Sunday: Tigers vs. White Sox

Carlos Guillen will get the start against a left-handed pitcher that he has wanted for a while. He’s the DH today against White Sox southpaw John Danks, with Marcus Thames on the bench. Other than that, it’s the regular Tigers lineup against a lefty.


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

P: Justin Verlander


  1. Scott Podsednik, DH
  2. Gordon Beckham, 3B
  3. Carlos Quentin, LF
  4. Jermaine Dye, RF
  5. Mark Kotsay, 1B
  6. Alex Rios, CF
  7. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  8. Ramon Castro, C
  9. Brent Lillibridge, 2B

P: John Danks


I guess if you have to look for positives, at least carlos is not in left today.

Well the fact of the matter is that nobody on the Tigers except Magglio and Cabrera even have decent numbers against Danks.

Why is JL not bunting with Polanco/

I cannot believe that Saint Brandon can possibly look at a called 3rd strike with the bases loaded. JL has him batting 6th? How many times this year has Inge walked away from the plate with a man on 3rd? This inning may have seen us score a run but the putrid offense and poor managing continues.

Well in my opinion it wasn’t even a strike?????? What about Granderson and that typical groundout to 1st or 2nd??

Quote on Comcast.Net:
“Detroit is in danger of becoming the only team in baseball history to be first place on May 10 & stay atop a division until losing the title in the last week”.
– Time to clean house from JL (you know) on down!!!

– Lee

Too bad Inge doesn’t have a “typical” ground out. He might have a few more RBIs as it is harder to get them with your bat on shoulder.

Man is it me or is this umpire a complete tool, I am not sure that he would know a strike if it where put up there on a tee for him. CRAP

Go ahead KC – just roll over & PLAY DEAD!!!

The ump is not a pitchers’ ump. Verlander has owned that curve ball but unless he throws it down the middle does not get the call. Last inning might have something to do with JV having a little chat with him between innings.

Billy Butler has had one hit in the series with the Twins. Thanks Billy nice time to go cold.

Here we go Twins score 7 freaking runs and Verlander is losing it against a guy who bats 149. Can’t be happy for even a freaking second.

Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap crap

Well now if KC could only mount a comeback????

Well JV did again have that “one bad inning” that almot always includes a 2 strike broken bat single. Thankfully Curtis came up huge on that ball that often fools center fielders and Rodney again threw strikes. Something he has been doing lately.
I have never seen a guy who pitches phenomenally for 90% of the game only to see his stats impacted by one bad inning. He has had a lot of games like that this year.
Raburn has pretty much forced Leyland’s hand as his left-fielder. Certainly for Tuesday but quite probably next year.
Unless of course they feel he can play 3rd!!!
We limp into the hated Metrodome for a one game playoff with a team that is playing very solid baseball. But, Other than Greinke, we are the only team to beat these guys in the last 3 weeks.
What a way to end the season. Who would have thought that Master Rick Porcello would be throwing a game with such importance as this one.
Baker beat us last time but he has a very inflated ERA against us this year. Marcus Thames has hit 4 dingers against him as does Curtis.
The stress ain’t over yet.

Tigers win 5-3. Twins leading 8-3. Whatever happened to that spunk KC showed against the Tigers? Both KC and the WSox just rolled over dead against the Twins but gave the Tigers all kinds of trouble. What can we assume from that? The Twins got hot? The Tigers are really not that good of a team? This business with KC in 2006 and 2009 is ridiculous. It looks like Tuesday for sure. If JL does not get Raburn and Maggs into the line-up just because there is a RH starter, forget the retirement home for Ol’ Jim. Start looking for an insane asylum. He has to go with the hottest hitters, not this righty-lefty krap. Neither Huff nor Thomas have done well lately and Thames is a lost cause. It’s not impossible to win in that fleabag dump but it is very difficult.

It will be Baker Tues., Duensing is pitching in the game now.

White Sox definitely rolled over for the Twins.

Ozzie Guillen articulated so many falsehoods concerning his approach to the series with the Tigers that he could not consistently state the same explanation. He says at one point that Peavy wasn’t ready to pitch on Wednesday. He says separately that it was just his turn in the rotation.

Ozzie Guillen = Prevaricating particle of fecal matter.

Thanks for the update mayosmith.

