August 11th, 2009

Play ball

Game is set to resume around 10:50pm. Tigers will have to go back into their bullpen for the seventh.

Update on Cabrera, pitching

The official diagosis on Miguel Cabrera is that he’s day-to-day with a bruised left hand after taking that pitch from Tazawa in the opening inning. It could’ve been worse if he had tried to do something once he charged onto the field in the midst of that fracas. Credit one of the Red Sox players for keeping him from getting into the fray after tempers had settled down.

Porcello’s ejection for his ensuing pitch off Kevin Youkilis’ back, meanwhile, puts the Tigers in a tight spot. Beyond having to cover at least seven innings of relief, if not eight, Armando Galarraga’s illness could leave him unable to start Wednesday night.

It would not be a surprise to see the Tigers make a roster move after this game to get a fresh arm. Whether it’s to start for Galarraga or pitch out of the bullpen remains to be seen.

Tuesday: Tigers at Red Sox

fenway.jpgIf there’s a left-handed hitter on the Tigers positional roster, he’s in the lineup tonight against Junichi Tazawa. That includes switch-hitting Ramon Santiago, whom Leyland did not want to pinch-hit against Ramon Ramirez last night (ok, enough on that).

TIGERS

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

P: Rick Porcello

RED SOX

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Victor Martinez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Jason Bay, LF
  7. J.D. Drew, RF
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Nick Green, SS

P: Junichi Tazawa

Galarraga still slated for start, but not certain

Just got back from the Tigers clubhouse, which is quite a bit later than Armando Galarraga left. He’s been dealing with some sort of flu bug or sinus infection for at least the last couple days, and he didn’t look good Tuesday at all. He’s slated to start for the Tigers Wednesday, but that is no longer a certainty, and maybe not a probability.

All that is certain is that, as manager Jim Leyland pointed out several times Wednesday, “We will have a pitcher on the mound tomorrow night against Josh Beckett.”

This is the same place where Zach Miner once had to step off the plane and make a stop start a couple years ago when Mike Maroth came down with food poisoning. Miner was being called up as a reliever anyway for a day-night doubleheader, but he walked into the clubhouse that morning and was told they needed him to start.

Could Miner start again? (pure speculation alert) Doubtful, since he pitched two innings Monday night. Chris Lambert, on the other hand, hasn’t pitched since last Saturday, and he has started more recently. Plus, he’s staying away from the team at his home here in Boston, a 20-minute walk from the park, so you figure he can at least sleep well.

Leyland on Everett

Noticed a lot of questions after the game about why Leyland didn’t go with a pinch-hitter for Adam Everett with runners on second and third and one out in the eighth. Leyland pointed to Everett being 1-for-2 lifetime off Ramon Ramirez, and the fact that he felt Everett had the best chance to make contact off Ramirez.

“I thought he’d put it play,” Leyland said after the game. “I thought the worst-case scenario would be a ground ball to second maybe, get one run in. Like I said, he’s 1-for-2 off him, and there’s really no other track records. Santiago and Raburn were 0-for-1. Like I said, I thought he’d put it in play, but he didn’t.”

When asked whether he considered using Santiago as a pinch-hitter for Everett, Leyland said, “No. That guy’s stuff is not susceptible to the way he hits, in my opinion.”

Leyland said over the weekend that he didn’t consider rookie catcher Alex Avila a pinch-hitting option, because he’s the only catching option off the bench. If Avila was used up a pinch-hitter and Laird had to leave a game with an injury, that would force the Tigers to go with an emergency catcher. That would be either Ryan Raburn or Brandon Inge, and Inge has no chance of catching with his knee acting up.

Raburn is 1-for-9 as a pinch-hitter this year, but that one hit, of course, was a homer. He’s 5-for-27 with three pinch-hit homers for his career.

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