Peralta picks up team at first base

Jim Leyland was asked after Thursday’s win if Jhonny Prealta had any experience at first base.

“He has now,” Leyland answered with a smile.

He has quite an experience, indeed.

And that’s the extent of his time there. Until he shifted over from third base in the eighth inning, he had never played at first base — not in the Majors, not in the minors, not ever.

“Never,” Peralta said afterwards. “Never in my life. It surprised me, too. Big surprise.”

It was a matter of the Tigers doing what they needed to do to get back into a ballgame. Starting first baseman Miguel Cabrera left in the sixth inning with bicep tendinitis in his left shoulder. Ryan Raburn pinch-hit for Don Kelly in the top of the eighth and followed Peralta’s home run with a solo shot of his own.

Brandon Inge, who pinch-hit for Brennan Boesch in the same inning, moved to third base. Raburn replaced Boesch in the outfield. Leyland told Peralta he was going to first. There wasn’t really much time for debate.

As Leyland has said before, if you can play shortstop, you can play anywhere. And Peralta turned in a critical play when he fielded a sharp grounder from Alexi Casilla in the ninth and added another big grab in the 12th.

“It’s kind of similar,” Peralta said, “but first base, I think it’s a little bit busy. You need to worry about maybe throwing it to second, short and third. But I mean, I think I can feel really good at first base, too. They gave me a couple ground balls, and I felt really good.”

2 Comments

Firstbase is “a little bit busy.” That’s a good way to put it. I used to love playing the position. I’m glad all those switches worked out because JL would have been roasted if they hadn’t. I have to admit, I lost track of who was playing where and what the batting order was.
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Obviously a wild and whacky game, as anyone who stayed up for it can attest. We finished dropping 2 of 3 1-run games. Total series scoring was 15-14 Twins. We missed by thaaaat much of sweeping them. That would have put us seven behind and the Twins pitching in disarray. If we ever start winning those close games, we can dominate Minnesota. Don’t know if that will ever happen, though.
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The Joe West Crew Show was in good form last night. They always seem to make ticky tack calls that drive managers crazy, such as the safe call when JJ Hardy fell short of the bag on that DP attempt. Neighborhood play, anyone? They call balks, enforce strange rules, and so on. Then Valverde enters the game for the save, throws four consecutive pitches that have been strikes all night, and gets four balls called. I swear that umpire wanted to stay out there all night. This crew is so controversial that one day, Hawk “Joe West Needs To Retire” Harrelson is going to get fired for his bitter complaints about them.
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And G was finally Money.
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–Rich

Everybody must be sleeping in. Come on, the game didn’t go THAT late. It just felt like it. :-)
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I suppose that now the big story will be Perry’s “lack of urgency.” If I’m Ryan, I’m not sure how I answer that when the media asks. Seems to me like this is the kind of stuff that should be said to the player’s face, in the manager’s office, with the door closed. On the other hand, it could lead to another dandy dugout fight.
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Does anyone think Verlander is just not consistent enough to be comfortable with him?
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How would we react if Leyland used his pitchers the way Gardenhire did last night? Fair is fair.
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Max St. Pierre should get one of the starts in KC this weekend. Good time, good place. Just choose which starter he’ll work with. And yes, I know Greinke goes for them tonight. Welcome to The Show, Max. It’s not all cathedrals, long legs and brains.
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I can’t get over how close we come to beating the Twins nearly everytime. As it is, they don’t win a vast majority of the games with us overall.
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Watching Max Scherzer work puts me in mind of those other-worldly pitchers we watched in the 60s. Max has even got the windup over the head thing going.
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–Rich

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