Avila catches; Valverde, Zumaya rest

Remember the concern going a week or two ago about how many starts Jim Leyland would find for Alex Avila behind the plate? That seems to be dissipating now, because it’s becoming obvious Leyland is finding his spots. The fact that Gerald Laird is still looking for his first hit of the season might not hurt, but still, if Avila gets a couple games a week, they’re going to be happy.

If they can get Jose Valverde outings three days in a row, the Tigers are going to be happy too. But they aren’t going to go beyond that, which is why Valverde is off today. So are Joel Zumaya and Phil Coke. If there’s a save situation today, Leyland says Ryan Perry is going to get it. He does not have a Major League save yet.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, LF
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Avila, C
  8. Sizemore, 2B
  9. Everett, SS

P: Jeremy Bonderman

10 Comments

Thanks Jason. We can always rely on you to post the lineup up early. I’m a little nervous about Bonderman this year, especially after seeing Robertson shine with Florida a few days ago in his Marlin pitching debut…

I would have to say unequivocally that Maggs is BACK better than ever and he will vest and be back next year!

Bonderman had a pretty nice start but it does look like he might have pitched himself out. That 1-2-3 inning by the top of the order sure won’t help him. He seems to be doubting himself and you just hate to see bad body language. If he can climb out of this in the 5th, it will be incredibly positive for him.

No sooner said than done. That was a very important inning for Bonderman and for the Tigers.
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Sizemore has let 2 fastballs down the middle go by him with bases loaded. Great he got that SacFly but he took himself out of that first AB right from the 1st pitch when they had the pitcher dead to rights. I’m sure he’ll learn.

Avila has looked pretty sharp today.

Thank You Rod for verifying my comment!
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Sizemore can’t let those fastballs in fastball counts go by him. He is pressing at the plate.
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This one doesn’t feel real good right now. Tigers have squandered chances, then have fallen asleep. The Tribe seems like they are more into the game than we are.
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Avila looks like he is going to hit LHP too. He stands in there for sure.
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We need Damon to do something to engergize this offense next inning.

Yikes.
Ni is looking pretty dismal so far.
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Haffner will be his last batter regardless of what he does.

I hope this club can get a handle on how to take advantage of opportuniites. They maybe could benefit from the philosophy that if you get a gift baserunner then you can afford to square around every now and then.
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The ABs with the bases loaded today have not been good.
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I still say we are going to have a heap of trouble trying to win with no offensive production coming from the shortstop.
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The game today sees the successful teams with dominant offensive shortstops.

That’s how you close a game!

Bonderman pitched well. That splitter will really help him, as he was in dire need of a third pitch. I don’t know why they wasted so much time on a changeup, as any useable third pitch will pretty much do the trick. It didn’t look like he’d ever get by Peralta, and that AB cost him a sixth inning of work. Good starting pitching so far, good pitching overall.
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I also thought this was a game that would slip away after we didn’t put it away early. We’ve been able to bunch runs, but we’ll need more overall consistent hitting to be successful. Still waiting for Sizemore to show he belongs. That 2nd and 3rd with no out situation that didn’t produce any runs was too painfully remindful of last year.
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Perry on this day looked like that shut down closer that everyone talks about.
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I thought Cleveland manager Manny Acta did a good job with the Talbot kid. Manny worked over here in Washington for 2+ years and is very patient with developing players. The one knock on him was that he’s actually too nice a guy. Today, his patience allowed Talbot to come away with a positive in what was initially a brutal performance. I’m wishing Acta all the best when he’s not playing the Tigers.
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Can’t complain about a 4-1 start. It’s imperative to pile up wins during the first three series because it gets more difficult after that. Hopefully we can get our offense clicking by next weekend.
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–Rich

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