Thursday: Tigers vs. Twins

Placido Polanco gets a day off, while Jim Leyland plays the hot hand a bit with Ramon Santiago at second base today alongside Adam Everett. In that sense, Leyland is playing this like a regular day game after a night game, even though it has a chance to be a lot more than that.

Aubrey Huff again isn’t playing against a right-hander.

TIGERS

  1. Curtis Granderson, CF
  2. Ramon Santiago, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Carlos Guillen, LF
  6. Marcus Thames, DH
  7. Brandon Inge, 3B
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Adam Everett, SS

P: Nate Robertson

TWINS

  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  3. Joe Mauer, DH
  4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
  5. Jason Kubel, RF
  6. Delmon Young, LF
  7. Brendan Harris, 3B
  8. Mike Redmond, C
  9. Nick Punto, 2B

P: Scott Baker

51 Comments

Sitting Polanco today, unless he is unable to play, is just downright stupid. Adam Everett is one of the worst hitters in the league vs right handed pitching, and does not belong in the lineup. If Polly absolutely must rest, he can rest tomorrow.
Sitting Magglio in game one of this series was equally moronic. Clete and his .200 average for the month did not belong in the lineup, much less batting third. This team is winning despite Leyland, not because of him.

I agree. Win today and rest tomorrow!

Agreeing as well – resting Mr. Dependable who at least is sure to put the ball into play is crazy, this game means to much to rest any of the starters.

I meant to add, but I like having Ramon in there after having a couple good hitting games in a row, but put him at short and ride the hot hand.

Thames- .333, 5 hr, 7rbi career off Baker.

Yes, JL is still doing some strange things. Not resting Inge with his bad knees is another question. Are there some stats that show Thames hits Baker better than Huff?

ok. i’m watching on mlb game day,i’ve played/watched baseball all my life, but what and the heck is an ‘automatic ball?’
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never heard of that.
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mike

Please, let’s not leave RISP this inning.

Santiago lets a double play ball go up the middle that ends the inning if Polanco was there.
No problem playing Santiago. He should start against every RHP, and Everett should never, ever start vs a RHP. You have one of the worst hitters in the league vs RHP’s instead of one of the best, plus two runs score after the ball gets past Santiago, Mauer goes to third, and scores on the next play.
Thames kills Baker. The Tigers are at least working Baker, but by fouling pitches off, not by taking them.

Aha! There was a stat showing Thames as one of the 3 best hitters against Baker along with Guillen and Ordonez.

Nice shutdown inning, Nate.

nate usually waits til the 4th inning to blow the game

Not much difference between Nate’s change up and “fastball”.

That should finish it up, Mike.

Does this site use bar time? It is 2:20.

They’ve had some good chances against Baker who is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA agaianst the Tigers. I just hope they don’t quit now. Baker has a high pitch count.

lol, don’t be silly. JL will wait til the tigers are down by AT LEAST 5 runs before he pulls nate….

I was not talking about Jim taking him out, just Nate giving up the runs. I don’t think Leyland knows they could have clinched today! Resting Polanco is probably a no-brainer, though.

Someone start a collection for this arrogant fool’s salary for next year, please.

Thames is so due!

Thames has not hit a home run since August 12th! 68 at bats and counting.

The pitcher got an automatic ball because he licked his hands before he threw the ball. Usually, they get a warning first, according to Rod and Mario, the second time they get a call pitched ball.

Officially, I’m fed up with the offense today. We need some runs big time if we’re gonna clinch today!

Thames is way way way overdue. They might be able to find another singles hitter with a better BA in the off-season. Six innings gone. Probably only 2 innings left to tie or go ahead. Nathan in the 9th.

Trying to catch up in the 7th and 8th inning won’t be possible if Nate allows more runs. I hate the thought of crazy Ozzie having any control over the Tiger’s fortunes this weekend.

It seems we’re not clinch this today. Not good.

3 more innings. Put your hittin shoes on, Tigers!!!!

Great job by the rookies!

Got my rally hat on!

Perry and Ni came through in a big way. Thank you, men! Now the hitters need to step up. 3 runs is not impossible.

Seay just doesn’t have it lately. Can’t get LHB out. The Twins doubled there score off him. Now a 2-game lead. KC and the WSox will have something to say about the final decision.

We’re Done, maybe tomorrow will be better

Ugh, the game just got ugly – time to get ready for the White Sox…
not that I have waved the white flag for today, but in reality we are done today. But the ball is still in our court, we have the 2 game lead with 3 games to go. We take care of business, we win. And what better way to win than beating Ozzie?

