Sunday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Indians

Austin Jackson’s right hamstring, which was bothering him last week in Houston, is sore according to Jim Leyland. He could play, but Leyland is going to give him a day off to try to give it a chance to improve. Don Kelly gets the start in center.

Terry Francona goes against the usual lefty-heavy strategy against Rick Porcello and starts Ryan Raburn in right.


  1. Andy Dirks, LF (1-for-3, double, K off Zach McAllister)
  2. Torii Hunter, RF (0-for-3, K off McAllister)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (2-for-8, double, K off McAllister)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B (2-for-6, K off McAllister)
  5. Victor Martinez, DH (2-for-2 off McAllister)
  6. Don Kelly, CF (1-for-2, K off McAllister)
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS (0-for-5, K off McAllister)
  8. Brayan Pena, C
  9. Omar Infante, 2B (0-for-3 off McAllister)

P: Rick Porcello


  1. Michael Brantley, CF (6-for-23, 2 doubles, HR, 2 walks, K off Porcello)
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B (4-for-16, HR, walk, 2 K’s off Porcello)
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS (13-for-34, 2 doubles, 2 walks, 3 K’s off Porcello)
  4. Nick Swisher, DH (6-for-19, 2 doubles, HR, 2 walks, 5 K’s off Porcello)
  5. Carlos Santana, 1B (9-for-24, double, 3 HR, 2 walks, 6 K’s off Porcello)
  6. Ryan Raburn, RF
  7. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B (1-for-7, double, K off Porcello)
  8. Yan Gomes, C (0-for-2, K off Porcello)
  9. Drew Stubbs, CF

P: Zach McAllister


yea i get to see ryan today

It’s time to dump Kelly and bring up Berry. Last year he created a spark to the team, and Leyland responded by sitting him on the bench. It is also timje to let Avila know that it’s time to contribute to the teams offense, he’s a great catcher, but he has failed too many times to come through in a pinch. we can create a large lead in this division if we quit playing favorites and put people in the lineup that can get the job done. 1.Jackson 2.Hunter 3.Cabrera 4.Fielder 5.Martinez 6.Peralta 7.Berry 8.Pena 9. Infante Pitching 1.Verlander 2.Sherzer 3. Fister 4.Sanchez 5.Smyley

Quinten Berry is batting 193 in Toledo…..why would you like him up here?

Verlander. career: with 4 /5/6 days of rest:3.12 /5: 3.75/ 3.12
Early May and he already has 6 games with 110 or more pitches. The last one , in Houston, totally needless.

Round 3… Cleveland is playing tough. A share of first place is at stake today. Porcello is capable of holding off the Indians, who have won 11 of their last 13. Let’s hope he can put the brakes on Cleveland.

Can someone please drive someone off these loaded bases?


That was frustrating bases loaded 1 out your big guys up and squat! Let him off the hook again!

Nice double play

Decent enough job by Porcello. Gave the Tigers a chance to win.

Yep…..gotta tell ya I was nervous to see Phil come in and thankful and pleased to see the double play.
Disappointed with the number of runners our guys stranded. Sure would feel a lot better if we had a few more. Come on guys!

Grande time

First hit VV has given up this year. Nuthin’ easy about this game or this series.

sll those stranded runners. …come back to haunt as, as could be expected.

Grande sucks and so does Leland for allowing that dumb ass to be on this Ball club. Get rid of senile Leland send valverde back to whatever island he came from


Torri can’t get the bunt down.

And then he grounds into the double play. Wanna be mad at someone try these hitters who’ve stunk with runners in scoring position.

No surprise with Valverde. Bad call bunting with hunter

Not sure why it was a bad idea to bunt. BAD execution. Torri’s bat has slowed down quite a bit. He had a job and didn’t do it.

I favored the bunt under those circs, too.Hunter has a reputation as a guy who can lay one down. If successful, it would have put the winning run in scoring position and eliminated the DP, bringing to bat Miggy and Prince.

They walk Miguel to pitch to Fielder. And I rather pitch to him (with a LHP)

Well, since Hunter didn’t get the bunt down we will never know what might have happened.

With RISP: 143 R first in MLB

Need to start paying better ball. Pitchers and hitters. Yes Valverde blew the save and has blame but the middle of the order had plenty of runners on base and they STUNK! And with two outs their hitters didn’t blow it whereas ours couldn’t get runners in from third with less than 2 outs. Couldn’t even hit a stinking ground ball to second or a sac fly.