MIN has scored 10 runs on 8 hits. KC has out hit them and are still getting shellacked. We knew there was no way this thing would end today.
I wish the Tigers has played like they played today all weekend. Good to see Maggs get a HR. Once again, tho- he goes 4 for 4 and he gets pulled for Clete. wtf???? Had CHI come back, we would have needed Magglio. Leyland drives me crazy!!!!

Well KC had some opportunity to get back in this at a few different points, they couldn’t get that clutch hit that seemed to come so easy against us and their pitching failed them. (that pitching that seemed so good against us). Well the Twins live to see another day. Lets hope that our pitching and hitting can hold up. You would have to say that just the raw numbers favor the Tigers. But the Twins have been on a roll and they will have that loud dome on their side as well.
GO TIGERS you live to see another day.

Big game from a big game pitcher, Verlander. Big day from an underplayed outfielder, Raburn. Big catch from a big catch player, Granderson. Good job from a not so roller coaster, Rodney.
Side not to Laird: you barrel into the catcher like a linebacker on that play, you don’t pull up then shove him with your hands. 🙂 This ain’t your father’s baseball these guys play today, is it? Rod “WHAT A SLIDE BY LAIRD” Allen, you listening?
Okay, here’s the reality: the Twins have finished in first place for 6 of the past 8 seasons, yet they’re always seen as the underdogs. They’re the hottest team in baseball. They’re playing their final game in the HorrorDome. Even if they lose, they win for making such a great comeback in September. The NFL Vikings game gives them a day to rest their used up bullpen, including Nathan. Moving Peavey and the Monday rainout hurt us a great deal. Our manager will somehow put the wrong lineup out there on Tuesday. The Twins have the psychological edge in a big way.
Bottom line: it will be a miracle if we win on Tuesday, so that’s just what I’m looking for, a miracle.
Jim, you’ve got to play Raburn. I don’t care if Baker is RH’ed. Forget Thames’s previous success against him, go with the hot hitter. Don’t put Guillen in left. If Porcello gets in trouble, don’t wait for the game to be gone to lift him.
Question: do the Yankees really get to wait until after Tuesday’s game to decide when they, the Red Sox, Angels, and the Central winner start their division series even though it may the NEXT day???? Shouldn’t that decision be made today?

I forgot one more reason why the Twins should win: they lost a tiebreaker last year. What are the odds of that happening two years in a row?
I don’t mean to be completely negative here, but I do want to stress what a David-Goliath matchup this will be. And we’re going to march in there and take the game.

I just saw the Seattle team carrying Junior Griffey on their shoulders at the conclusion of their season, and every single Mariners player had a huge smile on his face. That’s an example of the beauty of the game.

As it turned out, Leyland’s decision to pitch Verlander on Sunday was the RIGHT decision. Unless he had pitched a shutout on Saturday, the Tigers would have lost the game with their ace pitching on three days rest. Same goes for the idea of pitching Porcello on Saturday. It would have been a wasted effort unless he pitched a shutout. So let’s give Leyland credit for making the right decision with regard to how those two pitchers were used.

Also, if Ryan Rayburn had performed poorly today, many on this board would have ridiculed Leyland for using him. He would have been criticized for putting a “kid” in the lineup for the most important game of the year. Leyland made the right decision when he put Rayburn in the lineup.

I have said before and I will say it again. Leyland has very few offensive weapons to use. Now, his best offensive weapon, Miguel Cabrera, has done a disappearing act for the most important games of the year. The Tiger offense is mediocre at best and probably not even mediocre.

Leyland has two, and only two, pitchers he can rely upon for effective performance, Verlander and Porcello. Jackson has been going the wrong way for weeks.

The bottom line Gardenhire has better starting pitching, better relief pitching and better hitting (even without Justin Morneau) to use than Leyland.

Of course, it didn’t help that Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox laid down for the Twins.

Rich, how lucky can the Twins be to have that extra day of rest for their “used up bullpen” as you correctly characterized it.

I suppose everybody is available to pitch for the Tigers on Tuesday except for Verlander. I expect a well-pitched game from Porcello, but I don’t expect the Tigers to win. If they are to win, Miguel Cabrera must actually accomplish something as a hitter.

