Kelly at third base, Magglio in right field for Game 5
Remember how closely Jim Leyland guarded his lineup and rotation leading in the postseason? With his team’s strengths and weaknesses pretty well known by now, he was much more open Wednesday when talking about Game 5.
“I’m playing Don Kelly at third base tomorrow, and Magglio Ordonez in right field,” Leyland said.
When asked about Al Alburquerque’s struggles in this series, Leyland admitted he’ll be tight with his bullpen tomorrow. And he named names.
“Basically, being totally honest with you, I would like to get through this game tomorrow with Fister, Coke if necessary, Benoit and Valverde,” Leyland said. “There’s no secret to that. That’s what we would like to get through the game with.”
In other words, he’ll go with his experienced relievers.
On the list of possibilities at third base, Kelly might have been viewed as Plan C. Wilson Betemit struck out three times over three plate appearances and 10 total pitches Tuesday night, dropping him to 0-for-8 in the series. That seemingly pointed to Brandon Inge starting Game 5. But as well as Inge has been hitting, so has Kelly, and he’s a left-handed bat.
Ordonez, meanwhile, provides a veteran bat in right field. If Kelly was going to play regardless, the choice would’ve been between Ordonez and Inge.