The indians are tied with the Tigers in runs scored with bases loaded, and behind in runs with RISP, RISP with two outs since the Tigers are first or second in MLB in those splits

Runner on third. Advantage Tribe.

Those numbers were those in MLB webpage when I posted. Now, they are updated. Mostly the same relative position for the Tigers

Along your line of thought,the Indians broadcasters raved about how prolific their team is with runners in scoring position with 2 outs. The Tribe apparently now leads the AL in BA in that category. Does .327 sound right?

Yes,but they Tiger have scored 5 runs more than them while hitting 60 points less

1 run more after adding the runs from today

It’s pretty strange when the closer comes in for a 1-run save and I say to my wife “the best case scenario here is keeping it to extra innings.” He did succeed at that.

To be clear, I said that before the 9th inning started.

Garcia finally hit an xB . He is hitting 400 and knocking the door

well got home not too long ago. sure was cold and windy today. Valverde really blew it today. Sigh. Go redwings.

It’s pretty embarrassing for a first place team to bring in a recycled pitcher who throws nothing but 92-94 fastballs, walks too many, and couldn’t keep his 98 year old grandma close to the bag. As soon as Bourn walks, you know the Indians tie the game. It did not surprise me that the Indians won in the 10th.because we have professionals making 20 million dollars a year to bring in runners on base. And they repeatedly failed in the clutch. We waste a very decent outing by Ricky P. Five walks from the bullpen will not cut it, especially lead off the inning walks. Are we prepared to go through this weekly torture of one run games, to allow VV the opportunity for the opposition to tie or win. I’ve had it again with this clown. He MUST GO! Enough bloviating. Three good things from the game:
1. Bryan Pena is the player of the game; establishes himself as a very viable backup, both offensively and defensively. Sorry Gene Money!
2. Coke looks like the Coke of old; lots of fizz and good to the last drop. Maybe he’s been hurt all season long.
3. Two outstanding DP’s by Jhonny and Omar. They kept us in the game. These guys have given 120% so far. It’s time to step up and play like champions. Please tell me that VV is gone. Help! Look, I know that no players performs greatly every game, but you’ve got to look at the trend. With Jose, nothing but fastballs, and mediocre ones at that. Please tell me he is gone. Good night all!

I admit, VV drives me nuts. But we tried the other guys as closers and that did not go well. They did not get the job done as a committee and the pen ended up being a mess. In fact, VV has been effective in 6 appearannces with only 1 hit,1 run and a fastball that has touched 95 as recently as today..

Well……the entrance of the closer should instill confidence in teamates and fans alike. I don’t think that is happening. Why else would I even think of saying ridiculous things like hold it to a tie, Valverde, before he even reaches the mound?
He’s the same pitcher that wasn’t good enough last year. He blows important games; playoff games, head to head division matchups, big games in Cleveland in September when we’re teetering on falling out of the race. To think he’ll turn it around after throwing a few mid-90s fastballs in Florida is very shortsighted.
I fail to see how an otherwise very good management team messed this up so badly.
They would seriously do better putting Smyly in the rotation and making Porcello the closer. At least Rick has more than one pitch. 35 games played and we’ve needed a 9th inning closer only 8 times.
I suppose we’ll have to lose a few more important games before it hits home.

The Porcello idea has been thrown around for a bit now. It may have to be tried if VV fails too often, barring a trade. An issue with Smyly as a starter might be how deep he can go. He doesn’t have much history as a 7 inning guy when he has been given the opportunity to start in the majors.

Drew would definitely be on a shorter pitch count than the other four starters. Thing is, our starters go so deep that the relievers aren’t getting enough steady work.

5-9 in one run and extra innings.
JV would have been lucky to hit my garbage can today.
Closer by c’tee never had a chance when your skip doesn’t want it.
Lucky we are in Central and will be able to muddle thru until we get a July rental.

or rondon comes back. since he’s been in toledo he’s been pitching better. just saying.

Yeah, that’s a good point. He could factor himself into the equation down the line. He certainly has the stuff.

This whole idea of a closer riles my underwear too. It is a created position and stat(save) to where the outcome of the game and the situation at the time dictates the need for the position(closer) to get the stat(save). In the ninth inning of a game, your best bullpen pitcher that day should be the one trying to protect a lead, not a person who has been annointed with the title of “one who gets me the last three outs”.
In that case ,it might be Smyly one night, or Coke another. Even Al might be the choice. Could JV close? Or Max? Or Doug? Absolutely. The SAVE! The worst stat in MLB!

