Sunday: Tigers vs. Mariners

The manager changed his mind and put Johnny Damon in the starting lineup against Cliff Lee after all. Carlos Guillen gets regular day off, with Ryan Raburn getting his second straight start, this time at second.


  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, DH
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Boesch, LF
  6. Raburn, 2B
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Worth, SS

P: Jeremy Bonderman


  1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  2. Chone Figgins, 2B
  3. Russell Branyan, DH
  4. Jose Lopez, 3B
  5. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
  6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
  7. Jack Wilson, SS
  8. Rob Johnson, C
  9. Michael Saunders, LF

P: Cliff Lee


First, let me say valverde has obviously been sensational.
But, I just want to lay out a scenario. Playoff game, we’re 1 run ahead man on 1st, 9th inning and only 1 out. Do we want to see the guy on 1st being gifted 2nd base?
Valverde will have to at some point, be cognizant of the guy at 1st and find a way to keep him close. Especially with the way he can coax ground balls. I know last night was different with the big lead but with a smaller lead and the understanding that leads can evaporate, I would like to see him with some sense of awareness of the runner needing to be held on.
I read somewhere that Coke should be selected to the All Star team. I don’t know what the writer was drinking with his coke, but the only way coke should be there is in a cup.
He’s been good, but c’mon, the All-Star game?
Raburn has been impressive lately.
And Inge. Choking up on the bat a bit, both of them.
I was hoping Cliff Lee would have been traded last night. (Just not to the Twins)
Good to see JV with all his stuff working last night.
Bonderman is a big piece of the puzzle this year. Let’s hope he can continue to pitch and to develop that elusive 3rd pitch.

I have a good feeling about this game. Lee’s coming off three complete… he’s got to be a little tired. C’mon, he’s only human. Cabby, Mags and Ingie all bat batter than .350 against the guy. Plus, we’re facing him at the CoPa on the 4th of July. Do the Tigs need more than that to get jazzed? GO GET ‘EM, TIGERS!

I pretty much agree with the lineup. (I’ve given up on the Damon-Jackson swap).
Though I would have given the nod to Ramon today at short. Worth struggled yesterday. Might be a good idea to play the vet. Also, Ramon does make things happen.

Speaking of damon. Why on earth (against a guy like Clif Lee), is JL not bunting with AJ on 1st? Seems to me damon knows how to bunt and that there were 2 RBI RHB after him in the lineup.
JL really does not like to bunt and the record shows that when we do we do pretty well with it.
Very impressive job by Bonderman after the tough break on the steal.

Boom-3-1 in a swing. Will be tough to get those back against Lee. He’s dialed in now.

You are right about Bonderman learning to contain himself. He did not have good support from Laird on the two steals and Worth on the botched double play. Then the umpire missed at least 3 absolute strikes. Both MLB.TV and Gameday showed them clearly within the strike zone, not even touching the outer edges. Later Lee got a call on Worth that was so inside it did not even come close to touching the strike zone. I knew it was going to be a tough game for Bonderman against Lee before it started but not this bad. Bonderman and Laird were ejected from the game and I was surprised JL didn’t go too. Wow! Figgins didn’t get an error on that ball hit by Avila? Home team scorekeeper must want to see Alex’s BA get better.

Boy would Lee ever look good in a Tigers Uni.
Would the Ms take Laird, Inge, Worth and Bonderman for him!! (Just kidding.)
I don’t know how we’re gonna do this but we have to find a way to scratch some runs out against Lee today.
Laird having a tough day at and behind the plate.
Worth is starting to scuffle. The confidence has noticeably ebbed in his plate appearances.
Geez Bonderman–you can’t let these bad hitters get any more runs than they have already.

Well Bonderman displayed his weakness again. You get him rattled with bad calls or bd breaks and he falls apart.
The missed call on Gutierrez doesn’t change the fact that he hung a slider where it could be pounded. The tater to Kootchman was just impetuous behavior on JB’s part. He got a bad call and then he grooved one as much to say to the umpire as “is this what I have to do to throw a strike?”.
No Jeremy that is what you do when you throw a game away.
No question it was brutal umping but you have to man up and get over it.

Not much to say about this game. I wasn’t expecting a win against Lee.
Just saw Dontrelle was designated for assignment. Gibby is not messing around.
Happy 4th Everyone!

Once again this blog placed my last comment ahead of the person to whom I was responding. What gives? Anyway we’ll see where this one goes. As far as the Tigers getting Lee in a trade before the July 31 deadline, I would be SHOCKED and SCARED. Scared because who do the Tigers have that they can give up and Seattle would be willing to take? Boesch? Oliver? Avila? AJax? See what I mean? They may have a better chance getting Lee as a free agent after the season is over but even then I would be really SURPRISED if he doesn’t go to the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Dodgers, etc. The money it would take to outbid those teams may be something the Tigers don’t want to spend for an every 5th day player who might run out of gas before the contract expires, a la Willis. You would think the Mariners would owe the Tigers a little something after the disaster of taking Washburn last year. But there is no crying in baseball, right?

No, this franchise can’t afford Lee.
They could have afforded Thome though. That guy is coming alive in Minny. Wouldn’t be surprised if he is the guy that takes them through.

Not sure how it’s possible, but here we sit with a chance to be in 1st place after today’s games. Minnesota is trying to come back against Tampa, but they are currently trailing. We have more problems than a math book and I just don’t see us sticking around, yet we just keep hanging in there. 80 games is no joke to be in 1st place. We need a good series against the Orioles. Will be watching tomorrow afternoon and hopefully the Tigers can get to Millwood early.

Looking at the Tigers and Twins schedules for the remainder of the year and it does not look good for the Tigers. Not a lot of so-called “easy” teams left and we tend to struggle against them anyways (KC etc.). The Twins have a stretch with Cleveland, KC, Baltimore and Seattle after the All-Star break and they usually know how to take care of business.

Still in first place. The Central is showing itself to be weak. The strange thing is, the Tigers do okay against other divisions but can’t beat Central clubs. That’s why it’s so hard to get a read on things in this division.
CB Bucknor demonstrated that he’s earned his place as worst ball/strike umpire in the big leagues. That first pitch to Kotchman, I think it was, may be the worst single call I’ve seen an umpire make, unless you want to include Leslie Nielsen in “Naked Gun.” CB did a good impersonation of Mr. Nielsen when he punched out Damon in the 7th inning. Too bad it was actually strike TWO. I wish I could have seen Leyland’s reaction to that, as described by Mario. This Bucknor guy needs to be given his walking papers. It looked suspiciously as if he was trying to show up Laird for arguing a call during Gerald’s AB.
Tomorrow’s Baltimore starter, Kevin Millwood, is yet another in the long line of mediocre pitchers who give the Tigers fits. Throw his 5.40 ERA out the window for this one.

Bucknor is simply disgraceful. Lee had better luck with him becasue he is always over the plate with his pitches, but there were a few calls for him that he visibly disagreed with.
Bucknor has no business in the bigs. He didn’t cost us the game or anythng but is this acceptable?
He’s really not much better at the 1st or 3rd either.
I know Avila’s dad is ***’t GM but does he have another relative that is the official scorekeeper? Whew, the time he got on was a clear error.
I am officially worrying about Bonderman. I have been surprised how well (at least not terrible) he had been throwing. The last few starts have me convinced he would be better trade bait than in our rotation.
I think Bonine’s destiny is as a starter. He doesn’t seem suited as a true reliever.
Cliff Lee walked a guy today. I’m not sure if he still has more complete games not than bases on balls. He’s amazing.
Anything other than a sweep against Baltimore can be considered somewhat of a failure.

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