Wednesday’s lineups: Tigers at Pirates

Pittsburgh 006

Is this the start of a new two-game series, or a continuation of a four-game series? Discuss while you peruse the lineup.

Because of the change of venue, the Tigers lose the DH, which means Victor Martinez is on the bench for this one. Alex Avila is just 1-for-8 off A.J. Burnett, while Brayan Pena is 1-for-9, but catching V-Mart for a start appears to be out of the question at this point in the season. Maybe that changes later.

One thing worth watching is the pitch count on Anibal Sanchez. Jim Leyland said after last start he might be conservative with Sanchez’s pitch count after his no-hit bid last time out, and he backed that up today.

“I’m going to watch him. We’ll watch him close,” Leyland said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re not going to do anything ridiculous.”

The only reliever who might be held back tonight is Joaquin Benoit. Drew Smyly is back and available, and Jose Ortega could be back out there.

As you can tell below, there aren’t many great numbers for Tigers hitters off A.J. Burnett, even among those who faced him for years. Omar Infante’s 3-for-6 off him includes 1-for-3 in a matchup last year. It takes a little projection, but I took a shot with him tonight for Beat the Streak. You can check out other writers’ picks here.

If you want to watch the Red Wings tonight but still track the Tigers, you can follow online with Gameday or take advantage of the At-Bat app. Better yet, you can get a second screen going with MLB.TV (if you live out of market) or watch Wings-Blackhawks on mute and listen to the Tigers on Gameday Audio. Locally, the game is televised on Fox Sports Detroit and broadcast on AM 1270.

TIGERS (with career numbers off A.J. Burnett)

  1. Andy Dirks, LF (1-for-3)
  2. Torii Hunter, RF (9-for-33, 2 HR, 3 walks, 7 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (4-for-22, walk, 2 K’s)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B (3-for-11, 2 HR, 2 walks, K)
  5. Jhonny Peralta, SS (4-for-19, HR, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
  6. Alex Avila, C (1-for-8, walk, K)
  7. Omar Infante, 2B (3-for-6)
  8. Don Kelly, CF (1-for-8)
  9. Anibal Sanchez, P

PIRATES (with career numbers off Anibal Sanchez)

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B (1-for-11, walk, 3 K’s)
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF (4-for-11, walk, 5 K’s)
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B (1-for-7, 2 K’s)
  5. Russell Martin, C (3-for-9, 2 K’s)
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B (3-for-9, HR, 3 K’s)
  7. Travis Snider, RF (0-for-3)
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS (1-for-3)
  9. A.J. Burnett, P


The numbers are misleading due to the Houston series but the Tigers remain first in MLB in runs scored.
Garcia failed the bunt but after his AB the runner was on 2B.
I have been saying the same since he was called, play him everyday while he is up. Calling him to warm the bench was unreasonable and unfair.
BTW: he is hitting better( insignificant little sample)vs RHP than Kelly( the same for 2E)

I agree. Leyland was constantly questioned about his lineups last year, to the point where it became a running joke, and here’s another example of why he gets questioned. It’s just not as loud now without Raburn in the mix.

true, but his bunting (last night) was certainly ugly looking

I’m sure if Garcia’s defense was better than Kelly he would get more playing time.

Or perhaps it’s easier on the old skipper’s brain to just send Kelly out there?

But Leyland had Kelly in left with Garcia in center didn’t he? Or did I read the box score wrong?

In Mondays game

I think people need to come to grips with the fact that ol’ Jim just likes playing Kelly. 🙂

Kelly entered Monday’s game as a late-inning sub in left for Tuiasosopo. Leyland stuck with Garcia for the full game in center rather than shift him around.

Kaline said Don is our 3rd best OF defender! Even if you think Garcia has better speed, range and arm….Don Kelly has the experience (1154.1 MLB innings playing OF, 279 of which play CF in CoPa).
But he was a pirate at one point – so maybe it’s more fun to keep the side-joke going that Jim plays favorites instead of whats best for the team.

Really like this Pirates-Tigers series bouncing between the two cities. It almost is like hockey in the old days when let’s say the Wings and Black Hawks would play Saturday night in Detroit and Sunday night in Chicago.