That is true. the committee works, the manager did not like it and wanted it failed . He wants, as usual ,the veteran with the sun in his back.

How ironic. Last year in April, Hunter called out Scioscia in a veiled criticism to DiGiovanna of the Times for not calling for a bunt from Ianetta in the second inning of a game.

It seems to me Hunter bunted for a hit just a couple of weeks ago. I tried to research the issue and could only come up with an archived synoptic article from the Chicago Tribune concerning a 4-30-13 event, which article I was unable to access.

Maybe I’m confusing Hunter with Dirks.

Good points about the save/stat. I’ve thought of this before. It’s the only managerial move, I think, that’s predicated by an individual’s personal statistics. If it’s a save situation, 3 runs or less, you go to the closer. Anything else and you go to someone else most of the time. Strange way to plan strategy, when you think about it.

It did turn out that the closer by committee was nothing more than closer tryouts that extended into April. Jim never bought into it, and the experiment was extremely short lived.
I realize this sounds like overreacting to one blown save, but how many has Valverde blown in his last 10 attempts?

The ‘closer tryouts” idea probably holds water. When desperation set in given the results, VV was signed. So here we are.

How many has he blown in the last three years? Not many. The person other than Riveria that is thought to be the best closer right now Kimbrel has blown 3 this year. There’s a lot of blame to go around and in my opinion the it has a lot more to to with the 2-3-4-5 hitters stranding 1 billion runners on base. Valverde screwed up certainly but those other 4 screwed up a lot more. I thought I over reacted a lot I’m shocked you are all going crazy over 1 blown save. I figured after they kept stranding all those runners it would come back to bit them in the butt.
And I also believe if you listen to most managers they don’t like not having a named closer. Whether you all thnk it’s stupid or not, may be or just perhaps they understand the psychology of a club house better than most of us who’ve never been in one. And to think you all think Rondon is the answer right now he was miserable up here. Triple a is a different than up here. I don’t know if VV is going to be the answer, but I’m certainly going to give someone who’s saved 93% of his outings which is tops in that time frame, so if that’s not good enough than nobody can help us. Everyone in that pen has been worse than him, so until he proves otherwise I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

That’s a lot of generalizations with the “you all” thing. Speaking for myself, I don’t care what Valverde did three years ago for the simple reason that it’s three years ago. Also speaking for myself, I’m talking closer right now, not what the hitters did. One subject at a time.
Here’s my bottom line: the closer issue should have been addressed over the winter. Now we’re in a sticky spot. Rafael Soriano has been good for the Nats and yes, he blew a save today.
I guess we’ll take this back up at the next intermission in Anaheim? 🙂

You all is referring to you all who were all blaming Valverde and Leyland and everyone one else was let off the hook. People tend to fixate on a person or two to place their blame. “It’s Leylands fault that the so called closer by committee didn’t work….well no it didn’t work because they didn’t rise to the situation. It’s Valverdes fault they lost today (and yes partially) but I would say the 2-8 with risp and the 9 left on base was just as at fault..
But you wanna talk about this year since a track record means nothing,,,,,6 innings 1 hit 3 walks and 5 strikeouts. ( most of that happened today 1 outing where it was extraordinarily cold and they all seemed to be having a hard time throwing strikes. I’m not sold on him either but until he proves otherwise I’m not going to go crazy. As I’m not going to give up on Victor either since I’m going on what he’s done and his track record.

El Tigre, per FanGraphs Hunter laid down 11 bunts last year, and he reached safely on 7 of them. That indicates a significant skill component.

He said it after the game according to the post, I guess, he has selective memory

i don’t know what jose threw today, but in the game against Washington fangraphs says that he threw 1 splitter (and 6 fastballs). The mean speed of those fastballs was 93.9.
with that said, i think jose threw 29 for 29 fastballs, today. real head shaker.

well i dont know the velocity of those fastballs. hah. i will tomorrow morning tho.

No splitters today. He has to get ahead to use that pitch and he was never ahead I don’t think.

got ahead on 1 out of the 7. So essentially you are correct.

I shut it off and took a nap. Didn’t miss a thing.

