About that Tiger bullpen today

Jim Leyland has a few more relievers available than you might think. He’ll rest Freddy Dolsi for the rest of the series, and he wouldn’t mind doing the same with Joel Zumaya, but everyone else is available. There was a big box of Cap’n Crunch in the pregame food spread just to make sure.

The one lineup decision made in light of last night’s marathon was at catcher, where Dusty Ryan will get the start. The Tigers will rest Gerald Laird, while Joe Mauer is the DH for the Twins. Both caught all 16 innings last night. In Laird’s case, he’s the first Tiger to catch that many innings in a game since Brandon Inge caught a 16-inning game and a 17-inning marathon in 2003.

Denard Span, meanwhile, is again in the Twins lineup, and Leyland is running out of ideas for how to pitch to him.

“We’ve tried everything,” Leyland said. “We just haven’t been able to get the guy out. Hopefully tomorrow’s another day. He hits .350 off left-handers, and he hits our right-handers, too. We just haven’t been able to get the guy out for whatever reason.

“I don’t know. I’m thinking about throwing [him] the blooper pitch. I’m dead serious, too. I’m not kidding you. I’m thinking about trying to get in his head a little bit and have a guy throw a blooper ball. We did it with Sheffield one time. I’m seriously thinking about it. Throw the old blooper ball, let him wind up, trying to hit it out of the park, maybe get him out of sync for a little bit. Because he kills us. We just don’t get him out.”

TIGERS

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

P: Edwin Jackson

TWINS

  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Brendan Harris, SS
  3. Joe Mauer, DH
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Jason Kubel, LF
  6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
  7. Brian Buscher, 3B
  8. Jose Morales, C
  9. Nick Punto, 2B

P: Francisco Liriano

11 Comments

We have run into a coule of leadoff hitters lately that have really shown how important a spot that is. Span is a tough out and Bourn before that.
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Granderson is simply in over his head against Liriano. Seems a bit like throwing him to the wolves as you know he ain’t gonna do anything against Liriano and refuses to lay down a bunt.. Getting very frustrated for and with him.

Typical Jackson game. No support, and 1 or 2 mistakes by EJ. Actually cuddyer’s HR was all about being a little lucky. He had 2 strikes on him, was fooled by the pitch and hit it off his front foot just far enough to bounce ou of the ball park.
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That being said, EJ is hurting himself with all the balls he is throwing- I know he can throw strikes more consistently. I think he is trying to be a little too fine.

EJ made a mistake to Morneau last time up and then threw it to the same place this time. Pretty to watch though. He was all over that pitch.
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The lack of offense form this club is getting extremely concerning. Even yesterday they went into an extended hitless mode during the game. The lack of support for EJ is also very troubling. It has to affect the way he pitches–maybe that’s why he tries to be too fine he just feels he has to be perfect.

EJ pitched well and I expect JL wil leave him in for 1 more but I’d be thinking about Bobby Seay right now. Touch LHB coming up.

Way to go Maggs, pulling the fastball for a 3 run dinger.
Time for Seay, Lyon and Rodney to hold the lead.

That was one gutty performance by EJ.
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These will be 2 of the biggest outs of Bobby Seay’s season right here and now.
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Good luck Bobby—Mauer is due.

What a shame. EJ has to feel someone is sticking pins in a voodoo doll somewhere. It’s beyond reason.
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On top of that there is the small matter of this being a win instead of a loss. Seay just did not look comfortable out there tonight, not at all.
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I guess we have to grin and bear it but not being able to hold those guys down is gonna bite us.

One thing is certain, the Twins have great clutch players.
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Regarding the French/Miner issue, why on earth do you pull a new guy with a 7-2 lead and one out from a likey win, has just struck out Morneau for the 2nd out, only thrown 81 pitches with Cuddyer next.
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Why on earth do you watch a guy go HR; single; force out; walk; triple; triple and not even come out to the mound once? In the mean time your team goes from 7-2 to 7-6 with the M boys due up in time for the new kid Ni to face. For other players, JL is justifiably straight out there when he sees a pitcher struggling or need reassurance ala Rodney recently.
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That is gross mismanagement on JL’s part.

Hope everyone had a nice 4th. I feel like I’m covered with gunpowder. :-)
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I didn’t get to watch live because of the blackout but I went back and checked out selected parts of the archived game. Tough loss, as is usually the case in this warehouse. Looked to me like Lyon had Morales struck out there in the 8th but Mike Reilly didn’t pull the trigger on a very nice curveball, after which Morales grounded out to move the runner into scoring position for Punto’s cheap single. Raburn made a nice throw on said single and I sure wish Ryan had blocked the plate as he’s supposed to do. As it was, his forward position allowed the runner to slide past his lunging tag. I guess everyone prefers a hitter with a .143 average over a talented catcher that can’t hit.
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So far it’s gone as predicted although I’ll grant I didn’t really predict an outcome for tomorrow, just worries over Porcello’s sinker working against him here in the Ratdome. One incredibly positive fact remains, and that is after tomorrow’s game, we only make ONE MORE visit to this sorry excuse for a ballpark. Forever and ever, amen.
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Good to see Ordonez yank a couple. Could he be coming around? I’m sure everyone would be glad to pay his contract if he deserved it. All in all, I think all the hitters will do better once they get back to Comerica.
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It’s becoming quite the pennant race here in the Central.
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–Rich

Well, I as well didn’t get to see the whole game. I saw the first two innings and the last two innings. So yes I did see that Morales was struck out – NO DOUBT about it Rich. Didn’t get to see the Ordonez homer but I think that I read it wasn’t really a cheap one either to center and it was off a fastball. Didn’t he also have a double?? Here’s hoping he is starting to correct himself, even just a bit would help.
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Jackson doesn’t have any luck. As my dad would say if he didn’t have bad luck he wouldn’t have any luck at all. He kinda reminds me of how Nate Robertson got runs when Nate was good (2006 and part of 2007). He either didn’t get the run support or the pen would blow his games for him.
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I won’t be sorry to see the Thumper-dome go, however I am sure that the guys won’t either. What will those twinkies do without that turf.

The bullpen failing to hold the lead likely cost Jackson any shot he had at the All Star team. His ERA is stellar, but 6-4 will not impress unless you have watched all his starts.

A win today could put Porcello on the All Star team along with JV and Inge. I think Cabby gets left off due to all the other 1st baseman having strong years. Pena will get the nod from Madden over our guy.

I still think they should have kept Dane and left Ryan to develop at Toledo unless you planned on catching him more than once a week. Seems like Laird is breaking out of his slump and he is stronger behind the plate. JV always seem to pitch his best with Dane behind the plate.

I do hope Porcello has the sinker working today. Some turf singles are better than going over the baggie.
Mark

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