Thursday: Tigers vs. Mariners

A day after the Tigers had four errors in the infield, manager Jim Leyland gave the left side the day to get some rest. Ramon Santiago gets the start at shortstop, with Don Kelly at third base. The moves also get two extra left-handed bats in the lineup against Michael Pineda, the Mariners’ stingy right-handed rookie.


  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Ramon Santiago, SS
  3. Magglio Ordonez, DH
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Brennan Boesch, RF
  6. Ryan Raburn, LF
  7. Alex Avila, C
  8. Don Kelly, 3B
  9. Will Rhymes, 2B
P: Brad Penny
  1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  2. Chone Figgins, 3B
  3. Milton Bradley, LF
  4. Miguel Olivo, C
  5. Justin Smoak, 1B
  6. Adam Kennedy, DH
  7. Luis Rodriguez, SS
  8. Michael Saunders, CF
  9. Jack Wilson, 2B
P: Michael Pineda


yea this lineup looks poised to score a lot of runs….psssh. On the bright side it’s nice to see someone who can play 2B, playing the position today. Hopefully the Brad Penny we saw last will be back out there today.

I know Greg won’t agree with this but I would bat Cab 3rd. Too many times I have seen him leading off the 2nd.
Ordonez batting 4th is no bed of roses but at least Cab gets up in the 1st inning before the day’s starter is brimming with confidence at getting through, arguably, a pitcher’s most difficult inning.
Another upside is there will be times is that Cab will end the game with a two-run double rather than in the on-deck circle.
Rhymes is batting in the right position today. Good to see Kelly get a start. I hope he goes 5 x 5 today and creates an alternative and some decision making for Leyland.

We have 4 guys batting back to back that are under .200 this year.

A cold and gloomy day, which pretty much sums up my attitude about today’s game?!?!?!?!?!?!

Okay, this Pineda looks unhittable. Anyone want to find out if this 22-year old can field a bunt?

Boy our hitters looked weak that first inning?! Hopefully second time through they will look better?

Not a great way to start – Pineda K’s the the side to start the game.
And by the way, when was the last time Magglio hit a ball out of the infield that wasn’t a foul? I honestly can’t remember.

My, oh my. Talk about looking foolish. That was one awful looking set of ABs for us in the 1st.

Dan, I think Greg will agree. I said 10 games ago that Miggy should bat 3rd. Oh, the SOC.

Avila, way to get mean!

He’s walking the talk. I like it!

Boesch and Avila have been pleasant surprises so far this year. I liked the hustle on Raburn’s part scoring from 1st. he was moving pretty good.

Why does Jackson shade towards LF when Ichiro is at the plate? I noticed this last night too. And it looked like Boesch was playing towards the RF line. That right-center alley was wide open. Ichiro’s double is a ball that Austin would normally catch if he’s playing straight-up.

Jim Joyce continues to be horrible! The strike zone is horrible, he not only struck Wilson out once but twice, totally different inning otherwise! God I hate that dude? Best ump??? Whatever!

How about the at bat to Louis rodriguez in the fourth two pitches that were clearly strikes, luckily Raburn caught the pop up and there was no damage there but geez?

Question–I should know the answer but obviously don’t.
I have often wondered if the catcher ever has a special sign for a 2 seam fastball as opposed to a 4 seam.
I would supect that if you have a pitcher with vastly different action on those pitches you would want to know.
Most pitchers–probably not.

I must say Kelly does not look good at 3rd. The missed pop was played very apprehensively. You gotta give it and give it up. Should have tried an over the head basket catch rather than trying to reach back. He was obvioulsy afraid of the wall.

BTW–who has Penny ben jawing with after almost every inning? Joyce?
He has thrown well today. Some mistakes. But even though he is a bit boring to watch he is showing why he was a good pitcher. Thought he had Olivo fooled on the curve but came back with a fastball he was able to handle. Smoak–well the guy is just hammering the ball-not sure what is a mistake when a guy is seeing the ball like that.

Actually if he is jawing at Joyce I don’t blame him as stated avove he has been squeezed on several at bats in my opinion! Cost us at least one run, no doubt about it, and has cost him a much higher pitch count!

Just got home for lunch. Hope we can steal one.

Smoak can hit, saw him at lot at Univ of South Carolina. He had struggles last year, but is a good prospect, turning into a good pro.
Why are we not running on Pinenda?

I think that last time Penny was answering back Bradley. Milton is a hot-head, to say the least, and Brad celebrated getting out of that inning. That’s my guess, couldn’t see it on TV.
Why are we not bunting, stealing, stepping out, anything to get this kid out of his groove?

Arby’s must have a tonne of Curly Fries building up in their backroom. The program where by a fan can claim Curly Fries if the Tigers hit THREE homers in a home game seem like pretty effective advertisiing to me.
Now if they need to get people in as a loss leader then maybe they should be reducing the offer to ONE HR.
That or if the Tigers get over 6 hits in a ball game.

Man we need a HR hitter on this team something fierce. We have not had an HR in about a week. I think Raburn had it against the Sox

Again Jim Joyce blew it again, that third strike call on Alex, not so much a strike. Where was that strike zone for Penny??? Again not a fan of his?

