Friday: Cabrera bats third, Avila plays third

I’m actually not covering the series in Colorado this weekend, but I figured I’d pass along the lineup, because it’s an interesting one. We expected Jim Leyland would start Alex Avila at third, since he had mentioned on Thursday that it was a good chance. What we didn’t see, what we didn’t ask for (my bad), was the after-effect on the lineup.

The result: Miguel Cabrera bats third, Victor Martinez hits cleanup. It’s something Leyland has said all year he didn’t want to do. Cabrera’s last start in the third spot was July 23, 2009. Marcus Thames was the cleanup hitter that day, with Magglio Ordonez batting fifth.

Don Kelly had normally been batting second lately, ever since he became the regular third baseman. But with Avila at third, Kelly is out. Raburn has batted second several times in the past, but, well, you know how his hitting is going. So basically, Leyland chose to move everybody up rather than shift up somebody he doesn’t want hitting second, such as Jhonny Peralta.

The upshot of the move is that there isn’t a long stretch of right-handed hitters at the top of the order. Instead, it’s right, left, right, switch, right, left, then righties.


  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Brennan Boesch, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Victor Martinez, C
  5. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  6. Alex Avila, 3B
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
  9. Rick Porcello, P


There is a lot of pop in that lineup. If I’m Jason Hammel I already have some trepidation brewing just looking at that lineup.
I predict Ricky P’s BA will still be .333 after this game.
He’s an athlete and he can rub his hitting prowess in a bit in his conversations with JV! As good (at everything) as JV is he doesn’t look like he can hit a lick—-Porcello does.
It will be a very interesting game to watch. I remember the day they played Big Al at third base.

That is a sharp looking lineup, especially with the R-L thing going on. Thinking ahead, I can see sliding Inge into Porcello’s slot when we get home and going with it. Hopefully the guys will hit so much that JL will have no choice but to keep it. If Raburn started to hit, this lineup would be freaky good.

The best hitter own the third spot. Pujols bats third.
Cabrera played 3rd base. He still have the reflex and he shows it almost every game taking second base plays.
For sure is a risk but less than puting your catcher in jeopardy

The Hall of Fame catcher Mickey Cochrane told the story of how Connie Mack decided to try him at thirdbase. “I played a few games there,” said a laughing Black Mike, “until my chest gave out and he put me back of the plate again.” This is definitely experimental tonight. We’ll see how it goes.

I am really curious to see this Avila 3rd base experimet. Although I assume that even if it works well Victor cannot catch 6 straight days and there will still be games that our best hitter will be on the bench?

I don’t like to complain about umps–especially balls & strikes but the home plate ump better give Ricky those calls too. That was brutal (against Avila)

Yep you said it. Didn’t like how they squandered that opportunity.

Our RHB power hitters let us down that inning.
I still say MCab is struggling and something just ain’t right with him. Ordonez has to put on a better swing on a 2-1 count with the pitcher having to groove it.
How many times have we had these “bust out opportunity” type innings only to fizzle them away and breathe life into the opposing starter?

Alex made a pretty nice play on the 1st one hit to him. With RP throwing he might get more action than he would like. I take that back, Alex is a character guy, he wants the ball hit to him I’m sure

Ricky should give RR a few batting tips.

Am I crazy or is the pitch he called Raburn out on a similar locacation as to a couple pitches that Porcello thew were callled balls???

I’m not a bit huge supporter of inter-league play but I must admit this game has a certain excitement going on.

Well appearently Rick isn’t going to get the low strike or the same strike zone as the other pitcher.

Man I am sick of BS pitch call umpiring.

I hate this ump

Thank the ump for this Wiggington was struck out and blackmon was struck out. Stupid freaking ump. So annoyed right now

When will Knapp visitsthe mound?

No reason for Knapp to come out he has thrown plenty of pitches that were actual strikes and several that were the same freaking pitches that Hammels were getting called strikes this ump is a piece of crap who doesn’t deserve a job as one. This was complete bull. I am so mad right now.

This umpire is a piece of crap.

Take him out of there

Yikes! Ricky walks the pitcher and the WHOLE game changes immediately. That was plain stupid.

Sort of got a premonition of what might happen with those non ground ball outs in the 1st. I kinda thought that could spell trouble.

The more I see MCab play this game the less I am impressed. He needs to get his swollen head out of his a$$

Not good miguel trotting wait to see if its gone before you are so casual

Well Miguel had you gotten that double guess what you’d have been on 3rd and would of scored with ease! I love ya but that simply can’t be tolerated.

I am watching both MLB.TV and Gameplay. I have never seen so many good pitches called balls. Rick had been skunked for sure.

Oh man—what is Lamont thinking? I believe the linescore says we are down by FIVE runs!

Well Miguel had you gotten that double guess what you’d have been on 3rd and would of scored with ease! I love ya but that simply can’t be tolerated. Actually it looks like Cabrera was in there but still wouldn’t have been an issue if he would of been playing the game right.

Appearently Alex can’t handle 3rd, just botched a routine play. Playing like little leaguers


Rick didn’t stand a chance if he wasn’t getting that low strike called one. So of course he had to get it up and we all know what happens when you get it up. Again the ump is a piece of crap who has absolutely no interest in calling a fair game and doing his job.

