Friday’s lineups: Tigers at Pirates

No DH this weekend, which left Jim Leyland having to decide whether and how to keep Quintin Berry’s bat in the lineup. He starts tonight against A.J. Burnett. Brennan Boesch sits, though he’s 3-for-7 lifetime off Burnett.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Quintin Berry, RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, LF
  6. Alex Avila, C
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Ramon Santiago, 2B
  9. Doug Fister, P

PIRATES

  1. Alex Presley, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, RF
  5. Casey McGehee, 1B
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Rod Barajas, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. A.J. Burnett, P

76 Comments

I smell a sweep this weekend! Lets win another series first tho, starts tonight Fister

while boesch was swinging a good bat last week – this week, he is our worst OF’er at the plate. Boesch has the MOST ABs of any OF’er on the team. He can sit tonight – maybe pinch hit (i wouldn’t tho).

his defense > delmon’s anyhow….def. substitution late

Three factors on the at-bats number for Boesch: 1. Austin Jackson missed about three weeks with that abdominal strain. 2. Delmon Young was suspended for a week. 3. Andy Dirks has been hurt. Boesch basically has the most ABs by default because he has stayed healthy.

well that is true – of course – however, regardless of why he has the most abs…..he still does.

I thought i read somewhere that boesch is hitting way better on the road this season… so why not put him in when he is doing well on the road and hits well off of burnett?

hitting at least a 100 points better on the road

Where are the homers?? Update. 2011 vs 2012. Overall, homers in the AL are up. Five teams who have really jumped their totals are the As, Blue Jays, Orioles, Angels and Mariners. The Rangers, Twins, and White Sox have had nice positive increases. The remaining teams are running close to their totals last year with Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City in danger of having a slight decrease if we give them through this Sunday’s games to approximate the numbers I’m working from in 2011. The AL Central Division just has one homer friendly park which resides in Chicago. We can scream for more homers but that could hurt us in the long run. Players pressing to hit homers could ruin them as hitters.

The slight decrease could be caused by the relationship road/home games and the harder schedule so far?

To be honest, don’t mind Brennan sitting this one (for a while). He will be great as a pinch-hitter in this NL style game. This way we have great defense and another sparkplug to go with Austin & possible thump off the bench in Boesch. Could work!

Aj Burnett, Tigers version of facing Cy Young. For some reason we never hit this dude well. Granted this year he is performing better this year but in te previous 4 he hasn’t. Be ready for another tight game tonight.

He is a good pitcher. He was not a true Yankee and that made his life bad. Most pitchers ,CC included, fare worse at NY( Even Rogers and johnson)

I was expecting the Tigers at least to kick tires on him

Delmon and “good defense” are mutually exclusive terms.Boesch is at least an average defender.
I’d rather see Boesch but this not a momentous move. JL needs to keep everybody as happy as he can.
I would prefer Delmon gone but the guy can rake. Other than Cabby and maybe Prince, he is one of the few guys capable of carrying a team with his bat.

Is Don Kelly available tonight?
And Burnett has been pitching well all year. The Pirates have a better record than Detroit, so don’t expect a sweep. And do not pitch to McCutchen, he is raking right now.

No way you get a sweep when you often score 2 runs a game.

Not a good start. By the way the strike zone is very very tight

fister looks rusty – i mean fresh. hopefully he settles down.

What’s up with Fister? He has to be hurting again!

I hope you are wrong and Fister is either experiencing a deadarm phase akin to what pitchers go thru in spring training or he is just “rusty” as Evan suggested. Nevertheless, I am concerned as Fister’s velocity has been down 3-5 mph and his ball movement is not near to that which I am accustomed.

And it gets worse. Might not be worth watching this fiasco. Going to hang in there a little longer. Pretty po’d right now.

Fister did his own damage that time. Now down 4-0. Unless they can solve Burnett soon, this game is already lost. And here I thought if Fister, Scherzer and Verlander pitched well they might be able to take the series.

We all agree the hitting on this team is atrocius. It was the same last year for quite awhile. How bad does it have to be before they try a new hitting coach?