Am I wrong?

Well Penny is yappin. and Pineda ain’t.
That might explain some of it.

forgot they were playing and just checked in to see we are losing with 2 innings to go – come on guys, we just can’t digest a sweep in our home field.

Well, this game is over. 3 run bomb by Rodriguez.

NOthing like some good old tiger pitching to get the batting averages of all of your sub 230 hitters rolling? God I cant stand watching anymore they simply stink?

The lowly Mariners march into our building and embarass us.

When was the last time Magglio struck out 3 times in a game? He’s finished. Why Leyland leaves him in the lineup is beyond me.

They will probably get swept in Cleveland as well! They fooled me, I thought they turned a corner with the last road trip and the series against Chicago, I will try not to be fooled again!?!?,?,

Like I said last night the best thing they could hope for today is a rainout!

Maggs doesn’t look healthy at all. He has had one decent base hit this year, everything else is either popped out or weakly grounded when he isn’t striking out. JL’s lineups are interesting if nothing else. He puts 3 slumping batters at the top so The BIG CAT Cabrera can lead off inning two. every other day he is moving Boesch around instead of hitting behind or in front of Cabs regularly. Honestly Lineups need time to gel together in a somewhat uniform fashion with bench players covering needed days off only. How many lineup changes have we seen during Leyland’s tenure? TOO MANY, slumping bats are commonplace in MLB but cold bench bats playing every 3rd game doesn’t allow for some of these slumps to run their course. Jackson looks lost at the top of the lineup. Rhymes gets good AB’s generally but just isn’t finding holes or gaps yet. Having said this I don’t believe we need a roster change yet (unless you want to AXE Raburn) JL needs only to put our strongest hitters in position to drive in runs and leave them there regardless of which hand the opponents are pitching with. Give stability a chance Jimmy L, and maybe just maybe we can play over 500 ball this year.

I’m all for giving Raburn the AXE, but let’s add Leyland to that list (after all, it’s the only way Raburn is leaving). It’s beyond time for a change. How many seasons must we suffer with the same old problems. It ALL stems from managing and coaching. Bring in a new manager with a new hitting coach and a new pitching coach and I bet we see immediate improvements. What the heck, let’s get a new GM who can properly evaluate talent and won’t offer outrageous contracts (Dontrelle, Guillen, etc.) while we’re at it!

6 runs in 3 games. All we have to do is pitch shut outs and we WILL win in Cleveland. Why doesn’t AJ bunt with Rhymes on 1st? Get something going! I also think Jackson is playing too shallow. Can anyone guess what the lineups will be for the next 3 games? I bet the only 2 things are AJ leadoff and Miggy cleanup🙂 –Dave

The real kicker here is that with the Twinkies and Sox playing poorly, we could be putting some space between us and them. Instead, Cleveland is gaining on all of us and also getting more confidence and momentum. I know we’ve only played 25 games but the we we’ve played thus far makes this an important series with the Tribe. If we get swept there, things won’t be looking good.

Sorry,that should read “the way we’ve played thus far”

No disagreement this time Dan. My heart and my head tell me it’s time to say good bye to Maggs. The only plus in our mess right now is that Victor will be back. If I’m in charge, I go nuts and bat Miggy third, Avila at cleanup, leave Rayburn at second, and bat him fifth, call up Dirks for lead off, Boesch sixth, Martinez at two when he returns, Peraltat 7, Inge at 8, and Ajax in the nine. I send Coke to the BP, get Oliver or Forbush in the rotation, and give Penny a couple of more starts. How’s that for panic?


I saw so many people out and about today with their Tiger gear on. There is just no excuse, in my mind, for this poor performance. We have the second coming of Albert Pujols on this team, we have good pitching, but the results are always the same with this manager.

I didn’t want to chime in on the cut loose Leyland bandwagon but i have been on board since 07. Honestly, we should have won the division at least 3 times during his reign. He couldn’t close the deal when he had the killer b’s and premium pitching in his Pittsburgh days. He won a title when Wayne Huizenga proved to the world he could do as the Yanks do in 97 essentially giving JL a title with the Marlins. He quit the dismantled team in 98 and coached the Rockies in 99. Again burnt out from being a loser he didn’t coach again till he got another contender bankrolled for him in 2006. We rolled to the world series and got stomped by the Cards. I don’t know why he has stuck around this long. The pitt pirate posse, Leyland, Lamont, and Mcclendon haven’t realistically done anything for our team. Lamont has no clue when to stop or send runners. McClendon cannot seem to get anyone out of hitting funks or prep anyone for upcoming pitchers. Leyland has lost touch with his NL roots. We have speed and baserunning ability on the team but he fails to set up a lineup or signal in to utilize it. My caketaker was game 163 when the game was tight he was sitting on the bench with his legs crossed like a woman and picking his nose like it was no big deal, just another game. This guy is our manager YAY!

