Sunday: Tigers vs. Indians

Johnny Damon returns to the lineup as the DH. Not surprisingly, Don Kelly stays in left field. The way he’s hitting the Indians, he has to play.

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Rhymes, 2B
  3. Damon, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Boesch, RF
  6. Peralta, SS
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Kelly, LF
  9. Laird, C
P: Justin Verlander
  1. Trevor Crowe, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Travis Hafner, DH
  5. Jayson Nix, 3B
  6. Andy Marte, 1B
  7. Shelley Duncan, LF
  8. Jason Donald, 2B
  9. Lou Marson, C
P: Jeanmar Gomez


There are times when I’m in complete agreement with Jim Leyland and I like to note those times. I wish it would happen more often. Below is from the Det News:
Leyland said Verlander throws too many strikes in the first inning, and it often gets him in trouble. But many pitching coaches want pitchers to establish a fastball early and move on to off-speed pitches. Leyland wants to see Verlander mix it up earlier.

“Sometimes he is full throttle in the first inning,” Leyland said. “He’s got to get over the first inning. It has been a rough inning for him as it has been for a lot of pitchers. But I might be crazy, but he does not use his other pitches in the first inning. He keeps pumping fastballs.”
The above particular issue is on the player, not the manager. And while I’m agreeing, here’s one from Lynn Henning that I also agree with:
It’s no surprise the Tigers came after Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner in the aftermath of his over-the-line slide that last week put Carlos Guillen on the disabled list.

There’s an unwritten code in baseball clearly distinguishing a hard slide from a dirty slide, and Gardner violated it by a mile.

He was airborne at the bag. He had little chance of hitting the ground before crashing into Guillen as Guillen made his double-play relay at second base. Likewise, there was no way Gardner would have finished his “slide” anywhere near second base.

In baseball’s court of justice, Gardner’s body-launch was a basepath felony. And that’s why he was plunked by Jeremy Bonderman to start Wednesday’s game.

Bonderman, by the way, has a bit of the Old West in him and is generally the Tigers’ hit man in such circumstances.
So I guess it’s true that there is a full moon.

Most pitchers do go with their fastball in the first few innings. What the reasoning for this is unknown to me.

3 starters you expect to be good or even very good, were. Be nice to get Porcello in the groove too.
JV may have learned something, not sure how much staying power it will have though. Choo owned him and his fastball was the one that got hit hard today.
The most important hit of the day had to be Boesch’s bases loaded (after walking Cab to get to him) double. Important in the sens that he was struggling with enormous confidence issues and that may have helped him. It’s very clear his bat is important to producing runs, giving Cab better pitches to hit and , to winning.

“Bust em inside” Figaro finishes up. That’s 3.
I had a couple of in game comments in Jason’s last blog, thanking Pup and agreeing with Clearwater.
Sure feels good to win. The sun shines a little brighter, there’s an extra spring in your step…… Man, it’s been a brutal second half.

Who is that playing 2nd base? Placido Polanco or Will Rhymes? With his 4 hits today, I am beginning to wonder if Rhymes may be the answer at 2nd. Funny how JL and DD were so sure Sizemore was the answer. If Rhymes can pull it off, that would be one less position to find another player for this off-season. Jackson has done very well if he can avoid that “sophomore slump” next year. It looks like Boesch may be coming around. Let’s hope that was his “sophomore slump” ever since the All-Star break. Now can they do well against KC? The Royals have lost several players since the last time the Tigers played them- DeJesus, Guillen, Callaspo, etc. I think the Royals have better pitching than Cleveland so the Tiger players will need to
keep up their hitting of lately.

Well, someone I know, who claims to know, says Illitch isn’t planning to bring back Magglio or Brandon. Taking it with a grain of salt, I hope it’s not true, especially about Inge.
I agree with the comments on an earlier post- I don’t see Jhonny spelled wrong as being an upgrade to Brandon for the same money. Brandon has invested alot in this community and regardless if he struggles sometimes, you can never question that he’s not a gamer. Maybe Peralta is too, but who knows. And to just not sign Brandon, means we get nothing in return.
Another team would look to him to be veteran presence that could help the younger players develop. Why don’t the Tigers view him the same way?
It certainly is more fun when we win. Emotionally, I feel like the pressure is off. I’m not expecting them to do more than play decent and be entertaining. I think last season really took its toll on me and I’m a little relieved I can just enjoy the game of baseball for the next two months.

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