Monday: Magglio bats third

First and foremost, I want to thank all of you who submitted your thoughts on what the Tigers meant to Detroit and to Michigan in these times. The responses, and the thought put into them, have really been amazing. The story is scheduled to run on Wednesday. I can’t get all the responses into there, unfortunately, and some really good ones probably won’t fit in and still hit the story length I have, but I hope you like the ones that do run. Even those that haven’t made it have prompted the kind of thought that I believe makes the story better.

Now, onto the game. Magglio Ordonez is batting third tonight, part of manager Jim Leyland’s effort to shuffle the order a bit and get some offense going. Part of the thought process is that if Magglio is going to hit well but not for much power, might as well try to get him on base ahead of their bigger hitters. He’s also 5-for-8 lifetime off Jered Weaver.

Leyland said he also planned to talk with Brandon Inge today and try to figure out what they can do to get him going again.

“I want him in there,” Leyland said, “but you have to try something.”

Inge said the prolotherapy they tried a week ago has been working, that his knee feels better. Now, he said, it’s a matter of getting his timing back at the plate. “I’ve been swinging without my legs for basically the last 2 1/2 months,” he said.


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

P: Justin Verlander


  1. Chone Figgins, 3B
  2. Bobby Abreu, RF
  3. Torii Hunter, CF
  4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
  5. Juan Rivera, LF
  6. Kendry Morales, 1B
  7. Maicer Izturis, 2B
  8. Mike Napoli, C
  9. Erick Aybar, SS

P: Jered Weaver


Good evening, Tiger fans. At least so far it is good. The WSox are down 9-4, the Twins are trailing 1-0, and the Tigers haven’t played yet. Look at that Angels’ lineup! Eight .300 batting averages. One at a paltry .294. JV has his work cut out for him. And then there is Weaver. The Tiger hitters must be shaking at their knees already. No wonder Inge has a bad knee. This is not going to be an easy game to win. But cheer up! They can’t drop out of first place tonight.

Oh, oh! I see they are on ESPN. Have they ever won a game on national TV this year? Other fans must really wonder how they have kept first place this long. (Groan) The WSox scored 3 to bring the game to 9-7.

Yeah – the Tigs are due in so many ways!!
The way Central is going, lucky the Indians were looking to 2010 a few weeks ago.
I wonder what the lowest ever win % to get a pennant?

Don’t know the lowest % ever. Didn’t the Cardinals win only 83 games in ’06? (83-79) Have to look that one up. Theoretically a team could be below .500 as long as know one else in that division does better.

Took a 2 hour nap this afternoon just so I could hangout tonight. They better look good.

I was close on that Cardinal call. 83-78. One game not made up. I guess I’ll watch the game on ESPN tonight so I won’t be making any more comments here. The WSox are threatening in Boston and the Twins just took a 2-1 lead. Things are getting darker and it isn’t just the sun setting.

Holly Cow! These guys have a better than .300 bat average? That’s amazing.
Green with envy.
You are right, big tough assignment for JV and this is the day we need to see Huff’s ability emerge.

Everyone loves Brandon Inge–and so do I. But how in the world can JL think that he can help his team enough right now to win a championship? Yes he is courageious, yes he is a gamer but he is an out almost every time up. Combine that with Laird, Everett and off seasons by others and it makes no sense to me to see him run out there if it is clear he is not physically going to be able to hit the ball.

And right there is the blessing you get from playing Gerald Laird. I know everyone is hot on Avila, but we have to see how he adjusts to pitchers down the line. With Laird you have the experience from a guy who knows his baseball and all the tricks, with a super arm that throws guys out.

This is gonna be one of those games. Get men on but can’t capitalize. Placido striking out was a bad sign. He swung at 2 balls too. Thought he would come through and show how it’s done.
I hope these guys can get Verlander at least 3 or 4 today. They are fast becoming the “Hitless Wonders”

Can we please change the motto: Get them on, leave them on!

6 or 7 left on base already!

