Tuesday: Tigers vs. Rays

Jim Leyland said he’s trying to get some different combinations going and keep guys fresh, when asked about his decision to start Don Kelly at third base and bat him second tonight. Brandon Inge is healthy but out for the day, which could have something to do with Wade Davis’ .286 average allowed to left-handed hitters compared with a .228 clip for righties.

The other big decision will come in the ninth inning if the Tigers need to go to the bullpen. Closer Jose Valverde is off tonight, having pitched three of the last four days.

“Not sure who the closer is tonight,” Leyland said, “but I do need a closer tonight.”

It could be Joaquin Benoit, who has shown good signs in his last couple outings. In fact, Benoit might be the most likely candidate, given the rest of the field. He could also play specific matchups, but we’ll see.


  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Don Kelly, 3B
  3. Brennan Boesch, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Andy Dirks, LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Scott Sizemore, 2B

P: Justin Verlander


  1. John Jaso, C
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  3. Johnny Damon, DH
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. Matt Joyce, RF
  6. B.J. Upton, CF
  7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
  8. Sean Rodriguez, SS
  9. Sam Fuld, LF

P: Wade Davis


the decision leyland made that should be questioned was putting valverde in yesterday in a non-save situation. keeps him on the sidelines today when he might be otherwise needed. anybody speculate why leyland made that move?

Nobody else was warmed up, Woody. It had been a save situation until Victor and Peralta drove in those runs. I don’t think managers routinely warm up an extra guy just in case his club scores four runs in the bottom of the 8th. Valverde’s not available tonight mainly because of Sunday. Hate to keep harping on that, but it’s true.

What I mean is, complete games in this day and age are golden. Don’t them ’em away like yesterday’s breakfast. That’s what I meant when I said it was just a bad baseball decision. Any positives that Porcello would have gained from the CG would have just been icing on the cake.

Getting some good early calls and a lot of help from BJ to get a run.
Avila looks tired early – not a good first AB and sloppy. Great catch from Dirks more than matched Joyces.

You’re right. Avila doesn’t look good tonight. I am an Avila fan but he seems to be tapering off. Defense is usually good though.
Sizemore swinging at 1st pitches? Nost so sure I’d be advising him that way.

JV is really needing some help tonight from his offense. He’s not “ON” like we so often see.
The question is though, can we muster up any runs?

A couple of chinkers and then a bad AB by Boesch. I fully expect Cab to hit into a DP here the way things are going

Sorry but while I wouldn’t have minded if Porcello had stayed in, I also think there were several reasons for taking him out including 4 of his last 6 outs were to the outfield and a few of them deep. He is a sinker ball pitcher and he was getting the ball up. Secondly the pitchers spot was coming it was a tight game and you have to play more for your best chance at more runs. Probably a national league team wouldn’t be talking about it because that routinely happens. Let alone talk about it for 3 days now.

Fabulous. Also what is good about the HR is that he pulled it. I have fond that when he is only hitting to the right side he is not as dominating as he is when he is pulling the ball with authority too.

I think the 2 Cabreras are now about tied with each other in the Cabrera Triple Crown race!

Holy crap—throw the ball all over the place. But, JV is not getting the job done tonight. It didn’t look like he had his stuff to me earlier. Frustrating night for him. Especially after Cab’s dinger to give him the lead. He was due for a stinker.

Austin Jackson is not a very good 3-2 count hitter. I’d be real curious to see what his average and K ratio is in that situation.
That brings up the point that id did not seem like a very intelligent time to run Sizemore.
Back to Ramon—get him in there, and Rich is correct, best at 2B right now Though the dude can handlw short with the best of them. I prefer him to EITHER Inge or Sizemore.

When I say Inge—I mean Ramon at short and shift JP to 3rd.

Alex could have and should have, caught the foul pop but I have seen official scorers not give a guy an error on something like that simply because he didn’t get a glove on the ball. At least it didn’t hurt us.
Boy, what a sloppy bunch there out tonight.

Well, I checked myself and found Jackson was hitting .158 and had struck out 9 out of 19 ABs in that situation prior to tonight.
Not a pressure hitter.

I wish Miggy would let his hair grow out. Love those curls.