Actually, as far as AL stats are concerned, the Tigers are #3 in average and #7 in runs scored. It is scoring in critical situations where improvement would be nice. However, that is not within the control of the hitting coach.

The hitting is going to determine whether we compete or not. It’s that simple.
That said, Fister looks totaly off his game, poor pitching, poor fielding and poor at bat..
He’s just “off”.
Pirates score here in the 5th and it’s over for sure.
With our hitting (swinging and missing fastballs right down the middle in fastball counts) it is not likely anyway.

Might want to get Below up, something is totally off. And since we aren’t going to hit freaking AJ, so why risk injury. Hell the way our hitters look tonight we will be fortunate not to get no hit. That’s how lacksidasical they look.

Well we’re not going to get no hit, but will it be a shutout. By the way I can’t believe I’m saying this but Laird has better at bats right now than Avila. He’s hown almost nothing this year, only in very very small spurts.

I wonder how many quality starts have been thrown against us? I would bet it’s significantly high.
We just seem completely unprepared as hitters facing starting pitchers. My guess is there is not “game plan”, per se.
Burnett is prone to bad innings but it does look like all he has to do is throw the ball up to the plate tonight.
Fister is the last guy I would expect to throw that ball away at 3rd.
Does Delmon have fingers on his throwing hand? How do you drop a ball like that after picking it up bare handed?
This one smells pretty bad. Cabby is not hitting like he should. Lots of pretty ordinary looking at bats for him recently.
Avila continues to look like he is cashier at toll booth. Almost disinterested. He’s not the only one.

Curious, why would you expect Fister to throw the ball away? He usually fields hs position very well?

Oddly enough , Delmon Young is among the leaders in assist in recent years

I just got home and here we are again. Why can’t this team hit? 2 unearned runs. Glad I missed it. Some sorry at bats.

Could have walked to first says Dan &Jim.

The table gets set, but the big boys aren’t hungry.

2 on, nobody out, and once again Cabrera and Fielder blow it. In May they lost to Burnett 4-3 and its beginning to look worse this time.

It’s very discouraging. Cabby seems listless and ineffective. Prince is uppercutting everything. On his HR the other day he flicked his bat down and his hands were above his head.
The lack of hitting on the team is contagious and downright pathetic. It has been for much of the season. I don’t see it changing much.

I agree this might be the game we finally get shut out.

Well I guess not

Santiago is enhancing his case

It’s hard to fathom. We just can’t get a big hit when we need it very often. Inf fact it’s hard to even fashion a good at bat at those times.
Boesch walked but looked bad doing it. The one-handed swing is so obviously wrong and i’m pretty sure even McClendon can see what we see.
Smart managing by Hurdle going against the stereotype. No way our guy does that.
I’m almost surprised that McClendon is still here. he should be gone on his own demerits but i am surprised we haven’t seen him offered up as the sacrificial lamb. Appropriate as his hitters are going in like Tigers and out like lambs.

Bosch ´s problem:”But as mentioned yesterday, the swings are too different. Boesch’s swing puts too much pressure on his bottom hand.”
http://beck.mlblogs.com/2011/09/04/boesch-to-have-season-ending-surgery-on-right-thumb/

Probably he is avoiding getting hurt.

Another first game lost

Layed another turd out there. Didn’t pitch except for Marte. Didn’t hit and didn’t field. Not going to win many that way.

I’ll lay off the obvious comments in favor of this: why did Leyland double switch with Jackson and Boesch? He took out arguably his best hitter to move the pitcher down one spot in the batting order. If the 9-hole had rolled around again, he could have easily PH for the pitcher with Jackson on deck. The way he did it, he’d have Boesch hitting 9th with Raburn PHing next. It appears to me that JL is double switching for no reason other than he can. He’s done it in all seven games in NL parks now.
I know this has nothing to do with the game outcome tonight, but this stuff bugs the heck out of me. Am I right or am I missing something?

No, you’re not missing anything Rich. There was absolutely no reason for that move unless Jackson was hurting.

Here’s something else: We’ve played eleven games to open a series after traveling, and have lost ten of them. That’s ONE win and TEN losses after traveling. It doesn’t matter whether we’re traveling to a road game or a home game, that is the record. And they look bad in those games too. Any amateur psychologists want to take a crack at that one?