Huff is almost batting his weight with those two groundouts to the pitcher. He has been a worthless acquisition to date. This Angel lineup is a bunch of studs, no wonder they are leading a tough division.

Who is up for Galarraga?

Miggs is now hitting homers with a man on and away from home. This augers well for down the stretch.

I would venture to say that much of Laird’s trouble is he has an uppercut at everything–fastball , change-up, breaking ball, doesn’t matter–even low in the strike zone he is upper-cutting. Lazy fly balls and pop-ups.
Nice job by Inge to leadoff this inning and he was in control of his swing and shortened it up nicely.
Santiago is playing better ball than Everett at this time and I would sure be inclined to stick with him and platoon him against the RHP at least.

Gotta give it up for Granderson. He has so often failed in those situations with a man on 3rd and less than 2 out. Especially against LHP. Kept his head down and came up with a very important and timely hit.

Tempting fait but who are these guys wearing the D tonight??? Huff is the only guy without a hit and we aren’t thru 6???
So glad it wasn’t Rick with the ESPN game again.

10 runs now and some impressive stuff out there but Huff has to be wondering if the gods are angry with him. He actually is not looking too comfortable at the plate yet.
Nice to see Miggy picking the team up right now. They do need a couple of guys to start leading the way.

Venezuela*s WBC team 10- A´s 0

Seven runs in an innings – normally takes us at least three games. Is sure sweet after the past 2 games.

I’d be taking Inge, Polanco and Guillen out of this one.

I’d also be taking Verlander out after this inning too.

Well-that was presuming he got through it unscathed! Wow, how many frigging 2 strike hits can a team get? These guys are flat out excellent hitters. Bet there are no complaints in LA about thier batting instructor.
Shame that Justin got rocked so hard after such an outstanding outing.

Bad chemistry brewing?

Santiago is spanking the ball. His outs are even being hit well. His instincts out there defensively are every bit as good, if not better, than Everett’s. His problem has been wearing down and if he cpuld get past that obstacle I do think he could take the job from Everett. He actually is a threat of sorts at the plate and he really does get pretty good ABs.

Interesting dugout shot of Laird and Verlander jawing at each other. I would suspect it has something to do about Verlander shaking off Laird and getting dinged for all those 2 strike hits.
10-4 and somehow this game does not feel like it anywhere near being over.

Ni looks like having to go the 8th unless he intends to burn Lyon tonight.
Wheres the smokes JL??

Bottom of 8th here and I would be seriously tempted to leave Lyon in for another inning. JL could take him out and still not use him next game anyway so why not just stick with the hot hand?
Huff is taking pretty weak swings IMO. I am sure I am not the only fan who is very disappointed in him thus far.

By golly JL didt it–he did leave Lyon in.

And Mario I ask why do you sound excited that Lyon just gave up a homerun to stinking bobby abreu?? I understand inflection, but excited. The love feast has gone to far for me with the Angels.

Holy crap–these 2 out hits are killing us. 10-7 now and another runner on. Lyon has lost it and will need to get a lucky out here to get out of this without anymore damage.

Cant we ever just have a laugher why does it always have to come down to this. Our back end guys have been very good all year and in a 10-0 game they let up. This really stinks.

And the carnage continues. Lyon gets rocked again and almost gave up a 2 run HR to Vlad. He doubles and now the tying run is up the plate–pretty hard to believe and pretty hard to watch.

unfreaking believable. Two quick outs in the beginning of this inning and now we have seen a 10-0 and now a 10-4 lead dwindle to practically nothing. #%#^$&$&&$&*$*$*

Well if we lose this one I am really afraid of how demoralizing it could be to this club that is very fortunate to be in 1st place.

What would be good is if we come up and at least put in some good ABs here. The team looks so flat right now that I don’t imagine they will do much to make a statement offensively here. Even if they score 1 stupid run they will probably nip this onslaught in the bud. If they don’t the Angels will come back even harder in their half of the 9th.