Why doesn’t Leyland know this stuff?

Verlander is pitching Sunday. Oh, my. I’ll be there. Section 113.

So your going to take Jackson out in the 6th inning for a pinch hitter Dan really? I don’t think that would have been wise?

I felt they were playing a ‘get out of town’ day game.
Even though only one down feels like it will take a miracle after the heart striking out in the 7th.

Schlereth’s job is not secure. He could easily be sent down to tighten up his act.
Depending on how the rookies do of course.
Sizemore mad an outstanding play only to miss the mark on a short throw. Shame.

No Apollo—I’m not saying anything remotely close to that. What I am saying is you don’t run Sizemore on the 3-2 pitch with 1 out (it ended up being a double play). The percentages weren’t there. Sizemore was being held on very tightly, and he is no base stealing threat to speak of.

I thought that was an inside the park homerun and so did Gene LaMont.

I think we were right about Alex being “tired”. Apparently he is so tired that all he can do is trot around the bases.

That’s not what you said or implied, sorry if I misunderstood

We stole one. Absolutely stole it.

Real nice to win a close one and play ‘ugly’ at the same time.
Bet JV is a bit rueful over this one.
Funny how pitchers have trouble lobbing soft throws to bases.

If you read a post I posted previously you will see that I questioned sending the runner on the 3-2.
Had nothing to do with whether Jackson should be up to bat or not.
He’s actually one of the few guys on the team I wouldn’t PH for.

Well! That one had “loss” written all over it, so it goes into my book as one of those surprise wins. Not to mention my prediction of dropping 2 of 3 to the Rays. Man, those homers make up for a lot of sins, don’t they? We played a pretty poor game but hit some dingers and win.

Should have known we would win that – got another 3+ streak going. Now 35 of 49 games have been part of streaks.

Just a game no one gave us a chance to win. Just goes to show it’s not over til the last out.

Wild game. First time this year JV gives up more than 3 earned runs and the Tigers get a 3-run homer. Can you believe that? Someone has said here that Leyland is always managing like there will be a 3-run homer. After 48 games do you think JL will comprehend that fact and alter his managing style? If you think yes, I have some farmland along the beautiful Mississippi River in Louisiana you can buy cheap.

And while I am at it, Santiago batting left-handed against a RHP Wade Davis should have been a no-brainer tonight and Monday night. Especially with Sizemore’s poor hitting.

That was a VERY good catch by Dirks. Put that into a video on how to play outfield. Took the route, laid out, and kept the glove from hitting the ground until he had the ball safely ensnared.
Avila is on the fast track to becoming a team leader. Reminds me of Bill Freehan in that regard.
Best interview, at least for TV, on the team? Justin Verlander.

gotta agree that sending sizemore on that 3-2 pitch was not wise because AJax strikes out a LOT. So even if Sizemore was a blazer it makes no sense to send him.
As Rod says – I see you Alex. Nice win.

I like Mario. Rod’s schtick has growon weary on me. Really seems forced to me (the style I mean). Who cares if Rod “sees” anybody. And we I don’t want to see them taking the “married men off the infield”.
Once in awhile is OK but all the time is very tedious. He does have a very sharp knowledge of the game. Just don’t try to be Robin Williams.
Mario made a doubly witty comment about Peralta’s play on the force at 2nd of of Q’s glove. “Johnny on the spot”. Now that appreciated. If he says it tomorrow though—then it ain’t funny anymore.

Great game by the Tigers. I can’t believe how streaky they are, though. They’ll be a .500 team winning ten in a row, then losing ten in a row.
‘Minoring In Baseball’

Justin’s interview was a good one, not about the individual but the fact the team won. We looked like a little league team for a while there last night, throwing the ball all over the place. Dirks made a tremendous play, I can only imagine the ribbing he got from the guys on his inside-the-park fly out. Lamont was sending him all the way – amazing since he is usually wrong on when to send and when to hold. Dirks in his interview was all “I’d rather do that then get thrown out because I stopped running” but I’m sorry, those guys must have been busting him on that one – good stuff.

Way to go AA and Miguel for finding some great power last night. Hard to believe that is our first 3 run homerun – erases a lot of mistakes.

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