Kelly gets defensive gem of no-hit bid

Whatever happened, this weekend’s Pirates-Tigers series was going to be big for Don Kelly. His wife Carrie is the sister of Pirates second baseman Neil Walker, and they live in Pittsburgh in the offseason. The last time they faced each other in Detroit, one of their kids wore a half-Pirates, half-Tigers t-shirt.

Even with Kelly manning center field behind Justin Verlander against a struggling Pirates lineup, he probably didn’t figure on being the guy to make the key play in a would-be no-hitter.

“You’re family, but when you’re between the lines, you’re competing,” Kelly said. “It would’ve been an interesting talk later. Even a couple years later, when I went into the stands and took one, and he slid and robbed me, and I dove and robbed him, those are bragging rights within the family, stealing hits.”

Kelly’s sixth-inning catch robbed Josh Harrison, not Walker, who was on deck. Still, with a no-hitter in the works, that goes on a team, not just an individual hitter.

Kelly didn’t know off the bat whether he would be able to get Harrison’s drive to left-center. He was position towards right-center, which accounted for the long run he had to make. He didn’t have to worry about the fences out there, since it’s one of the deepest parts of the park. What he needed was for the ball to hang up long enough for him to get under it.

“We were playing him the other way,” Kelly said. “When he hit it, I didn’t know at first how long it was going to hang up. Once saw it kind of go up more than a line drive, I knew I had a chance.”


Kelly doesn’t get enough credit for his defensive ability.

who else could back up jackson? nobody on this roster probably.

I thought Dirks was a decent center fielder on the days he’d fill in last year. To be honest, when Jackson got injured, I wasn’t sure whether Leyland would use Kelly or Dirks in center.

Delmon, and righties in general, aren’t very good against Burnett. Give Raburn the night off. the real question is whether Austin and VV are good to go.

here is how i would go.
Dirks (DH)
Cabby (3B)
Prince (1B)
Alex (C)
Boesch (RF)
Delmon (LF)
Peralta (SS)
Santiago (2B)

Delmon’s 2B and HR probably keep him in the 5 hole for now. This is a good game for Ramon to get the call. IMO the 8 hole is the perfect spot for Alex right now.

Kelly can really turn on the afterburners when necessary, like when he scored the go ahead run from 1stbase in game 163. We had a perfect TV angle on that last night as he tore across the outfield in a dead sprint, gaining speed as he went. That was an impressive catch. He never disappoints defensively, no matter where they put him, and keeps a smart approach at the plate. He is an example of maximizing the talent he has.

At he game last night, 41,000 people on their feet in the 9th inning! We were in right center field and saw the arc of the ball that Kelly caught! Awesome! The fireworks after the game were incredible. Did not hear any boos for Raburn but why does JL keep running him out there? Maybe some of the players are not doing their job but is Leyland doing his? He is all talk. Let’s start a winning streak! I agree to stay positive. It is just a game. Go Tigers!

when brandon left, JL told the media he was going to run raburn out there nearly everyday until management decided to cut him or he goes on his usual tear.
I felt like he was hitting the ball well – then – he went cold. He shouldn’t even bat against Burnett IMO.

You chose a good game to attend, Dave. Maybe those boos I hear are coming from the broadcast booth?

Kelly CF, Dirks LF, Cabrera 3B, Fielder 1B, Young DH, Avila C, Boesch RF, Peralta SS, Santiago 2B, (Smyly P)

Evan, is this the official lineup??

I believe so

Evan, this is our ultimate lefty lineup and our manager places the RH hitters to split them up as best he can. Now can we win two in a row?? Absolutely, go Tigers!!!

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