Saturday: Tigers vs. Pirates

Very limited difference in the numbers between Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn against A.J. Burnett, but Santiago gets the start. Wouldn’t read anything into it yet other than Leyland trying to get Santiago going.

Other than that, the lineup is the same. Heck, with only one player available off the bench, Jim Leyland can only make one change a day.


  1. Don Kelly, CF
  2. Andy Dirks, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, DH
  6. Alex Avila, C
  7. Brennan Boesch, RF
  8. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

P: Drew Smyly


  1. Jose Tabata, RF
  2. Josh Harrison, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  5. Neil Walker, DH
  6. Rob Barajas, C
  7. Casey McGehee, 1B
  8. Yamaico Navarro, LF
  9. Clint Barmes, SS

P: A.J. Burnett


Playing Ramon is the right thing to do today—on several counts.
Raburn probably doesn’t touch Burnett and he is starting (again) to be an offensive liability with the ground balls to short. Most of them have DP written all over them.
Ramon deserves a chance to show what he can do.

Have to wait till August for that, after everything else has been tried.
Didn’t Delmon Young come into last night’s game with 10 RBI? Hitting 5th behind two guys having good offensive years? That comes out to what, 40 RBI for a season? Does anyone think that’s a bigger issue than a 2ndbaseman who hits 9th?

that is the biggest problem and has led to the tigers leading the league in men left on base

Hopefully DY is coming out of his funk. He can get schorchingly hot but I am not sure how he does it with the the pitches he swings at.
I mentioned yesterday that I though giving JP a chance to hit 5th might pick both players up.

I agree with that. Don’t know why Peralta is always buried down there. He has intelligent ABs most of the time, at least. I wrote yesterday that Delmon has always picked it up in June, so maybe that’s about to start. For his own sake, if he wants any kind of big contract.
I need to quit reading comments on other sites. Doing that gives me the impression that Inge wasn’t really a lightning rod, it’s just people basing their comments on reading the list of batting averages upside down.

Pirates batting .220 as a team vs lefty, .216 vs righty. There are worse vs LHP, but not many…White Sox last at .198, Cleveland at .210.

Laird is 5 for 8 off Burnett. Surprised to see Avila in there considering those numbers and day game after night.

Woody, where do you get those pitcher vs hitter stats? I have trouble finding that stuff.

can get them from the daily Game Notes posted at Game Notes link is under the News tab upper left corner of webpage.

That’s a good one, Woody. Maybe it goes back too many seasons. The priority right now is to get Alex going and with five righty starters going for the Twins and Pirates, I guess that makes Laird a pinch runner for this series.

laird batting .444 against righties tho this year :p

Verlander starts should sellout most of the time with a no hitter possible every time he goes. I guess it takes more than greatness to draw a huge crowd…Verlander does lack a certain cult of personality that Fidrych had. Another Verlander-Weaver matchup would be electric, particularly with Pujols and Fielder in the mix now.

I thought they almost sold out, if not entirely? The stands looked pretty full.

EVAN…..I was wondering just how badly the Tigers were faring as far as stranding runners. You answered that. Why, if they can get hits to have runners, can’t they get a hit to drive them in. Sometimes, at least, so they are not last or even in the lower half of the league with that stat. Freezing up in the clutch?

great question illinoifan. I think the reason is JL’s lineups. It’s well known JL puts often a struggling man in a lineup hoping that guy will perform UP TO that position in the lineup. It can get the guy going – yes – but it also puts guys in positions (e.g. delmon batting 5th) they shouldn’t be in – the way they are currently hitting. THAT leads to an amazing amount of men LOB.
With that said Delmon is batting OK (9 for 30) with RISP this year – and we don’t have Inge batting .111 with RISP on the team; and Alex (5 for 28 this year), Ryan (3 for 27) and Brennan (9 for 32) have really been killing us. The saving grace is Dirks – his OPS is over 1.0 with RISP!!

Thanks Woody. Made a shortcut to that.

AJ Burnett pitched against us twice during the regular season last year and held us to a .163 BA as a team. Boy are we in trouble. We scored eight runs off of him. As we look more closely at this we had fifteen different players bat against him. Six of those guys are no longer a part of our team and they went 0 for 22 against him. Three others who batted against him will not be in the lineup, one being V-Mart who is on the 60 day DL. So that leaves six guys who were 7 for 20 against him. Well that’s better. So will the three guys who did not face him be the key?? They are Dirks, Fielder, and Young. Well, Dirks is hitting .395 the last ten games, all three of these guys have a homer in the last couple of games. Things are looking better. Let’s play ball.

i wouldn’t look for it to be young – .216 against righties

c’mon smyly! bases loaded – you can do it man! (smyly one of our best with runners on)

kelly in bases loaded situation….hmmmm..

and that’s another 3 men LOB.

He does not need to adjust to NL pitching for 16 games .