Well, we won! Just getting ready to sit down and watch the game on the DVR. I found out we won the game today from a lady at work. I expect we’re the underdogs in this game and that’s fine with me. Hopefully, the team leaves soon and heads to Minnesota with their heads held high. None of us knows what will happen Tuesday. There are many scenarios of the Tigers getting their butts whupped, and maybe we will and maybe we won’t. Wouldn’t that be nice to win the division in that madhouse. Boy, would that make Twins’ fans mad. One of us will face the Yankees and I sure hope it’s us!

I can’t agree that Leyland made the right decision on his pitcher for Saturday based on the fact that our offense was shut down that night. The entire team was in a dangerous mental state and teetering on the precipice and choosing Figaro made matters worse. If Galarraga was healthy, he could have started him. He could have started Miner. He could have started Verlander but I wouldn’t have. There’s no way he should have started Porcello and media questions regarding that were pointless and somewhat silly. The bottom line is, the offense was probably shut down because of his choice of Figaro. It was no time to hope for a successful experiment, and he may have damaged Figaro himself by sticking him into that situation. I think if JL would have chosen another pitcher last night, we wouldn’t be traveling to Minnesota now.
I’m not going to change my opinion of JL’s managing ability just because we finally won a game today. I’m not sure how many, if any, would have criticized him for using Raburn at leadoff instead of Granderson, even if Ryan had gone 0-4. I’ve been saying that Raburn should play more for quite some time now. He and Ordonez are the only ones to have escaped this team-wide hitting funk. I hope Raburn plays Tuesday, but I doubt JL will start him against a righthander. And that would be stupid. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Guillen in left and Huff at DH. It doesn’t appear to me that JL puts much thinking into his lineups, but rather relies on a formula of L-R matchups and histories, even if those histories are old and stale. That’s why he’s continually “resting” hot hitters. Just my opinion, I respect everyone else’s.
We’re going to win that game on Tuesday, and I’ll see you all in Detroit this weekend for game three of the ALDS and hopefully, game four as well.

I just read Jason’s article on the main site that implies that JL will start Raburn on Tuesday, so that’s good news. Do it, Jim. If you don’t believe in momentum, I do, and Raburn’s got it. You might even consider Thames at DH to begin the game. Maybe.
While says that the winner would play New York on Wednesday, I don’t see that elsewhere. Does anyone have info on that? It’s hard to believe they’d wait until after 8 PM on Tuesday night to decide which of the four teams play the following day.

Thanks to all of you for your interesting, opinionated, and colorful comments throughout this entire season. Even, kudos to you, Dan, whose insights and comment add a dimension of insight that leads to further discussion. I wish it would be possible for all of us to meet one day. I like to imagine what GK looks like, and would feel at home visiting Marty. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Rich in person, if just for a few minutes.
One thing is certain. We are all Tiger fans to the bone. And that’s what counts. All of us have our little whims and beliefs that no one is going to change. It makes for a super blogging experience.
As we prepare to enter Mad Maxx country one last time, I am still naive enough to think that our guys will somehow pull through and win the big one for Ernie. We can do it if we don’t walk the Twinks, but make them earn their way on base. I know that I am truly biased, but I still contend that the Tigers are a class organization in all areas. I just don’t see any “jerks” on our team. The White Sox are classless, and at least they won’t represent the Central this year. My final salute goes to Maggs, who endured the wrath of his countrymen, the serious illness of his wife, the doubts of us bloggers(me included), and the pressures of the business of baseball, to find his way back to .309 at the end. Thank you Maggs for being a Tiger.
Rich, I am really jealous that you’ll be there in person to see our guys head to the world series. An elementary teacher just can’t get away right now, especially with a new, insane principal. Say hi to Brandon for me. I can’t help it; he’s still my favorite Tiger. GK, sit back and enjoy our guys, as we take it to the Twins. Always have, always will bleed Tiger Royal blue.


Rich, you say Leyland could have started Verlander on Saturday, but you wouldn’t have. So if you wouldn’t have started him, I don’t see the point of mentioning him.

Leyland has said Gallaraga is not completely healthy and he can’t pitch many innings. On Saturday, he pitched 2.1 innings and gave up 2 earned runs.