C’mon. Can you really take yesteryears save ratio and apply it to Jose now? No way..
I missed the last 3 games and didn’t see the VV mess but it was inevitable.
Maybe the 2-5 goes didn’t do their job. Maybe they failed but one thing I can tell you is they WILL do their jobs. Valverde is unable to do his. It’s quite evident and has been for some time. Bringing him back was a desperate move that management should have been too embarrassed to try to placate the fans and patch a gaping hole.
Talking up Rondon was the same strategy that was used when Scott Sizemore was foisted upon the Tiger faithful. They made a dreadful mistake then and it has been repeated once again. This was a major issue that management failed to act upon responsibly.
Valverde is Hope and Dream personified.

Well V-marts stas are from yesteryear and he’s stunk for the most part this year…so I suppose who you apply the vitrial too is dependent. Victor has been bad more than good this year…Valverde has been good more than bad this year. If its only this year that counts vmart should be gone.

“You guys have to remember, I don’t have a Spring Training,” Valverde said. “This is my Spring Training right now. So far, I’ve thrown four or five innings. I’ll be OK.”
Take that and run in whatever direction you like.
Good job, Wings. And Chicago is only one timezone away.

Direction #1: Whose fault was that Jose?

96 pitches,9 innings , one hitter. Guillen working for ESPN español blamed the manager and batting coach. They Halos went there to swing at the first pitch and failed but kept doing it, again and again. Failed strategy and no changes during the game. I have seen that before

Victor Martinez has a low BaBip and high line drive %. His OBP is 288 . Delmon Young was 296
Miguel is hitting 510/1420 with RISP.He leads MLB with 40 RBI. He cant do it all, everyday.
Fielder last 7.:211/.348/.474/.822. He could earn his salary. At the clean up spot he left 6 , one more than Martinez.He never takes the heat from fans

A 100 MPH is better than a 92 MPH fastball.
Soriano was never in the equation, he is not worth a draft pick and 60 MM/4

lots of strong feelings about jVV – and i don’t think it’s appropriate yet. Can we grill him when he doesn’t have a 0.67 WHIP in 6IP? He isn’t lying that he wasn’t in ST – nor was it really his fault. If anything, it’s the tigers fault for acting like he was undesirable by telling him he wasn’t coming back dang-near before the WS was over.

post Brooks analysis, two things stick out: a) only 1 out of 6 pitching sequences started off with a ball thrown as a strike (1 could have gone either way, however), and b) his velocity was NOT DOWN – it was 93.4 avg and 96.1 max.

I don’t know like I said ( I who freak out all the time) am just not going to freak out about one bad outing. I will believe in him and Victor for that matter until I have more evidence. I’m not going to be included in the chorus of boos and banter to run players out of town. People in this town always pick one player they hold responsible for the TEAMS failures.

anyone care to comment on darin’s performance yesterday? Was he throwing all this pitches it seems to me he was only throwing 2 pitches (some kind of fastball and a changeup) – but i thought he threw 2 more pitches than that (a curveball and another faster pitch)?

One slider, ball, to Reynolds
Darin Downs was not expected to pitch yesterday after his very good outing on saturday,only 15 pitches and he stranded the inherited runners that game. Alburquerque was “probably unavailable” and Downs has good numbers vs RHB, and a SO prone this time. There was no option but he is not yet ready to go back to back.

AH yea good point. interesting.

Went to the game yesterday, so far I am 0 – 2 when attending, so maybe I just stay home from now on. What a bummer, the real fault of yesterday was not Jose but our inability to get our runners around to home plate. I won’t get all excited over one blown save from Jose, but I do get worked up over his lack of care for keeping a runner close to first base, the minute that guy got on it was inevitable he would be at 2nd, not helping the matters that he is fast too. Loved Coke’s performance and Pena’s hr was a thing of beauty – love his sprint around the basepaths, Jhonny almost got lapped by him. We thought Prince hit one out there at the end but to no avail. The great upside? My kids are 6 and 8 and yesterday was our first game where they sat and watched the whole game, my boy got up for one bathroom break – they actually sat and watched the whole thing. Maybe because it was too cold to want to go walk around but nonetheless nice for me.

Your fooling no one if you think Valverde is the solution to the 9th. inning. If I were Dombrowski, I would apologize to tiger Fans. Boros and VV are CON artists. If I’m wrong, I’m man enough to admit it. All the warning signals were there last October.
His arm is 6 months older now. Rivera is about the only pitcher I know who can survive with one pitch.

lets say VV blows the next save (lets say tomorrow night). Dombrowski comes out with a statement along those lines. Then what? And don’t mistake me I believe a) Boras is a snake, b) jose valverde is the optimal closer for a championship team. However I do think Valverde is a much better solution than closer by committee with this staff and manager.

sorry, “is NOT the optimal closer for a championship team”

Just a note about the comments on today’s blog. Lots of civilized discussion and many reasonable and differing points. Good food for thought in a kinda smogasbord way.

