October 3rd, 2009

First pitch around 7:20

A bad-looking rain cell passed barely to the south — and judging from the sky, I mean barely. The grounds crew waited it out just in case, and they just removed the tarp a few minutes ago. First pitch is expected around 7:20pm.

Perry, Miner likely key in Saturday's game

Though Jim Leyland is treating this as a starting assignment for rookie Alfredo Figaro, his remarks last night that he would not hesitate to make a change early if Figaro got in trouble essentially made tonight’s game sound like a bullpen start. Leyland said he would probably have Ryan Perry ready early if he had to make a real quick change, then Zach Miner going a little later. Eddie Bonine is available if needed tonight.

Perry has pitched in a lot of different situations this year, but one common denominator down the stretch has been that they’re usually with the Tigers trailing. He has entered with Tigers deficits in 10 of his last 14 games since August 23, and one of the exceptions was a tie. He has pitched with a lead just five times in the last three months, and just three save situations since mid-June. In most of those situations, his job was to keep the Tigers close, rather than mop-up work.

Leyland: Short rest was never a consideration

Depending on what happens tonight with rookie Alfredo Figaro in his first start in three months, the question among more than a few Tigers fans will be why manager Jim Leyland didn’t just stay with his core starters and use either Justin Verlander or Rick Porcello on short rest. After all, Porcello was on schedule to start Saturday anyway until Monday’s rainout pushed back that outing.

According to Leyland, it wasn’t a consideration. Judging from his remarks, their futures beyond this season were the overwhelming consideration.

“I’m not going to pitch Verlander on three days rest, and I’m not going to pitch that kid [Porcello],” Leyland said.

That would be the same decision, Leyland said, even if they were a game back in the race. Wouldn’t happen.

“Not with those two kids. I wouldn’t do it. We’ve got our opportunity. We’ve got enough guys. It’s not the ideal situation having to pitch a rookie like this, but we’ve won two or three big games like this with [Eddie] Bonine pitching.”

Saturday: Tigers vs. White Sox

Leyland hinted that he would look over the lineup for Saturday, but his one change was to flip Carlos Guillen and Aubrey Huff in the fifth and sixth spots.

TIGERS

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

P: Alfredo Figaro

WHITE SOX

  1. Scott Podsednik, CF
  2. Gordon Beckham, 3B
  3. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  4. Paul Konerko, DH
  5. Carlos Quentin, LF
  6. Mark Kotsay, 1B
  7. Alex Rios, RF
  8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  9. Brent Lillibridge, 2B

P: Freddy Garcia

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