Leyland had no reliable options for a starting pitcher on Saturday, otherwise he wouldn’t have been starting Figaro. Leyland was not experimenting. If Figaro is so fragile that he has been damaged by pitching in a key game and giving up 2 earned runs against the White Sox on Saturday, then he doesn’t belong with the Tigers. He should be pleased he was given the opportunity and learn from his mistakes.

If Leyland had played youngsters like Rayburn, Avila, Kelly and Thomas frequently during the last few games he would have been criticized for that. Instead, he mostly stuck with the veterans like Carlos Guillen, which is exactly what some on this board requested, and we how well things went in the field and in the batter’s box for the Tigers these last few games.

The Twins have better hitting, better starting pitching, better relief pitching and field the ball better than the Tigers. The responsibility for that rests with David Dombrowski.

He trades a young prospect for Washburn, who contributes almost nothing to the team and is so unhealthy that he can’t pitch at all when Leyland most needed a reliable starter. Surely, Dombrowski could have at least found a starting pitcher healthy enough to pitch through the end of the season. If he had done that, we would never have seen Figaro on Saturday.

Dombrowski traded three young prospects for Sheffield and got nothing but a vastly overpaid malcontent. For three young prosepcts, he could have gotten a decent hitter or pitcher. Dombrowski traded two young prospects for the overpaid and worn out Edgar Renteria. One of those prospects was Jair Jurrgens.

Leyland has two reliable starters and that’s all he has. Edwin Jackson has been headed the wrong way for weeks. When your starting pitching options are so weak that you have to send Eddie Bonine and Nate Robertson to start two of the most critical games of the year, then you are hurting for reliable starting pitchers. I am proud of Bonine for the effort he has given.

Leyland’s team is inferior in talent in hitting, pitching and defense to the Twins, yet they are tied with them. While the Tigers did not field well on Friday or Saturday, the Twins made two great fielding plays on Saturday to help win the game. One by Denard Span and one by Nick Punto.

As far as the Tigers dangerous mental state, these are grown men being paid millions of dollars, not nine-year-olds. What responsibility should Jim Leyland have for the disappearing act of Miguel Cabrera, his one truly reliable hitter?

The division lead belonged to the Tigers for almost the entire season. The Twins literally are on the verge of stealing it away in one playoff game “in their stadium”. A place where the dome and field combination probably favors them as a team more than any other team’s yard. Home field advantage decided by head to head competition. We get nothing for leading the division almost the entire season…. Boy. Those are the rules (no whining). Those are the terms.
On top of this, the baseball media and maybe the majority of the baseball world will more than likely play this up as a nostalgic ending to this historic home of the Twins. Obviously the Twins will want to finish up as 2009 Central Division champs, in front of a house full of their screaming fans, on the 163rd and final game of the season. It’s the stuff of baseball lore. Perhaps that’s a little overstated, but maybe not so much to the avid Twin fan.
The Twins are hot. 16-4 in their final 20 games. Unbelievable really. Our Tigers have not been so hot. The Twins have Joe Mauer, likely this year’s MVP. And of course the media would love to see him in the playoffs.
These Twins stole the division from our Tigers in 2006 as well. As I remember the media thought that was a great thing too. Yes our Tigers went on to win the American League Championship, while the Twins lost to Oakland in the first round but our Tigers still lost their claim as the division champions.
Rich, as I recall, I brought up the David and Goliath comparison back there in 2006 when the Twins’ “theft” of the division left us with “the Wild Card leftovers”, facing the Yankees in the opening series. I guess you could check the archives to verify that. I haven’t. At any rate, I like that comparison you make. Regardless of the way the baseball media or the Twins organization and fandome want to spin this, our Tigers get to be David. That is our just claim. We’re going to be the underdog. Not them. They get every thing else.
We will get to wear the visitor’s gray. We will get precious little applause or encouragement from fans, announcers, media, pretty much everyone in attendance. Seems fair doesn’t it? As long as our Tigers don’t have to play with one hand tied behind their backs, I guess we shouldn’t expect any better.
We have the young 20 year old rookie who just might be good enough, and tough enough to meet the challenge. And if there was ever a time for the team to give him the support he needs and deserves, (both offensively and defensively), this would be it fellas. Come on Tigers, don’t let your guy down. We fans will be silently behind you, but you’re only going to have each other inside that loud unfriendly place. Tune it out and stay focused. It’s your bone.
So forget about that Twin’s fan and media biased hyped up storybook finish Metrodome history bologna. This bone has been rightfully yours almost the entire season. Don’t let them take it away from you. God’s speed to you RP.
I’m tellin ya, I can’t take another season like this. It’s “almost” been a pleasure fellow bloggers and Tiger fans:) I’m kidding…….Go get um Tigers! Oh yeah, Love you Ernie!