Interesting point. Of late, it seems that the Tigers have been able to overcome such adversity. This is only an observation. So Stat Guru…can it be substantiated? And what are the home versus away results?

They’re discombobulated.

The trend began last year.

Now the pressure is on to win the next 2. I will be in Pittsburgh for both games. I’ll be sitting not too far behind the Tiger dugout. Sunday will be the first time I’ve ever seen JV pitch live and in person. PNC is a beautiful park.

They don’t travel well.

Yes. They FEAR change.
Hard to imagine that it would be the bats with this team that have mired it in mediocrity (and worse).
I agree there was little reason for JL to make that move. There were options.
IF this team were to have gotten back in the game thew would have needed defense and they would have benefitted from AJ’s bat (not that it was great this game). Seemed like a “look at me, ain’t I smart” kinda managerial move to me too.

I hope these guys play good baseball for you Marty. Sometimes it seems they just don’t know how to do that.

Thanks Dan. If they play like they did tonight, it will be a long ride home.

Would love to hook up with you at PNC like we did in ’09, Marty, but the Tigers always play terrible there. I kind of gave up on it. It is a beautiful park and a fun visit. Maybe again at some point in the future.

They don’t hit well a lot of times, but they lose games for many reasons. A missed location on a pitch, an ill timed error, a play not made, etc. You have to be able to win a 2-1 game like they did on Thursday. Cleveland beat Houston tonight, 2-0. Milwaukee beat the Sox 1-0 in ten innings. Orioles 2, Nationals 1.
It took our hitters forever to begin having good ABs, but now they’re not finishing them off. They’re not taking advantage of the hitter’s count they work themselves into. Keyhole a pitch and lay off it if it’s not the one. They need to take a walk when it’s there. Get a run here, a run there, anyway they can. They end up starting rallies with two outs, and that’s too late.

It’s really a stretch, but here are three things I liked in tonight’s game:
1. In spite of a reckless start, Fister kept us in the game. We had seven innings to score 4 runs. It might easily have been 8. He wasn’t that bad from the third on.
2. Three crisp double plays around the horn. Infield defense has tightened up. The errant throws in the second have to be corrected.
3. Ramon Santiago. Henning writes that we need a solid second sacker. I say we can win with Razor if everyone else did their part.

Alas! No Miggie or Biggie; we can’t win diddly squat when both decide to roll over and play dead in the same game.

Some good points. I do like Ramon and he has been one of the reasons for the mini-surge we just experienced. But, he is simply the best 2nd baseman the Tigers HAVE. I don’t think he is the solution we need at that position. I do think he is the best solution on the club and one of the more dependable Tigers. The Tigers need an impact bat and a quick, defensively talented and youthful player. If they find that in a middle infielder then they better try to get him.
Left-field needs to be addressed. Can you count on Berry to supply missing ingredients? I don’t think so. The missing ingredient needs to be able to knock in runs consistently. Occasional bases empty doubles sprinkled with a generous helping of wild strikeouts on balls in the dirt (with men on) are not a desired part of the recipe. (i.e Delmon Young)
If one of these deficits are corrected it will still not be enough with the way Avila, Peralta and Boesch are performing. We can’t afford 3 of those guys not producing runs and busting fences.
There are serious problems with the offense that plugging one weak area will not fix.
Contrary to popular belief, the lineup wide hitting slumps are not an anomaly of 2012 alone. We have seen that happen here at times for a number of years now.
Goody Bye Lloyd.

I copied my numbers incorrectly above. Our after travel record is 4-13.
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Greg, I like your “3 things I like” posts. It’s a nice counter balance.
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I think Santiago is as good or better than any 2ndbasemen that might realistically become available. I believe that upgrades will have to be made at other positions because of that. Henning can write his opinion but that doesn’t make it a good one. Granted, I didn’t read it.

Okay, I just read it. He’s right on Young and Boesch, blind on Santiago and 2ndbase. People need to quit thinking “Raburn 2ndbase” and concentrate on “Santiago 2ndbase.” You’ll sleep better at night.

