Sunday: Tigers vs. Angels

In a case of superb timing, it’s Justin Verlander K-counter bobblehead day. The bigger number for him in his start today will be the pitch count. Remember, this is the same Angels team that drew 125 pitches out of him over just five innings. Considering Jim Leyland’s recent pronouncement that he’ll be strictly watching Verlander’s pitch totals, the odds of him hitting anywhere near that kind of pitch count again today look pretty slim.

Magglio is feeling better and back in right field today. Alex Avila is behind the plate as planned, which was partly why Gerald Laird started at catcher Saturday. It’s an interesting pairing of Avila and Verlander, since Laird usually catches him. In fact, I think it’s the first time Avila has started a regular-season game behind the plate with Verlander pitching.

TIGERS
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, DH
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Boesch, LF
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Avila, C
  8. Sizemore, 2B
  9. Santiago, SS
P: Justin Verlander
ANGELS
  1. Erick Aybar, SS
  2. Bobby Abreu, RF
  3. Torii Hunter, CF
  4. Hideki Matsui, DH
  5. Kendry Morales, 1B
  6. Howie Kendrick, 2B
  7. Mike Napoli, C
  8. Brandon Wood, 3B
  9. Reggie Willits, LF
P: Jered Weaver

25 Comments

Is this the first time Avila has caught Verlander in a regular season game?
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–Rich

That is some pretty impressive pitching by Weaver. We had better be willing to beg, borrow and steal (and bunt) if we expect to get any runs off this stuff.
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Poor ABs after Action Jackson got things going.

Are they giving away the Verlander bobbleheads again today? I was at the game Friday, and they gave them away then.

Good call on Avila, Dan

Can you imagine if his LHB would come alive!

Why not let Boesch bat then pull him?

Verlander’s best pitch today is strike one. 1st pitch strikes to all but four hitters. Ahead in the count makes then swing and the pitch count stays low. Good game so far.
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–Rich

Screw the pitch count, let complete the game. Save the bullpen for the twinkies.

Well if it is the 1st time for Avila/JV it certainly won’t be the last. That was a good bttery out there today. Real good and Avila has to get credit for much of it too.

I wouldn’t. He pitched extremely well and leaving the game now would leave a very healthy taste in his mouth as opposed to “messing” it up with a couple of runs.
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I’d let Perry or Zumaya finish up.

Ok they leave him in. So why do they let the runner have 2nd if the idea is for him to complete 1 1 hit shutout? I would not let that runner be gifted into scoring position.
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Like I say–I’d have him out after ater 8th.
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Congratulate Justin and Detroit with this excellent win!

NICE!!!!!!! JV was JV – Jackson, Boesch and Sizemore all contributed. Avila finally looked good, lets hope he keeps it up.
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Back to Minnesota – who are the evil planners behind the schedule – a 20 game stretch with one day off then 17 without a day off including a trip to the west coast without an off travel day. Congrats to whoever makes that schedule. NOT.
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GK

Yea, all week they talked about JV Bobblehead Day being Friday- maybe Jason’s taking some poetic license on that one. :) Sunday is Kids Day- and if there’s a giveaway it’s always for kids only – at least in my memory of the last few years.
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I had the luxury of watching the entire game, every batter, and it was a gem. It sure feels good to have Justin back to being Justin. On a day when the big guys didn’t do a whole lot, the rookies come through again. That’s what makes for a winning season. Hopefully we can carry this over to Twinkie Town.
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I agree our schedule seem unfair, but since we are winning, I’m glad to keep the momentum going.
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-Tracey
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PS I was one of the saddest people in Detroit, I think, when we traded Curtis, but AJ has helped heal the wounds. I am sorry to see Grandy on the DL.

Wow, what a game by JV, finally he had it all in synch. That makes it 5 in a row, 7-3 in last 10 and 8-4 against ALC. Good to see the rookies contribute in this series. I think Maggs may need a day off to heal up the strain as he’s in some pain. AJ has started the season nicely, just getting on base to set the table for the middle of the order and league leading RBI man, Cabby. That’s what was missing last season, a leadoff batter. Let’s hope he can sustain through the 162 games! Going into Minnesota with some momentum. Scherzer needs to pitch a strong game tomorrow! I believe we missed Liriano this turn.

Jim

I was very sad to see Curtis traded too Tracey. But AJ is a fun player to watch. He is really more of a prototypical leadoff hitter than CG was. He runs so fluidly and really tracks down fly balls well. Very graceful. I think there is even more of an upside to him than Curtis. That’s a hard thing for me to say, but there it is. I’m not sure why the Yankees were willing to trade him. But I’m enjoying watching this young team play that’s for sure.
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Phil Coke is going to be extremely valuable to this team…well he actually already is. Seems like a tough blue collar type guy that, with no frills, just gets the job done. And he’s going to eat a lot of innings.
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Johnny Damon was a great acquisition. This team needed someone like him. He plays the game with love, respect and intensity and seems very unselfish. He goes up to bat with a good idea of what he wants to do in any given situation. You surround him with a bunch of eager young players and they are going to learn the right way to play the game.
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Mags has really turned it around. Actually he started the last 2 months of last year but you can see he has worked on his leg strength and he’s much quicker in RF. He certainly has proved he’s not finished and actually looks and is playing younger this year. I am so glad they kept him.
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I have to say I was REALLY angry at Miguel for what he pulled at the most critical time last year. I mean I would have been fine if they would have figured out a way to trade him in the off season. But studying his attitude, his facial expressions, the way he has been carrying himself, he seems like he’s really focused on being the player he can be and making amends this season. He is, after all, one of those rare impact players, and not every team is fortunate enough to have one. I’m for people getting second chances…..maybe not so much third and forth chances but second chances. So far he has been a gem this year.
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Great game by Justin today. That was an awesome curve he was dropping in. When he controls that pitch it just isn’t fair.
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We have a legitimate closer Dan!
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I am enjoying this Tiger team so far. Good to see the veterans playing well and all the young new faces showing enthusiasm. Good mix. A breath of fresh air compared to 2008.
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Anybody know how Ernie’s doing? God bless him. I hope he’s having some good days. He and Al will always be my favorite Tigers.