What happened to Bobby? He was one of the best holder all season, but struggling this month.

That is funny how Angel Hernandez is working this series and of course behind the plate this game. No one on here has commented on this all series.

Leyland wore Seay out in the 1st half of the season. 40 games by all star break.

With Leyland managing and the way this season has played out, nothing is going to come easy for the TIGs. The Twins took Gardenhire’s challenge and fought like this was elimination, and it was for them. Now let’s hope this doesn’t turn out to be the game that moves “D” out of the playoffs. KC is not playing good now and the Twins will run them out of the Dome. TIGs must now take 2 out of 3 from the hated Ozzie & crew. Fate or destiny is in your hands boys.

Jim

This game should have been managed like a seventh game not an April game.

Should have used the best of the bulpen to keep it close, not a undependable rookie and a couple of dead arms. We’d be back in this game!

I agree that it was a mistake to use Fien. I think he is not ready for major league and I don’t understand why Leyland used him. Sh*t. I begin to worry about ending again. So tired of it…

Nathan threw 1 strike to Huff, he just didn’t want to walk even though we needed base runners. another fine piece of hitting Aubry.

I just want to know where JL’s wife was – she would have stopped his stupidity of dropping Polly and moving Ramon up the order.
I am sure the main reason Clete has dropped off is not being ready to hande the responsibility of the 3rd spot hitting only .201/.298 from 159 AB’s for 2 HR’s & 10RBI’s with his remaining 115 AB’s producing 5 HR’s, 29 RBI’s and getting his average up to .241/.325.
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We really didn’t think the season would end in a cake walk? It would have seemed out of place. :-)

I’m not going to waste my breath (or in this case my fingers) talking about JL’s inability to discern the difference between October 1st and June 1st, nor will I engage in a discussion of the validity of resting players during the last week of the season, even though one of them hadn’t even played the day before.
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No, let’s delve into today’s extra-curricular activities. I did notice Angel Hernandez at thirdbase Tuesday afternoon, and realized at the time that he would be working the plate on Thursday. For those not familiar, Angel’s reputation as an umpire is, shall we say, on the low side. In fact, he’s right alongside CB Bucknor in that regard. For that reason, I was comforted today to see that nothing had changed. He missed the call on the Santiago tag up, and I did get a clear replay that bore that out. He also lost control of the ballgame itself, which is a sure sign of a poor umpire.
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Judging from Delmon’s reaction and a comment made by Span, it appears certain that the Twins were very unhappy with Jose Mijares today. Hitters getting angry at their own pitchers for starting beanball wars is nothing new. In fact, the Texas Rangers hitters demanded that the club get rid of Vincinte Padilla for the same reason, just this season. I don’t know what made Mijares want to throw a pitch BEHIND Everett, which is nearly as bad as throwing at his head. Mijares pitched in 10 games for the Twins last season, and Everett was on that team, although injured much of the year. I don’t know if they were there at the same time, but could there be bad blood between two former teammates?
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At any rate, the bottom line is this: I’m now convinced that there will be a tiebreaker game played next Tuesday in the dome. The entire scenario is too perfect. A winner take all game between two teams with bad attitudes towards the other. It will be the game of the year. Everyone from CNN to the BBC to Pravda will be there to cover it, along with Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant from HBO Boxing. It will be bigger than…………..Red Sox-Yankees! It will be the SuperBowl without wardrobe malfunctions! The Final Episode of Survivor! The Return of Elvis in Concert! The Beatles Reunion! Ali-Balboa!
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If you have to work next Tuesday, take the day off. If you don’t have a TV, buy one. If your spouse won’t let you watch, get a divorce. This is it!
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–Rich

Northern Illinois here. Thursday was a very bad weather day- rain and windy. It could move east Friday and wipe out the game. If so, the Tigers would be wise to pull an “Ozzie.” Re-schedule for Sunday. Get Porcello back in the rotation. Jackson Saturday, Porcello Sunday afternoon, Verlander Sunday night. If the Tigers clinch before Sunday night, pull JV for Figaro and save JV for the first play-off game. Regardless of what happens from now on, Tiger fans, remember that they were not picked by anyone to win this division. They have come from last place to almost first with a team hampered by little help from Bonderman, Galarraga, Willis, Washburn, Robertson, Zumaya, Guillen, Ordonez, Huff and Thames. If only one or two of them…..

