tonight. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him out of the lineup tomorrow night with raburn in there.
Sucks to lose but we had one coming.. we got a lucky a couple times during this streak. Bad to waste one on JVs start, hope figaro is good again tomorrow.
At least we’ll have our decent bullpen guys back tomorrow seay, lyon, and gulp rodney.

Well here is my feelings on this game. The Tigers hitting was very poor after the second inning. It looked as though they were going to run away with it. TACK ON RUNS GUYS!!!!! Verlander was back to the Verlander I remembered last year, people fouling off pitch after pitch and driving up his pitch count, and bang he is out of the game too early. Zumaya is not pitching like he is capable, and was left in there too long in my opinion. One word for what I feel about this game….
They completely blew this one very frustrating. I know they were bound to lose on sooner or later but this one was not the one I expected.

As I said a few days ago, it is too bad all the money that was wasted on Sheffield wasn’t spent on a reliever.

Chalk this loss up to JL/Zumaya. He was kept in there too long JL should have pulled him. Add Ordonez to the equation 0/4, 7 runners left on. His Glory Days are gone. I don’t care what anyone says, his bat speed has disappeared. As for Zumaya when was the last time he had a clean inning? Get rid of Robertson, he is just taking up space.

We were never going to win that game tonight, you could feel it. Verlander didn’t have good stuff, not even close to it. With him, you can tell early on if he’s got it or not. His curveball will break sharply and deeply if he’s on. If he doesn’t have that, he has to rely on a 96-97 mph fastball that the hitters seem to easily foul off, thus running up his pitch count. And all this with the bullpen nearly depleted coming in. JV had to go deep into the game, but wasn’t able to. That’s the main story.
I don’t see where Leyland lost the game. If Lyon and Seay were unavailable, who was he going to bring in to replace Zumaya? Did you really want Dolsi there? I did think he had a better chance in the 9th with Santiago up there, but he probably hoped Raburn could pull another miracle, plus he was playing for the win. We didn’t have any pitchers left for extra innings. There were a lot of moves made, and we could pick them apart until dawn, but there’s no guarantee any of them would have worked. It came down to Verlander not having it tonight.
I don’t recall anyone saying that Zumaya is a good pitcher. Blazing fast, yes, but good? I’m amazed he’s come back throwing that hard, but he’s not really very effective. If you send him to the minors, he’d just go down there and blow everybody away and accomplish nothing. His failing is his mindset when he comes into big situations. What I’d do here is use Lyon where he’d been using Zoom, and hope that Rodney keeps it together.
Regarding Ordonez; does anyone know if he’s had his eyes checked? He hits on top of the ball an incredible amount. At 35, the vision begins to change and you can’t assume he’s seeing as he always has.
With Figaro starting tomorrow, you have to figure the bullpen will be needed again. Seay and Lyon and Rodney will be available. JL might need to use Seay for more than the odd lefthand hitter. Or maybe the guys will score a dozen runs and render the point moot, who knows. All I know for sure is that the effort will be there.

Pulling Ramon for Raburn against a righty was just stupid – pulling Josh is one thing but Ramon is IMO a better clutch hitter with a sneaky long ball with 5HR and 23 RBI’s from only 114 AB’s.
Against righties, Raburn is .267 / .298 OBP with Ramon .301 / .347. In RISP against righties, Raburn is .182 / .25 OBP with Ramon .333 / .387.
JL has gone with his hunches well recently but he should do his homework.

Rich, yes I would have brought Dolsi in after the first walk by Zumaya. He is in the Majors and his job is to relieve in pressure situations. In addition we had Lyons in the pen.

I agree this game seemed doomed from the beginning as we left so many runners on base and JV was having control problems. But I thought the magic of the last 7 would ultimately prevail.
That being said, we were bound to lose one soon, and I’m glad this one was an L for Joel. A couple of his Ws this year are because he blew a lead and the Tigers came right back to win. I think Leyland had to give him a chance to get out of it, and brought Dolsi in at the right time, before it got out of hand. He did what he was asked to do- two batters, two outs.
Maggs was disappointing to say the least. I haven’t given up all hope for him, but it doesn’t look good. Rich- I’ve always thought he had a vision problem, the way he blinks really hard, but I gotta believe that possibility (that his eyesight is bad) has been explored. Seems like a no-brainer.
We’ll get ’em tonight! Go Tigers!