Great Post, Marty! Amen to ever point you made. Kudos on how I felt when i first heard about the Granderson trade. Jackson looks and walks like a major league ballplayer. He doesn’t play that badly either. Time to go Twinkie hunting. Two of three would be thrilling.

Greg

I am just enjoying watching the games as much as I can. I miss Curtis G, but agree, it is exciting to see the accomplishments of these young rookies, especially Jackson!
My one thought on the trades, is that the deal for Pudge and receiving Farnsworth might have been a topic, and perhaps the Yankees organization might have suspected a young prospect might have been gobbled up, coming up and playing in the spotlight of the big apple.
Curtis is a great presence in baseball, and truly a spokesman and gentleman.
It has been a breath of fresh air to see Johnny Damon come onto the team, with Maggs, and Cabrerra. Some of the plays of the rookies have been memorable to say the least and this could be a very good year, come October, to look back and see how we got to the top!

Rip em up Tigers!!!

This was a great homestand for us, and going into Twinkieville just a half game behind them makes this an interesting series even if it is the first week of May! I didn’t see the game yesterday, but sounds like an impressive outing by Verlander. AJax has also been impressive, that 5 hit game was something else by him, he seems to have a lot of composure. And couldn’t be happier for Damon with that homerun, and it is fun to see the guys seemingly enjoying playing right now. Damon seems to be happy to be here, much happier than a few of our acquisitions mid year last year that are already gone, you can just tell when a guy is willing to play hard no matter where the business takes them.

Marty, that sums up my feelings. I will add that I was at the game on Saturday. Lucky to get company seats, 2nd row behind home plate, 3rd base side so I was not on TV every pitch. I was wearing my Granderson jersey with my Red Wings t-shirt underneath. Also a great spot to see Damon launch one in the 9th. I have also been asked about Ernie by many people. I will find out. –Dave

Thanks Dave.

Interesting season so far. A lot of the entertainment value has to do with the rookies in the lineup, so let’s take a look at them.
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Sizemore: he’s doing exactly what I hoped he would do. That is; hang in there, don’t get overwhelmed, learn from Everett and Santiago, and stay within yourself (that’s a dumb term I hate to use). He’s survived so far and I’m in hopes he can have a hot streak to bolster his confidence. Hitting him low in the order was and is the correct move.
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Jackson: he looked good in ST but he didn’t look THIS good! I was sold on his outfield play from day one, and figured he could hold his own at the plate. I was not enthused about him hitting leadoff and, as the season progresses, that still looms as a potential problem. However, he’s definitely in the right spot right now. I’ve been most impressed with the good eye he displays at the plate. Let’s hope he can adjust to the book they’ll get on him.
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Boesch: pleasant surprise. I know a lot of people call for minor leaguers to replace major leaguers, just as folks will call for the backup QB in football. I usually assume a guy is in the minors for a reason and don’t often join that chorus. In Brennan’s case, he’s shown me true talent. I’m quite certain he’ll cool off and have to go back down, again when the league adjusts, but there’s a future there. He’s far and away a better looking LH hitter than both Joyce and Larish, two guys I was never impressed with. As it is, we’ve gotten that hot streak that a youngster can provide upon arriving and anything more is gravy.
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Avila: huge improvement behind the dish. I think Alex would hit more if he played more, but I’m not calling for that. At least, not anytime soon. Smart ballplayer and, with his background, will never be overwhelmed by his surroundings.
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Some of our other guys are young enough to be rookies, but since they aren’t, I won’t go into it any further.
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–Rich

Actually batting Jackson in the leadoff spot may have helped him to look at more pitches and not swing at bad pitches.
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Carlos can come out the DL this weekend. Does Boesch go back to Toledo? The should play him in left some to get the feel for the travel of the ball in left verses right. Rayburn as a righthanded bat off the bench stays and Kelley as the defensive outfield replacement will also stay. Brennen’s short stay should help him learn some things he needs to work for when he makes it back.
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Hoping for a strong showing Target Field.
..Mark

Good point about Jackson in the leadoff spot, Mark. I thought the strangest thing about all those strikeouts was that he was laying off bad pitches and swinging right through fastballs down the middle.
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Rod Allen said something yesterday that should send shivers down the spine of any Lloyd McLendon fan. Rod said something along the lines of Jackson either hitting better or cutting down on his Ks (can’t remember which) since “Lloyd gave him his leg kick back.” So……..Lloyd took it away to start with? As far as I’m concerned, Ajax can have his tricycle back if he can hit .370.
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–Rich

Actually Rich, I remember reading that the Yankmees took away the leg kick and the 1st thing Lloyd did this spring was let him go back to it.

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