Tuesday: Tigers at Royals

Back from a weekend off and looking out on a rainy night in Kansas City, but it looks like it’s going to clear up long enough to get this game started and play on. Once they do, it’ll be Ryan Raburn in center field and leading off against the left-hander Bruce Chen.

TIGERS

  1. Ryan Raburn, CF
  2. Placido Polanco, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Marcus Thames, LF
  6. Aubrey Huff, DH
  7. Brandon Inge, 3B
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Adam Everett, SS

P: Rick Porcello

ROYALS

  1. David DeJesus, LF
  2. Mitch Maier, RF
  3. Billy Butler, 1B
  4. Mike Jacobs, DH
  5. Alberto Callaspo, 2B
  6. Mark Teahen, 3B
  7. Brayan Pena, C
  8. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
  9. Josh Anderson, CF

P: Bruce Chen

41 Comments

Having seemingly tried without success, every right hand bat besides Miggs at lead off against lefties, I thought JL could have given Wilkin a shot tonight in LF with Thames on the bench and Raburn batting 6 after Huff.
I hope they now come out and crunch my opinions down!!

Caught Pudge having a good one with 2 doubles helping the Rangers stay (now just!!) in front of the Indians. Love to see the Rangers put pressure on Bosox.

Not sure why they are playing Huff but it may not be a bad idea. They are counting on him and they need to have him ready. I do think they should get him a few reps at third. JL is in man-love with brandon and Inge is a great Tiger, a good man and all that jazz, but he is, in fact, hobbled. Blind loyalty is as dangerous as blind obedience. JL could use some games to groom Huff for a more critical role should circumstances dictate. This is an area that JL is found wanting—vision and proactive managing.

I wondered too with Huff but his 7 for 20 lifetime with 2 HR’s & 7 RBI’s is compelling.

If you can believe Gameday–Porcello is throwing 94 to 97 MPH.
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Regardless, he looks good tonight. We have found ourselves a pretty nice looking starting pitcher in this kid haven’t we?

Today is going to be a test for him up against 7 lefties.

Ricky does give up more hits than many of us would like to see but I think as his body matures and bulks up he will become more of a strikeout guy than he is now and will reduce the IP to hits ratio. Verlander started out as not being a very high strikeout guy and he has become very dominant in this aspect of his game.

Thank you Josh. Another run then would have been painful.

I have to admit I thought Rick would have been tailing off in the second half. His maturity to keep mental focus so young in a long season is incredible.
Interesting comments JV made a month or so ago about the regime Rick is on to help his body get through the long season. He basically made the comment none of it was around when he was starting out.

Just love Raburn and Thames getting the RBI’s. Love it even more with Chisox getting crunched and the Jays fighting back!!

A test for Thames coming up here too. 1st and 3rd with 1 out. Big opportunity.

Huff is showing why the tigers felt they needed him. Nice piece of hitting with 2 strikes agains a LHP. Big runs.

So all you kids watching out there. Let this be a lesson to you. Nothing will get you yanked quicker than going 1 for 1 with a single, a sac fly, 2 RBI’s, and a walk.

If Boston wins the wildcard race, do the Tigers have to play the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs? Can two (2) teams from the same division play against each other in the first round of the playoffs?

Yes. No.

Raburn may have 3 hits but a good left-fielder catches that ball and the Royals don’t score any that inning at all.
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He is not a guy I like out there in the late innings. Good hustle and can make a diving play out there from time to time but he so badly misjudges fly balls he is a defensive liability.
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Kelly and Tomas are sitting on the bench but they are both preferable over RR and JL should keep that in mind in these late innings.

Well Seay didn’t have it tonight. Couldn’t get a LHB out and only a lucky play kept that run from scoring. And no, Raburn did not redeem himself with that throw. We were simply lucky the coach sent him and he didn’t triple pump before he let it go.
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Touch job for Perry here. Butler kills us.

Geez–I can hardly believe this stuff. Thomas takes his eye off the ball and then the Tiger Killer gets another chance to bleed one through. Can’t p;ay this way and expect to win. Two horrible plays that cost us 4 runs so far and neither guy gets charged with an error?
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It’s a bit absurd.