I can’t agree with bringing in Dolsi there. After Zumaya’s 2nd walk if you had noone else, then yes, but not with the sacks packed. I don’t ascribe to the theory that Lyon or Seay could not be used. Seay pitched an inning Thursday—there is no one in the baseball world that can tell me that he was incapable of throwing when needed yesterday. Zumaya clearly could not throw strikes to LHB.
Same with Lyon–he’s a horse. He can throw as much as you need him to. And generally, he does throw strikes though this year he has walked far more batters than usual.
He also threw an inning the day before. Big deal. That’s what they are paid to do.
JL sometimes out-strategizes himself–especially with his pitching staff.
As has been mentioned this was only one game, and we were due to lose. And after all, it is only a ‘game”, but it was one that the team has to take on the chin. I’m sure it hurt.
If we are lucky there will be a team in desperate need of a RHB come deadline time. Let’s hope they don’t expect not to have to pay some of his salary. I do think that Ordonez may be headed elsewhere, untradeable as he is.

Well,”Mags” is back to “normal”. I just knew that he was going to hit into a DP when the bases were loaded!!! I think he left a total of 7 runners in scoring position. WAY TO GO MAGS!!! GOODBYE MAGS!!!

Also, Leyland FINALLY replaced him in right field after he played ANOTHER out into a hit. He just slowly comes in & gets the ball on the 1st. hop. Don’t over extend yourself Mags.

In total – how many runners did the Tigers leave on base after the 3 run homer? Seems like 30. 😦

Talk about GOODBYE – jeez, when are they gonna get rid of “BLOW ANOTHER GAME ” Zumaya? A so-called major league pitcher(?) who can’t throw strikes. 😦

I don’t think there’s any way for us to know if Seay or Lyon could have pitched effectively last night, since we’re not privy to what goes into the making of those decisions. The fact is, we’ll need lots of relievers tonight with Figaro getting the start. Verlander’s below average outing came at a bad time.
JL may have used too many pitchers in the Cubs series, I’ll grant that. And I’m not entirely sure what it is he wants from Miner. Zach could about finish some of these games he’s coming into, but JL is using him like just another situational reliever. JL has gone overboard on that “Miner can get the DP” thing, even though that’s exactly what Zach did last night. So he keeps him fresh for that purpose alone? Seems like mis-use to me. One more observation on Leyland: I watch NL games and I don’t recall ever seeing any manager use the double switch nearly as much as JL during interleague play. What’s up with that?
Zumaya is still learning, or at least I hope he’s learning. Use Lyon for the 8th and Zoom for shorter and earlier spots. If Joel keeps this up, he’s going to end up in a circus somewhere, throwing into a machine while the crowd chants “105! 106! 107!!!!” And anyway, these radar guns are way jacked up. They might be good for judging speed differentials from one pitch to the next, but nobody is throwing 104 mph, trust me. As has been stated a million times, Zumaya needs to just pitch and forget that stupid radar gun. If his thing is radar guns, he can be a state trooper out on a highway somewhere. I hate being hard on him, but call it tough love. He can do better.
Following the theme of nearly every post in cyberspace today, Ordonez is next. I’d still like to know for a fact that his eyes have been checked. Sure, we can assume that’s the case, but sometimes things assumed are overlooked. If it’s not his vision, I’m at a loss. Even his outfield play has taken a nosedive, and I never expected much from him in that regard in the first place. For now, use him strictly as a pinch hitter in Houston, then as a part time DH starting Monday when interleague is over. I love the guy, but I can’t even begin to imagine how many runs he’s taken off the board for us this year.
Everything else is still good. No massive personnel changes are needed, nobody need go to the minors, and nobody needs to be fired. We’ve got the parts and the challenge is to make them click.

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