I tried to kid myself that this team could get 92 wins this season. I stupidly ignored past performance and our endearing ability to gel as a team for short bursts quickly followed by inexplicable prolonged funks.
Sooner or later someone important in the decision making process is going to realise change has to be made, either with players or team management.
Players have come and gone the past 6 years since Mr I opened the purse strings so there is only one avenue left in the Tigs ellusive quest to turn this team into a consistent winner.
Everyone ready for Henning’s next SOC piece of PR fluff ? Swear they are fishing buddies the way the proverbial sun continues to shine.

Somebody please explain to JL that what’s in “the book” or the “track record” is history.
A big problem with this team is Leyland managing as though he is waiting for history to repeat itself. He would be better advised to go out and make history rather than waiting for it to happen again.

here, here

Greg, I like your line up except I am not a huge Raburn fan but I am a huge Sizemore fan from watching him play in Grand Rapids. I hope Maggs has something left when the weather warms up. Dan, agreed, make something happen. It’s still early, I still have not cut my grass yet. Go Tigers! –Dave

Stick my neck out Department:
Time to send Austin Jackson to Toledo and call up Dirks.
Austin is killing the top part of the lineup. He has had help with the #2 and #3 hitters but he needs to find himself again. He needs to have the pressure taken off.
He will be a reliable .270 .280 hitter eventually. Right now he can’t get his a$$ on 1st base much alone scoring a run.
His speed is negated if he can’t get on.
His confidence is the issue that JL should be thinking about.
Dirks plays CF (and well), leads off, hits, hits with power (5 HR), steals bases (7 for 7) and bats LH.
What is there to think about?
If you need a #2 hitter–well give Sizemore a shot too.
Boesch hitting #3 would be just fine ahead of Cab and VMart.
The status quo at the top of the lineup is just going to contribute in more losses and a paucity of runs.

I agree with you on Jackson. He needs to figure things out in a place where there’s no pressure (and a real hitting coach!). Here’s why I think Rhymes should stay: from what I’ve seen, he’s hitting the ball but it’s usaully at somebody (while Jackson can’t even connect lately). The law of averages says he’s going to start turning those into hits. The problem is that JL keeps sticking Raburn at 2B and taking AB’s away from Will. His whole ‘lefties can’t hit lefties as well as righties do’ is ridiculous.

I disagree about sending down AJaX right now. His defense is needed to bail out our pitchers. That being said, he needs to go to the bottom of the lineup until he gets his swing in order. Jackson has looked at more pitches than most others on our roster (3.83 pitches per at bat). Rhymes needs to lead off regardless of the hand the opponent is pitching from. He has seen 4.19 p/pab and is much better at putting the ball in play. This weekend’s lineup would look like this

1- Rhymes 2b
2- Boesch LF (There’s your thump at the top)
3- Cabrera 1b
4- Avila C
5-Peralta SS
6- Wells RF
7- Maggs dh
8- Inge 3b
9- AJax CF

This lineup puts us in the best position to win vs. how everyone is hitting right now. After Martinez rejoins the team on Monday or Tuesday the lineup looks like this:

My lineup looks like this following Vmart’s return:

1- Rhymes 2b
2- Boesch LF (There’s your thump at the top)
3- Cabrera 1b
4- VMart DH
5- Avila C
6- Peralta SS
7- Maggs RF
8- Inge 3b
9- AJax CF

I’m not willing to give up on our current roster until 1/4 of the season has been played. I think JL looks too far into the righty lefty thing because Avila and Boesch are hitting both of them. Rhymes is a current victim of bad luck, but as Mechanical Man said all signs point to positive production soon.

Ya but not all lefties can hit lefties. In fact I think more often than not they can’t.

Agreed GK but hitting is hitting. We have not been able to generate power with our current lineup because its set to fail. Our good hitters are leading off innings only to be stranded at 1st or second after opening up with a base hit. Lets get to stringing our hitters together to generate runs.

But throughout his career, Rhymes has hit lefties well. I don’t see why he shouldn’t be playing 2B when he’s putting the ball in play and Raburn is at or near the top of the AL in strikeouts.

Ttown, I appreciate the effort that goes into creating a lineup, especially since we don’t get paid to do it. 🙂 I’m in agreement with placing Jackson 9th (for now) so he can remain in the field and perhaps feel a little less pressure. He’d still be hitting in front of whoever leads off, so I don’t see Leyland’s obstinance in keeping Austin up top. I would caution against placing a youngster like Avila in the cleanup spot because, major leaguer or not, there is some mental challenges to hitting in that slot. A lot of guys change their entire approach because they’re the cleanup hitter. On the other hand, Maggs doesn’t necessarily have to hit in that 3-hole every game. JL gets into ruts with this stuff. When Victor returns, there will be a bit more flexibility available, but that’s five games from now.
Bringing up players from Toledo is tempting, but my fear is they won’t bring anything new to the lineup. We need either longball power or speed. Dirks might fit that bill, but he swings really hard and I wonder how that would work against big league arms. Sizemore is tearing it up pretty good down there but, again, it’s more of the same type of hitter that we’re choked with now. It’s not a simple business.
The most bottom of bottom lines is that some of these guys need to start hitting. I’m no fan of JL, but a manager can only do so much with a club full of slumping hitters.

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