Exactly what I was afraid of GK, our Tigers are pretty pathetic when the flood gates open. 1st pitch swinging here in the 9th is telling me they just want to go to bed. This will make a very difficult inning for Rodney.

Rodney came in and did a great job against a motivated, determined and skilled group of hitters He was dominant and in a situation that was not a piece of cake with the momentum having undergone a complete shift.
Let’s hope these guys of ours don’t get satisfied with taking 1 here in LA. We know they are a better team and we have to find a way to beat them again.

Well that was enough to keep me awake! Why is it that when the Tigers get a big lead they seem to quit? I realize the Angels are a good team, but letting them climb back into what was a blowout does nothing to help reassure a fragile offense.
In a rather off the wall observation, did Inge really have a couple new tats on his forearms? Or were those just from a sharpie? I never got a clear look, but I don’t remember seeing anything yesterday. Just curious.

Wow did that game last waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. I am going to pay for that one today. There are a couple of teams in which you know that a game is never over LAA is one of them. I believe the Angels got 6 of there 7 runs with two outs, can you believe it??
I was worried about Rodney with that 4 out save (it isn’t okay for most closers) I actually think that it was good in a weird way that the hitters went down so easy in the 9th and get Rodney right back out there quickly.
Our back end guys have been so good lately especially Lyon he has been down right unhittable that it was weird seeing him get rocked that like that. Hopefully he got that out of his system.

Well, I watched up until the homerun by Miggy and turned off the tv, 6:00 rolls around way too early for me, I am just not the fan I should be! Imagine my surprise to see the score! Wow! Of course with the batting average of that team I did not expect a shutout. Looks like Lyon had a rough outing, but he was probably due, and if he is going to have a rough one, good time for it.

I am not thrilled to read about the flare up with Verlander and Laird, as well as the stare down from Verlander – he is the ace of this staff and from what I read, he needed to come out of the game when he did, and glaring at his manager isn’t the example he should be showing. I hate tension, so I hate seeing our own players going at it in the dugout, especially on national tv. Keep it together boys, we are in the home stretch.

Good for you guys on the offensive production!

We must have the best value for money relievers even with Lyon giving up 3 runs last night.
Rodney was just huge and is starting to come of age.
Hats off to JL for sticking by him – I for one didn’t think Rodney had what it takes but sure enjoy seeing him prove me wrong. The ‘bad’ Rodney is sure becoming rarer.
A little statistical bugbear of mine but there is really no good measuring the ‘clutch’ success of late relievers. % saves is only good for closers given the opportunity to finish games and record a save. Set up relievers get the opportunity to record either a blown save or a hold. Seems to me you should get awarded a blown save only for the 9th innings and a blown hold for innings 6-8.
As an example, Seay is having probably a career best season with his ERA of 3.32; AVG of .211; WHIP of 1.13 all well under career averages and has 22 holds from a career total of 46 – 10 & 13 the past two years. He is however 0 for 4 in 2009 saves with career figures of 1 for 9. Seay has finished 6 games this year of which their status is unknown. Seay could be 22 of 22 in holds and 0 for 4 in ‘9th inning saves’ or 22 of 26 in holds.
I know it sounds pedantic but closing out really sorts the men from the boys.

Well I guess I missed all the antics you were all talking about last night between Verlander and Laird and now it sounds like the skipper as well.?? Can anyone explain further? I was watching FSN and didn’t realize that the game was on national tv at all. They don’g believe they showed what you were talking about on FSN.

I had to hang up my cleates, so to speak, in the 7th inning. We were ahead and I thought we were pretty likely to hang on to this one. The news about Verlander does not surprise me. He and Leland would always have different remarks to make about his pitching in the after game interviews until this year. Even Leland has remarked that he and Verlander don’t argree on anything. As far as Verlander, I always gotten the impression from him that he’s kinda into himself, and I’ve felt that way since he was brought up. I’ll be very surprised if he signs with Detroit.

Also, I wish Leland would just stick with Magglio.