TOO DEPRESSED CAN NOT TALK
GK

That’s an excellent scenario about playing a DH Sunday, but the forecast I see doesn’t look like we’ll have any problem getting the game in tomorrow. It would be nice to catch a weather break in our favor for a change.
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Can’t complain about a 2 game lead with 3 to play. We get Peavey and the Twins get Greinke so they’ve got the tougher job. The White Sox don’t hit any better than we do so tomorrow is not an automatic loss.
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A lot of people my age were permanently scarred by the final weekend of the 1967 season. We needed to take 3 of 4 from a very average Angels team but two consecutive rainouts led to two consecutive doubleheaders. We won the first and had a semi-comfortable lead in the nightcap when it fell apart. Hank Aguirre fielded a bunt and threw it into the rightfield corner, and that’s my biggest memory of that nightmarish weekend. I can see it like it was yesterday, the black and white image of “High Henry” wheeling to throw and I knew before he let it go that it would be wild. Tough to deal with as a youngster.
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Anyway, we got to enjoy a full season of meaningful baseball this year. At this time last year, I wasn’t even in the country and the Tigers had been out of it for nearly two months.
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–Rich

This was such a hard game for me to watch today, All those errors, the walks and still we couldn’t get runners in to save our souls. Wouldn’t you think on the day the Tigers could clinch the Division crown, Leland would have his “best” players on the field. But, no Polanco! It’s just so frustrating and I hope not heartbreaking. I think I’ve aged 5 years during this season. We gotta take the crown!

OK – I am like a dog with a bone and wont let go. Also extremely frustrated!!
I had the stats already on Clete not hitting up the order as an example of moving inexperienced hitters too soon into key spots on the lineup.
Swapping Ramon for Polly going from 9th to 2nd just asked fopr trouble and guess what the stats confirm it. Ramon has stunk whenever he has moved up higher than 6th in the lineup. 43 AB’s at 2nd for .163/.196; 5 AB’s at 6th for .60/.60; 40 AB’s at 8th for .375/.432 and 167 AB’s at 9th for .263/.317.
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The only rational thought (OK irrational) is that JL had heard that management was thinking of replacing Polly with Ramon in 2010 and JL wanted to show them the likely consequences.

I’ve been reading around a little bit (that’s like walking around but you stay in one place and read) and there is quite a phenomenon taking place here. I can’t recall ever seeing a club on the brink of a division title while so many fans complain about the manager. Not dumb complaints either, but very well thought out and intelligently composed opinions. What do you all make of this?
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–Rich

Well here is what I have to say about yesterday. Was I shocked not to see Polly in the the lineup – yes. But if his back is bothering him a little and the numbers were overwhelming that Santiago had good numbers well then okay I can except that explaination. I especially believe that Polanco might be having problems with the couple of flubs he had in the previous two games. Not technically errors but, well in my opinion maybe should of been. But he should of been put in as a pinch hitter in the 8th.
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My real problem yesterday was using Casey Fien in the 8th. Why would you bring in the poorest relief pitcher you have in the pen in a game that you were still in??? You didn’t see Gardenhire baby any of his relievers, his big guns were in there all four games. That is what I would like somebody explain to me??????
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Going to the game tonight – looks like the weather might be clearing up a little. The sun was actually for a second a few minutes ago. .
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I am so nervous about this weekend I could PUKE.
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GK

Ya know what makes me more nervous than anything??? Is that the Twins are at home and it is the last three games in that stupid freaking down they will play. If they were on the road, I wouldn’t be as worried.

Well, I won’t try to tell you not to be nervous, GK. You may want to avoid puking, though, because that would upset the neighbors in your section. Although it would make you the Tigers Fan of the Game. :-) I can hear Rod now. “Here’s a real fan, Mario, head between the knees.”
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One good thing the Twins have accomplished in my own favor is that they landed the Fox game of the week. I was afraid the Tigers would clinch during a game that I was blacked out from seeing! But then, maybe that game is being shown everywhere this time. I don’t know. One thing is for certain: since they moved their start time up to 4 PM we’ll know their outcome before we start tomorrow night, unless they go long. And if that happened, we could find ourselves clinching during our game. Or we could clinch it tonight and make the whole thing moot. The possibilities still seem endless and there are only three games left.
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Nobody else answered about Leyland. I think he’s making one mistake after the other. It’s business as usual for him, which means………..making one mistake after the other. He’s a good guy who is a bad manager.

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