May 27th, 2013

Hunter to miss two games for kids’ graduation

If you’ve been reading the site this season, you hopefully read the Mothers Day package and Torii Hunter’s tribute to his wife and the job she did raising their sons, including Torii Jr. They’re headed off to college, and Torii and his wife will be able to visit Torii Jr. at Notre Dame this fall, which was one reason he signed with Detroit.

Before that, however, comes graduation from high school. That’s this coming weekend, and Torii Hunter plans on being at home in Texas to watch his sons receive their diploma.

“This is just once in a lifetime,” Hunter said. “I hope people forgive me for it.”

Most fathers hopefully will understand.

Hunter plans on heading home after the Tigers’ series in Pittsburgh Wednesday and Thursday. He’ll miss the games Friday and Saturday in Baltimore, then return for Sunday’s series finale against the O’s.

I don’t know of any special list that would allow the Tigers to deactivate Hunter and call up another player for a couple days. Essentially, this would be like a day-to-day injury that costs a player a couple games. The Tigers have survived plenty of those the last few years, and they’ll get through this one, too. You can’t fault the reasoning.

Monday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Pirates

Standard anti-lefty lineup for the Tigers against a familiar foe in an unfamiliar uniform. Francisco Liriano owns a 5-7 record and a 5.93 ERA in 23 career appearances against Detroit, including a 6.18 ERA at Comerica Park. The last few years have been particularly rough for him against them. That said, this is a much different year for him, so we’ll see how different he is.

Brandon Inge was not originally in the Pirates lineup, but with Starling Marte scratched for migraine symptoms, the shuffling results in Inge starting at third base. It will be Inge’s first start at Comerica Park since the Tigers released him last April, and he’ll get to face Justin Verlander.

Some very good numbers for the Tigers against Liriano, especially Victor Martinez (11-for-24). Still, it’s probably worth sticking with Miguel Cabrera for Beat the Streak. He’s 9-for-26 off Liriano, and he carries a 12-game hitting streak into this afternoon. You can see other writers’ picks for other games here.

You can follow the game online via Gameday, watch online through MLB.TV or listen on Gameday Audio. Locally, you can watch on Fox Sports Detroit and listen on 97.1 FM and AM 1270.

TIGERS (with career numbers against Francisco Liriano)

  1. Omar Infante, 2B (1-for-9, 3 K’s)
  2. Torii Hunter, RF (4-for-13, HR, 2 walks, 2 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (9-for-26, 2 HR, 8 walks, 6 K’s)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B (3-for-19, 2 walks, 8 K’s)
  5. Victor Martinez, DH (11-for-24, HR, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS (10-for-34, 2 HR, 6 walks, 13 K’s)
  7. Matt Tuiasosopo, LF (0-for-5, 2 K’s)
  8. Brayan Pena, C (4-for-13, 3 K’s)
  9. Avisail Garcia, CF (0-1, walk, K)

P: Justin Verlander

PIRATES (with career numbers against Verlander)

  1. Starling Marte Travis Snider, LF (3-for-9, HR, 3 K’s)
  2. Neil Walker, 2B (0-for-6, 2 walks, 2 K’s)
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF (2-for-11, walk, 2 K’s)
  4. Garrett Jones, DH RF (2-for-9, HR, 3 K’s)
  5. Russell Martin, C (5-for-17, HR, walk, 5 K’s)
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B DH (1-for-7, 4 K’s)
  7. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  8. Travis Snider, RF Brandon Inge, 3B
  9. Clint Barmes, SS (1-for-6, 2 K’s)

P: Francisco Liriano