What’s the excuse for scoring no runs behind Edwin Jackson on Friday?

Except for Jake Peavy, I can’t think of any Owen. But if I understand what you are implying, you’re right, there was no excuse.

According to one of Ozzie’s version of events, it was just Peavy’s turn in the rotation. Sure, whatever you say Ozzie.

Greg – maybe we can get Beck to get us a suite for the playoffs!

I agree, Raburn should be used Tuesday. I am not a fan of his fielding, but his hitting for power this year speaks for itself, he is a better dh right now than Huff would be for sure. Put Raburn in left and Carlos dh’s.

Well Ozzie Guillen has shown time and time again he is an embarrassment to his team and to baseball. He changed his rotation to further prove that he is a jerk. (please insert the explative of your choice).
Well I am nervous about all of this as you know. Except for Thursday we traditionally hit Baker well? Traditionally they don’t hit Porcello well. But early in this season I have learned to throw history out the window. Because this team is not hitting to history, it seems to be a little more flukey than that.
So to me this is a toss up. But that stinking dome, well we know who that favors.
Rich I too have seats for games 3 and 4 in Detroit, so if we can and they are actually playing them in Detroit, we need to meet. I won’t bail like I did with the Pirates game.
I do agree Owen Leyland is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. And I don’t agree with putting that poor kid Figaro in there, there had to be a better choice. It wasn’t fair to him. But I think his mistakes with not having his hot bats in their regardless of match ups is a little foolish. This team with its lack of scoring prowess needs to have the best possible hitters in there. No exceptions.
It is interesting and frustrating how the baseball gods seem to be mocking the Tigers at every turn. The rainout on Monday killed us. While the rainout on Tuesday for Chicago gave Ozzie Guillen the ability to screw us by putting Peavy in there. And let us not forget that lost ball in the Dome a few weeks ago. But heck Monday Night football in the Dome so Gardenhires pen (who has been giving up a lot of runs) gets a day to rest. Can anything go our way please????

Good morning all. Owen, thanks for responding to my post. I mentioned Verlander (and Porcello) within my post last night because both of them were in the general media/public discussion of who to start Saturday. I have or had no knowledge of Galarraga’s status, but he looked okay to me. What I actually would have done is start Zach Miner. Miner took a spot start on short rest in Boston and pitched nearly five pretty good innings before his defense let him down and his relief allowed his runners on base to score. And that was against a hot Red Sox team, smarting from their abysmal weekend in Yankee Stadium. That alone was enough to base the decision on, and there were more factors in favor of starting Miner. Regarding Figaro, I don’t agree with putting a kid into a position to fail then telling everyone when I’d have a quick hook if he gets into trouble. That just seems wrong.
As far as the team’s mental state over the weekend goes, these things happen in baseball and the fact that they are paid millions of dollars doesn’t factor into it. Comments were made after Sunday’s win that bore out the fact that it was happening. I see it as part of the manager’s job to keep his finger on the pulse of the team as a whole. These guys love Leyland and will follow his lead, to the point where even JL said they were taking it all too casually.
No excuse, but the reason we got shut out Friday night was one Jake Peavey. This is one of the best pitchers in baseball.
I was only talking about Raburn, not the other non-veterans. He’s had an incredibly hot second half but had played very little over the critical final games, and the only reason was that we didn’t draw many LH pitchers.
I don’t always disagree with Leyland, in fact I agree with him quite often. Many times I say so, and other times my silence can be taken as tacit agreement. Taking his overall performance into account, however, I think we could do better. Again, just my opinion. There are tons of learned baseball people who would laugh at my comments.
I agree about DD’s bad moves, although he also makes good ones. His spending may be the biggest concern.
Good discussion, Owen. I like this stuff. There sure aren’t any Tigers fans around this neck of the woods to talk to.

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