Re: hunter Bunt.
He was misquoted, or so I think:
““Yeah, I gotta do my job, no matter if throws underhand, or it’s sinking, or I haven’t bunted in 10 years. DO YOUR ’ JOB. And I didn’t do it,” Hunter said. “I’m here to win, so trust me, it wasn’t like I wasn’t trying. I was definitely trying.”
It was a rhetoric device that was quoted as fact?

Hunter was probably referring specifically to sacrifice bunts. However, he has demonstrated the ability to lay one down for a hit over the course of his career. For years, Hunter was a middle-of-the-order hitter so he presumably was not called on to sacrifice very often.

Raburn was welcomed with some boo’s, tried explaining to my daughter that one – her great 8 year old response was – but Mom, he probably didn’t mean to do a bad job as a Tiger, and he isn’t a Tiger anymore so why aren’t they just happy about that?” Loved it. We had a heckler near us, everyone was a bum for the Indians and should go back to triple A ball – curiously I don’t think the heckler is playing pro baseball so always love hearing those that can’t ridicule those who can. 2 lined foul balls near us – got 2 kids so that had us on our toes as well.

too bad it didn’t get that heckler. people in my section booed Raburn also – not especially loud though. I did not – but did cheer when he grounded out.

TigerGirl, that’s great about your kids. It’s a big moment when they actually begin to watch the ballgame. I remember taking my two and about five of their friends to Tiger Stadium once. Lined ’em up in two rows on the bleacher seats and they sat quietly the entire game, eating their snacks and watching the game. That was slightly more amazing than Kirk Gibson’s sudden walk off homer off the Yankees Ron Davis, which nearly reached us way out there.

Valverde just picked a bad time to blow his first save. There’s never a good time, but this particular Cleveland game was really bad. I don’t expect a closer to mow the hitters down but, like Chris Perez Saturday night, he should be shaking hands when it’s over. Maybe there won’t be many of the 1-run variety. One can hope.

The boos for Raburn kind of put the lie to the claim that they had been booing Jim for playing him. It was also a very juvenile thing to do.

yea that was a terrible game to lose.

Hunter has not been asked to sacrifice much, remember he was a middle of the order run producer for 10 years. He bunted for a hit, but looked awful trying to sacrifice.
Valverde blew a save, yup. Just like every closer. I was pissed he didn’t challenge old man Giambi more. Brantley is a good hitter, we were asking for trouble. The Tribe is pretty good, especailly if Ubaldo keeps pitching well.
Was it hailing in Detroit yesterday? Looked miserable.

yes, I had white flakes/small hail hitting me at different times throughout the game – the few times the sun peaked through it warmed up a ton but only lasted for a few minutes.


Seems that Avasail Garcia is not where he’s expected to be this morning……

Do we really have to research it, Rich?

You want me to spread unfounded rumors??? 😉

if he’s coming up it probably means AJ is hurt

OK, I read Jason’s tweet. Probably on his way to somewhere.

Pretty important for the club to “take it on” Houston. 2 games in a row at home and one in a demoralizing fashion are not quite a trend but another loss right now might be.
We really need AJ and Victor to start hitting like they can. When AJ gets hot, he is treat to watch.

AJ might need a little rest for that hamstring. Wouldn’t surprise me. Victor is doing a good impression of Magglio in 2009. That came out all right in the end….for Maggs.

Well I hope AJ recovers OK. He is critical to the success of the team. We also need Torii to hit more than the <5 projected HR pace he is on.
This team will find a closer.

I noticed AJ limping a couple days ago on his way back to the dugout.

I usually agree with bunting the runner over but Torii is hitting .340 and they would have walked Miguel. So we are letting Valverde have his Spring Training now? Sorry, bad management IMHO. If the hitters do their job 1 out of 3 times? Victor’s career is far from over and he will keep seeing the ball better. Is Valverde going to get better with one pitch? His colored goat beard is intimidating, tho. I am done venting. It is frustrating to come home in the 7th inning and watch the Tigers lose. You are right Dan, AJ needs to get hot.

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