When Huff was acquired he said he had almost always played for losing teams. He likes to be relaxed, have fun. I’m starting to wonder if this guy is pressing too much or just can’t handle the pressure of being on a winning team. It’s not exactly relaxing trying to stay in 1st place in your division and constantly looking over your shoulder to see how the other teams in your division did that day. Maybe he’ll settle in, but it sure would be nice to see him contributing more.

For Sklant, Jason has an article and there’s a video clip on the Tigers web site about the flare-up, etc. I think it’s not surprising in the heat of battle with competitive athletes, but they could at least keep it private & out of camera range. It is nice though to see them fired up rather than laid back. JP

Pup, I agree with comments about JV, he has a big ego with the swagger to go with it. But, man can he pitch. I can see him wanting to end up with a team like NY or Boston. Some think that is as good as it gets.

I think Huff will be ok, but sure wish he was hitting right now.

Glad to see Rodney get some love, I have always liked the guy.

Carlos Baerga ,as ESPN spanish broadcaster, said last night that Gallaraga was sent down to AAA. It is that true?

I don’t see anything saying Galarraga went to AAA, nor do I see any logical reason for it.
I wouldn’t place much focus on that little spat JV and G-Money had. Those things happen all the time and usually are out of sight. It happened, was reported, and that’s it. If there was anything said to the team, it was probably along the lines of keeping it within the family and out of sight of prying cameras.
I wasn’t paying very close attention in the bottom of the 6th, but it appeared that JV was throwing nearly all fastballs? You’ve still got to pitch your game, and I’d think he would have learned that by now. No way you give up that many two-strike hits. Now we’ve had to burn the bullpen with two games to go. He didn’t help us there, although he had pitched a great game to be sure, up to that point.
Those multiple-run homers are golden. Cabrera is in a nice groove. Huff is going to have to pick it up or they’ll end up pitching around Miggy again. I don’t know if he’s pressing or what, but he wasn’t having that great of a year with Baltimore either. This is an example of a club asking too much for a player at the deadline. Glad we didn’t do anything desperate on July 31.
That was an important win, as it staved off what could have become a disastrous road trip. A win in either of the next two would make for a successful 3-3 trip, but 2-4 is better than it could have been after Oakland.
Funny thing last night when Inge led off the 6th with a single. I thought it was a certain bunting situation with Laird but JL didn’t, then we score seven runs! So THAT’S what JL’s plan is. It works. 🙂

That is what I want to hear! Go Verlander! Go Laird! Agree to disagree! As long as JV can back it up. You know HE wants to win. I did not see the replay or game. 5:30 am is my wake up time. I head the game went until 1:45 AM! Go Tigers 2009! –Dave

I remember last year JV was shaking off pitches and it didn’t lead him to much success. A lot times veteran pitchers will do this with a new or rookie catcher. But Gerald is no rookie pitcher. Maybe a difference of opinion now and then, but Justin wanted to go fastball crazy.

Well, you know what I meant to say. Gerald is no rookie catcher.

From what I could see on the Deuce, JV shook off Laird several times and got burned trying to throw the heater against a very good hitting team. JV reminds me of a cross between Jack Morris (bulldog) and Dan Petry (pit bull) both stubborn, aggressive and successful. Even with Lance Parrish as big as he was, they still shook him off too! Laird was managing the game to get out of the inning with as little damage as possible and JV let his emotions get the best of his logic and got burned for 3-4 unnecessary runs.


Let’s face it. JV just didn’t know how to handle a 10-run lead. When has he ever had that luxury this year?

Laird has taken some flak for his lack of hitting, but the guy was brought here to be a good catcher. The “big time” hitters need to step up so Gerald’s bat isn’t so important, as his work behind the plate is a big reason why we’ve been in first place for so long. Sure, I like to see Avila hit too, and we’ll probably add that third catcher a week from today, freeing up Alex for some DH-ing or PH-ing.
Justin, at this stage in his career, needs someone like Laird to get in his face when necessary.

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