Forgot to add, I don’t believe that getting rid of Lloyd would solve anything. They’d have to get rid of more than just him to have any impact. That said, Mac might become the sacrificial lamb. Who knows?

Stat Guru…I like your stat info and generally balanced analysis of situations. Are there links and/or sites you can hook me up with so I too can be tuned in? Thanks.

The frustration with this team was on display again just as we quietly start to think they finally might start to grab this division rightfully by the scruff of its neck.
Best described by Rich’s not to high, not to low, the Tig syndrome unfortunately raised its ugly ahead shown by the Tigs being:
21-14 following a loss with a 3.87 ERA hitting .271/.334/.438;
12-22 following a loss with a 4.12 ERA hitting .256/.322/.381;
17-18 151-159 runs at home;
17-18 151-155 runs on the road.
Thank goodness for Kansas and the Cubs for our 3 wins on Monday and Wednesday otherwise we would we 0-15 for these days of the week. 3-7 for Fridays isn’t much better though a 5.03 ERA will kill your offense anyway unless your Max.
What is it with pitchers? Do they protect their arm that much that they pretty well only do one thing with it? Sure has been a lot of lame attempts at executing some basic plays.

Dave B. , you wanted line six to read “12-22 following a win……..” Correct?? Good point about the pitchers. Our pitchers have 11 errors this year with none of the other teams in the AL central with more than 7 errors. Last year our pitchers lead the division with 16 errors. Wow, we have lots of room for improvement as we could end up with over 20 errors this year.

Checked in on the game last night and it was 4-0. The Tigers are not that much fun to watch. IMHO, it is a reflection of the manager. Does he get them fired up after a travel day? Oh yeah, we are really missing a player like Dirks. Go Tigers!

They werent in the game. There was a powerful reason for that.

Looks like that may be the case.

The players need a wakeup and a shakeup. Sometimes a coaching change will do that.
They are far too comfortable about saying things will be different WHEN they start hitting. Ilitch is not likely to get rid of JL. Last year it was Rick Knapp that took the hit. I think he was far less deserving of it than Lloyd is. The organization needs to publicly admit it has a problem and is doing something about it. Would firing Lloyd solve the problem? Maybe not but not firing him will perpetuate it. It is certainly nott all his fault. JL is the focal piece here. He should be MAKING his players at least listen to their hitting coach.. That’s presuming he is saying anything to them about 1st pitch swinging, working counts, making in-swing hitting adjustments, laying off certain pitches etc.
There is an atmosphere of acceptance on this team that is contributing to their poor play and their sub .500 results. The pitchers we have are good ones but they should not have to over-compensate for the offense every inning of every game.. I think their pitching stats would be even better if they had been given even a modicum of expected run support.
What I am saying here is it is NOT all Lloyd McCllendon’s fault. That firing him is not in itself, the answer, I am saying the organization can’t just continue doing nothing about a problem.. To be blunt about it, I would prefer it was Leyland, Lloyd and Lamont that are turfed. The sense of entitlement needs to be replaced with a sense of competence.. The fans (who are part of the entity that the Detroit Tigers are), need to know there is hope and not just blind faith. They need to have the sense that something is being done. Whether concrete or symbolic. Something.

Amen!

@tigers lineup
Jackson 8, Boesch 9, Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, Young 7, Avila 2, Peralta 6, Santiago 4, Scherzer 1.

OK Class……..”Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party”.

92 times please!!!!

I’d rather go to the party with 92 good women, but………..
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I came up with a 5-5 road trip by projecting 2 wins in Pittsburgh, 1 in Texas, and a split in St. Pete’s. That’s still attainable. The July schedule is much friendlier if we can start winning at home.
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I have to say, it will be tough watching Max pitch today.

We might have more to look forward to watching Max than our anaemic “hitters”.
Max has the best chance (other than JV) of throwing a shutout on our team. Certainly a no-hitter.
I doubt the latter will ever happen but maybe the former and maybe this year.

I’d rather see berry in there today instead of Young. Even when Young goes crazy (and I have little doubt he will), he remains one dimensional and always reverts to being an easy and quick out too soon.

Today we should have a definite advantage in the pitching match up. Go Tigers!!

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