Pull Porcello out of there. Also Avila, that what you get with creativity.
Classy, buting in a 6-1 game

I am not gonna blame this one on the ump. Ricky is not throwing the ball well at all. Neither are we playing well.
Maybe a drubbing will send a message to this team. We were starting to act like the game is too easy.
It ain’t.

Well even if you aren’t going to blame him for someof this I am. Rick is a sinker baller and if you can’t get an umpire to give you the low pitches (and a lot of them were strikes) you have no choice but to get the ball up and guess what a sinker baller can’t live like that. And I will argue that the outside pitches were pitches were similar pitches that were called strikes on our pitchers. To me complte crap.

That is pitches that were calld strikes on our hitters

Here’s an interesting question:
Ask Tiger fans if they would trade MCab for tulowitzki. You would get a resound no.
Ask Rockie fans the same question and they would give you the exact same answer.

Well, first of all, Avila would absolutely not be playing 3rd base. What is this, Little League? Raburn gets pulled, thank goodness. Why doesn’t Jim just let evveryone play their positions and someone has to sit.

AT&T question—prety easy one for Tiger fans!!!

Rick may not have been throwing the ball “well” but it was definitely caused by the bad calls by the ump. That causes a pitcher to have to change his pitches which lead to a hitting spree by the Rockies. Rick could very well have given up some runs along the way but NOT 9!

This single game has sure showcased some deficiencies hasn’t it?
Magglio in the field, lack of a 3rd baseman and 2nd baseman.
I mentioned this Blackmon kid a week or so ago. Wouldn’t mind having him on my ball team.
Guess Leyland won’t have to worry much about defensive replacements tonight.

No way—his problem was way more than the umpire and if a pitcher can’t adjust to calls in the bigs then he should be pitching in Double A.

I’ve been meaning to ask for awhile now. Did the Tigers leave some bats in Texas? If you remember they were hitting well there but I haven’t seen anything like it since. I doubt those bats would help tonight, but was just wondering. Cleveland won. Sheeeeesh.

What I am looking for now is some character. So far I have seen the team fold up and give away ABs.
Somebody show me something and let’s try to keep these guys under 20 tonight—which will translate into a bunch more tomorrow BTW.

Ay Yi Yi. From what I have seen from Wilk I see very little to be entusiastic about.
At least he is gonna eat some innings up.
Sure hope we get a better performance tomorrow and Sunday.

Sorry can’t agree with you I think the ump has greatly influenced this game in favor of one team. He was and is aweful and is a sorry excuse for and umpire. I don’t mean to repeat myself but he wasn’t giving Rick the low strike so he was forced to get it up. And we all know that if a sinker baller isforced to do so to that degree and compound it by playing in Colorado its spells disaster. The ump got what he wanted, it was obvious.

Let’s bring in Dirks, Worth and Wells.
Or let Kelyy catch an inning.
Something to make this worh watching.

Welll Inge oh for four tonight with 2 more Ks (he had 2 singles and 2 Ks in 5 AB yesterday)

At least the game tells us that Schlereth stays and Wilk goes down.

ha ha! ya me

No need to be sorry GK, one of us is right!

ha ha. Ya ME

I think your both right. Rick got garbage calls early and is unfortunately too one dimensional, or hopefully just immature, to be able to adjust.

Finally over, and the division keeps compressing.

I changed the channel after it was 9-1. Not worth my time. Pretty disappointed though. But atleast through the innings I saw, I would say the ump instead of calling the same game influenced the game in favor of 1 team. No doubt in my mind. Now there are other things that went wrong but the strike zone seriously impacted the game in favor of the Rockies.

Hint of the day:
For the hitters, don’t hit the ball to straight away centre field!

Boesch had a couple that died out there and there were a few othes as well. You pull the ball a bit here and it will jump out of the park but CF is almost as good a poke as Comerica.

Interesting stat of the day. Tigers W-L record after 70 games the past three seasons:
2011 38-32
2010 38-32
2009 39-31
The previous two seasons ended with 81 and 86 wins, respectively. I’m sticking with my 85 win prediction and hoping I didn’t guess high.
And anyone who thinks the Twins can’t make up 8 games in the standings before the season is even half over is fooling themselves.

They are scary good right now even with their injury problems (i.e. Morneau)
They now have Mauer back off the 60 day DL.
As you say Rich, watch out!

I hate this interleague crap. IMO, June is the best month of the baseball season. The season is old enough to begin defining pennant races, but not so old as to preclude a good number of teams of considering themselves still in the race. Individual league leaders are staking their claims. The real baseball weather has arrived, school is out, and attendance spikes nearly everywhere. So what does MLB do but suspend the season in the interests of playing a long stretch of half-exhibition games with the other league, games that have only half the importance of ones between league opponents. That the scheduling is entirely inequitable only makes it worse. It’s a farce and should be ended immediately. Outside of Chicago and New York, there are no teams anywhere from both leagues that can be considered “rivals”. If this carnival must continue, at least sprinkle the interleague games into each team’s schedule, rather then causing the pennant races to slam to a halt for FIFTEEN consecutive games just when the races are heating up.
I realize a lot of people still like this stuff and this is just my opinion of it.

Rich I couldn’t agree with you more regarding interleague play. They have this schedule within divisions that is fairly even, then you throw in this interleague stuff and different teams within a division are playing some of the same teams but a lot of different ones. S then ot starts to become unfair and unbalanced. I hate it too.

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