The Royals have nothing to lose and everything to win in these games with the Tigers. They were rotten in ’06 and were the spoilers at our chance for the Division champs. Why the Tigers struggle with them is beyond me.

Not liking JL’s management of this game. I’d have left Seay in. And he has already taken 2 good hitters (Marcus and Magglio) out of the game. Thinking defensively a bit too early in a game like this. Now can they tie it back up or regain the lead? Need to manufacture a run.

Man, I am really disappointed in Clete on that play. That was a gift for us and he turned it into a gift for them.
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The key to that bad inning though was Seay. If he comes in and does his job none of this happens.
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We need some late inning heroics again but this one doesn’t feel good and hasn’t since the Raburn “error”.

Well Marty, just to back up your criticism of JL—what in the world is he using Santiago to PH for Laird for?

Well this one is done. Chances the Tigs can touch up Soria are very improbable. he seems to master them.
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Perry is not going to blow away major leaguers. He has a nice slider but his fastball must lack movement as he does not seem to be able to dominate with it.

What in blazes is JL doing now? I thought Robertson was supposed to be a starter now? If he wants another lefty out there then bloody well call someone up–don’t monkey around with your starting rotation.

You can’t win ‘em all, but this one was very winnable and poor play that should not happen in the majors, let alone a pennant contender, is the reason for the fix they are in tonight.
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A wind here would be spectacular but in all honesty they neither deserve to win or are likely too.

Several good points. One more game off the schedule. The Tigers are 6-1 on this road trip and 8-2 in the last 10 games. If they win only 12 of their last 25 games (12-13),
the Twins will have to win 19 of 24 or the WSox will have to win 19 of 22 to pass the Tigers at the end. What I don’t like is this KC problem that goes back to 2006. I know it’s only one game and they have Verlander and Washburn going in the next two games. I didn’t think Porcello looked strong from the beginning.

My last comment is floating around somewhere out there in cyberspace Dan. I think it’s funny you and I disagreed on Seay. I don’t have confidence in Perry pitching in that situation. Yes, what the heck is JL doing bringing in Nate? I thought he was a starter? I don’t get it.
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Regarding Santiago pinch hitting for Laird, I think JL was making the “old double pinch hit” move, knowing that he was going to pinch hit for Everett anyway. The way he did it, He was trying to get Santiago on ahead of Avila who would have the better chance of hitting a HR.

That is a game they should of won. Two bad defensive play and wham they had 4 runs they never would of gotten otherwise. Unfortunetley they don’t count them as actual errors and they go against the team.
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Very disappointed especially defensively and frankley they didn’t hit well enough either. As great as they were for the last 10 games this one looks pretty bad. Too bad they had a chance to get another game on the twins and the white soxs.
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DISAPPOINTED
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GK

With Nate down to start Friday, I bet he said your kidding when he got the call. Burning Ni for one out leaving you short doesn’t make sense when you could have had Rapada with his 2.61 ERA at AAA.
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Maybe the day off gave them time to reflect how close their getting to the pennant as a reason for some of tonight’s tightness. At least the hitting has come back.

Profoundly pathetic at bats by Clete and Curtis.
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We all knew when Curtis took that first strike he was done.
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I am looking for the logic in throwing Robertson there. Sure , there’s the lefty/lefty thing but if he is supposed to be starting now in place of Galarraga how does that make any sense? He was scheduled to start on Friday.
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The fact that Raburn and Thomas screwed up in clutch situations is very troubling. When things start to intensify with upcoming “real” games with the Sox and the Twins can they be relied upon?
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We need to have good dependable play out there not up and down undependable play.
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In my eyes, both those plays are errors (forget the technicality that the ball has to actually contact the fielder’s glove) and those 4 runs are unearned.
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Hope they got it out of their system but these Royals have a number of guys who seem to hurt us and they play well against us. Butler, Bloomquist, DeJesus, Jacobs. Soria to name a few.
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Tough one to take. I hope JL chews his guys out instead of letting it slide. It’s crunch time now and if you can’t do a complete job out there then it is JL’s job to find someone who can.

