September 28th, 2011

Wednesday: Tigers vs. Indians

As Jim Leyland put it, “We’re trying to win games. We’re going to try to win the game tonight.”

Leyland is also trying to do what he can to get Miguel Cabrera his batting crown.

“If I have anything to do with it, he will win the batting title,” Leyland said. “But we want to win this game tonight.”

Wilson Betemit is batting second tonight, but for the reason as last night. Leyland wants to get him an extra at-bat if he possibly can.”

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Wilson Betemit, 3B
  3. Delmon Young, LF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Alex Avila, C
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Don Kelly, RF
  9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

P: Rick Porcello

INDIANS

  1. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  4. Travis Hafner, DH
  5. Carlos Santana, C
  6. Shelley Duncan, LF
  7. Jack Hannahan, 3B
  8. Matt LaPorta, 1B
  9. Ezequiel Carrera, CF

P: Zach McAllister

Rick Knapp now Royals pitching instructor

Rick Knapp made his resume as the minor league pitching coordinator for the Twins, reinforcing the philosophies of Minnesota pitching coach Rick Anderson and management, before the Tigers hired him as their pitching coach after the 2008 season. Once the Tigers dismissed Knapp as pitching coach this summer, that seemed like the natural role for him to return.

He found his spot with the Royals, who face a challenge developing the pitching to complement their gifted young hitters. Kansas City announced Knapp as its new pitching coordinator on Wednesday.

It’ll be a little more of a transition for Knapp, who lives in Florida and was able to stay at home during the offseason while going back and forth to Lakeland. The Royals train in Surprise, Arizona.

Reasoning behind Weaver, Santana scratched

As you no doubt already heard, the Angels scrapped their scheduled final starts for Ervin Santana last night and Jered Weaver on Wednesday. The Weaver move essentially clinches the AL pitching triple crown for Justin Verlander, to Tigers fans’ delight. But it also gives the Rangers a much better chance of pulling out the win Wednesday and clinching home-field for the Division Series against the AL Wild Card, which would leave the Tigers heading to New York tonight for a first-round matchup with the Yankees.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia cited the innings both Santana and Weaver had racked up as the reason for the move.

“It comes to a point where we would be stretching them for diminishing returns right now,” Scioscia told reporters. “If we had 10 games left, you would see these guys out there, but they are really on fumes and need to just take a back seat.”

Weaver is fifth in the Majors in innings at 235 2/3. Santana is 10th at 228 2/3. In terms of pitches thrown, Weaver is third behind Justin Verlander and Dan Haren.

Weaver was asked about the ERA title, which he’ll miss by 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

“Oops,” Weaver joked. “Should have thrown a couple more zeros up there.”

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