AJ was a NL pitcher before leaving the AL

prince’s batspeed reminds me of rondell white and gary sheffield

While I’ve still am pleased with Smyly he is starting to lose some of his mystery I think, 2 – 2 run homers? He is prone to the home run ball. It especially hurts since he hit the guy before. Oh well everyone on this team knows we can’t win 2 in a row anyway. I think there is a law or ome thing. Lol

Boy people want to get all enraged over Raburn and Inge, Avila has been nearly as bad. Dude needs a day off. Oddly enough laird has been pretty good. Avila all he does is ground out to second time and time again.

He has been as big of a disappoint for me this year as Porcello and Scherzer.

Look who is pitching now

And AGAIN. Alex comes up in a big spot and lays another turd! He’s been horrible!

I said it ad nauseam last year, Avila needs rest. Better Santos once a week than Avila injured and without career. It is time to rest him and put Laird there as regular.

Bunt and a pinch hitter?

Well tigers hitters swung and swung and swung at pitches out of the strike zone with Hanrahan. Maybe 4 pitches he threw we’re actually in it? Way to go! Way to strand runners again. And again can’t manage to win two games in a row. Just when ya think something might te them out of their funk they lay another egg. Avila I believe 3 times came in with men in scoring position nd failed. I believe he has two hits in the last week.

I blame today’s loss on the retro uni looking like a throw back to the soviet era.

Do you see why I’m worried? Forty games in; Swept by the Twins at home; split two at home with the Bucs. Tomorrow becomes the first must win of the year.


Can’t spell my own name. Now I’m really worried.

Missed the game today. Probably a good thing. Comments here are consistent with how the club (and the players) have been performing. Avila has been very disappointing. My beef with him (and may be entirely off-base) is the lack of emotion he displays. I know it is good to be even tempered but sometimes you have to have just a little Bryce Harper or Brett Lawrie in you. Just a bit.
Smyly had longballitis today. Surprised JL didn’t “smell” it!
Good to see Villareal come in throw strikes.
When is Jim Leyland getting back from vacation?

Agree, “nice guys always finish last”

BTW, can you believe the nubers Aroldis Chapman has put up this year?
Those are “Q” like.
And has anyone heard where and how the Q is doing?

Possibly back in July.

HOw is daniel schlereth and marte doing?

Marte scheduled to pitch in Toledo on Monday. Possibly in Detroit by next weekend.

Good to see the bullpen shut the door today. If we can get that on a consistent basis we might have a chance at putting together a run.

We will need more from Avila, and Rayburn should play once every 4 or 5 games until he starts to get hot. Let Ramon have the at bats. And hopefully AJ heals up and comes back nicely.

It takes a perfect storm of events to cause a streak of games like this. It’s something different everyday. Sometimes little things like a bad call on a pitch that turns an AB around. Avila takes a called strike off the outside of the plate one to three times per game and it destroys some of his ABs. He’s even keeled but yeah, you wonder at what point he’s just going to throw the bat down and bark at the umpire. At other times, big obvious things cost the game, such as starting rallies with two out already. Hard to score runs that way. We’re being outplayed in every series. Nothing to do but wait and see if it changes. I hope we haven’t blown it already.
Smyly, by being around the plate all the time, is going to give up some homers. The key for this type of pitcher is to give up solo shots only. Four homers in two starts cost him eight runs. That needs to be four runs and he’s good to go.
Leyland, for all his reported love of tinkering with lineups, really doesn’t tinker at all. I see no reason why Kelly has to bat leadoff until Jackson returns. JL could have put Dirks there and slid Peralta up to #2, but I don’t think he even considers those things. Even Boesch could have gone back to #2 on a temporary basis. Two lefties in a row that hit lefties, so what?
So we’re depending on Scherzer to avoid Pittsburgh taking the series in our own ballpark. Wow.

Don’t pick on AA. He makes pitchers throw a lot of pitches, he’s a good catcher, and he will get his RBIs. I bet he is hurting right now.

It’s not picking on him, it’s the truth. He’s had 2 hits in a week, and came up 3 times yesterday alone and had bad at bats. He hasn’t been good in any facet.

By now i would have moved peralta up in the lineup and tried laird for awhile to give avilia a solid break to heal and rest. But hey im just a fan not some fancy high priced manager or coach.

The lineups drive me nuts. He has not one ounce of imagination. The team just looks uncomfortable like they’re not having fun. A stick in the mud.

I don’t think they are having much fun either. Nobody is. Illitch, DD, JL and all the players. Not to mention the fans. Alex may well be hurting. That’s precisely what worries me. If his knees are bothering him at this young age what kind of scenario is going to play out for him. I think he is hurting and distracted. Laird should be getting more playing time.
If Leyland insists (persists?) on playing Raburn he should at least make him contribute by getting a bunt down when one is needed. If only to stay out of the DP.

Ya Rich Scherzer is t exactly exude confidence right now does he?

I’d like to see the Tigers pick up Orlando Hudson. His game is still good and his personality and speed are needed in a wide open 2B slot.

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