Exactly what I’ve been planning to say for the last hour, Dan, you can’t win ‘em all but we should have won this one.
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Poor outfield play cost us runs and gave them extra outs. I’m having trouble remembering another outfielder as bad as Raburn is out there. The absolutely absurd thing is that JL considers him a defensive upgrade. Thames is better than Raburn, and Guillen may be too. I don’t get it. Doesn’t JL see this? I’m not saying not to play Raburn, but to use him as a late inning defensive replacement makes me think I’m not watching the same game JL is. Well, enough on that.
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I was hoping we’d get more off Chen. We did get five runs, but we didn’t exactly hit him well. That left the door open for the Royals to take advantage of the afore mentioned miscues.
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So we didn’t gain ground, but we gained another day off the calendar/schedule with the Chicago and Minnesota losses. I just hope that, after the success in St. Petersburg, JL doesn’t go manager crazy with all those players he has at his disposal. He’s making a LOT of moves, some of them too early in the game. Take a step back and breathe, Jim.
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–Rich

Yes. A very winnable game down the tube. Funny, the “defensive” moves tonight turned out to be clunkers. Ryan’s misplay cost 2 runs. Clete’s cost another 2 runs.
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Marcus getting taken out in the 5th was a real head scratcher and, in my opinion, kind of changed the game’s tone. I said as much when it happened. Guys got shifted around in the OF and some stability was lost. Sometimes you can overmanage instead of letting the game flow. It was fairly obvious that this was not going to be a defensive type game as both teams came out hitting. Make the defensive changes in the 8th or 9th if you must.

I was thrilled to see Maggs make those two plays tonight. When they were hit I thought they were going to be trouble.

Every move Leyland made in the last week seemed to be the perfect move. Well today his players let him down. The only one that I realy didn’t get at all was Curtis in for Marcus at that point??? A guy who is hitting for one who isn’t???? Granderson couldn’t hit a beach ball when it counts.
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DID I SAY I WAS DISAPPOINTED???

Thank you illinoifan.

In light of your answer, I say go Rangers!

Rangers sweep the Indians and are now within two (2) games of the Red Sox.

JL said he brought in Nate to get some work. It’s eight days between his last start and the upcoming one on Friday. That makes some sense. I’m not sure how we got through a tough loss without seeing Lyon, though.
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The most bizarre thing about the Thomas non-catch is that Maggs probably makes that play easily. Just wasn’t our night. One thing that can be done is that next time the lineup reads Raburn LF and Thames DH, he may want to go Raburn DH and Thames LF. Marcus’s outfield play is grossly underrated, and it may be time to play some of the guys who have experienced a stretch run before. Seeing Raburn double clutch that throw to the plate was somewhat unnerving.
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Winning streaks usually do end with games that should have been won, so tonight isn’t all that surprising. Just have to start another winning streak.
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–Rich

One more thought, this one on the playoffs. It may be to our advantage to play the Yankees first, just like in 2006. If we can go in with our rotation in order, we can start Verlander in game one and game five, if necessary. It may be easier to beat them in a short series with our starters.
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–Rich

Very interesting Rich. However, maybe the Rangers could knock the Yankees off for us.

Very interesting Rich. However, maybe the Rangers could knock the Yankees off for us.

Oh my god, you people are incredible. Can anyone just enjoy the Tigers? Probelms with the Royals…well we have an excellent record against them this year. Can Clete Thomas be counted on in the clutch – has anyone watched the Tigers this year? Go look at how many late wins he has been a pivotal part of. Yes, they probably should have won this one. Tampa should have won 2 or 3 this weekend. That’s baseball. It would take an absolutely major collapse to fail to win the division at this point. When we clinch, will people be happy or will they still point out that this team isn’t perfect?
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As far as playing the Yanks, I say that would be best. A 5 game series, where JV and Edwin (or possibly Washburn to combat lefty power in NY) in NY should mean at least 1 win. 2 home games bodes well with our home record. Plus, less travel in the first round gives them a better chance at advancing, in my opinion. The ALCS will be tough no matter who gets there…

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