Garcia and Kelly have nearly identical number of at bats since the 15th of May.

Getting Twitter Pics from Jason and Chris Iott from PNC Park. Having been there, I agree that it’s the best view in all of baseball. I also enjoy walking across the bridge over the river to get there.

Avi Garcia is the future. Kelly is the past. Platooning Avi against RHP accomplishes zilch. His career will see him facing RHP far more often than not. Play him.
Kelly is a bench guy-leave him on the bench.
When AJ returns–send Avi down. He’s thirsty for baseball knowledge. Sitting on the bench at any level for him at his age is counter productive.
Defense? I would rather have Avi in CF than Kelly.

I did think it was a good opportunity to give Garcia some real big league playing time. Squandered. Avisail couldn’t get what Quintin Berry got.

Wings have little to no chance tonight. Actually they had little to no chance at this series before game 1.
Yet they are here.
If Franzen can play well. If Datsyuk can revisit his youth and Jimmy stones the Hawks who knows what can happen. Stranger things have happened.
Babcock has gotten a lot out of his defense despite their inexperience and skill level.
The Wings will have to play out of their minds for more than 40 minutes tonight. That has been the problem.
3rd period letdowns.
Well, that and no power play!!!
Good luck.
Win this one for Gordie.

Okay, I’ll give in to hockey talk this once. In NHL history, a team has come back from 3-1 down to force a 7th game 48 times. The results of that 7th game? 24-24. This sucker is a toss up.

The Tigers had trouble with AJ Burnett because they weren’t patient when he was wild. Now that he has better control, could they do better?

Regression was expected but is his injured finger helping it?

His plate selection s just so bad….swinging at stuff way out of the zone…maybe that’s his finger I don’t know?

Boy has Miggy looked bad at the plate the last several days. What’s up with that, he is swinging and missing a lot.

Yes he has. Always surprises me how dramatically different his hot and cold streaks are. I mean he looks awful right now and a few days ago he was ripping the cover off the ball every at bat.
If the 1st inning is any indication we are going to be disappointed with the outcome of this game.
Dirks looked bad again.
Got a break on the Hunter liner then Cabby looked overmatched and Prince was fortunate not to be called out on strikes. as he should have been. Peralta stood around and did nothing. The base running was poor.
Tigers have to be carefull. They appear to be going into an early June Swoon.


When Dirks comes up now I feel it is pretty much an automatic out.
Best of luck to all Red Wing fans tonight.

An still some journos and bloggers really think they can do without Jackson. He is second only to Cabrera for the team

Neil freaking Walker seriously?

Andy tricked us!

Miggy makes us bite our tongue.

I love it. Lol.

No offense to anybody but i love it when players make us bloggers and commenters eat our words. Even when its myself. And believe me i eat my words with the best of em. How bout our starting pitching staff. I mean you talk about picking your poison. Any one of them could throw a no hitter on any given day and porcello just proved hes capable as well.

I guess the finger is OK

That a way to snap out of the drought!!!!!!!!!!

That was better.

Oh, no. Here we go again.

Man these guys are pesky. Im glad we dont play these guys 15 times a year.

There went the QS and the game

Failed defense

What was the failed defense???

Avila unable to handle the wild pitch,. Fielder failed with the squeeze

Get him out….jeez

That was out three. The Pirates gave them an out and Fielder rejected it

Damn, I hate when things start to go wrong with this team. There just seems to be no control or confidence when the wheels start to come off.
Worse is when a brilliant effort turns into crap.
No way this club comes back from this, we just don’t have that kind of character right now.

Your right. Thats one thing that i keep waiting to see is more rallys and comeback wins when were down late in the game. Its just not there. It seems like just the opposite actually. They seem to just kinda rollover and let the game just pass em by. I dont get it

Sanchez looked great and has fallen apart. Avila can’t block the ball and has now only thrown out 4 of 23. Those 4 should be ashamed of themselves. Avila is not even of jorneyman ability like a guy of Martin’s stature.

And it’s not like Avila can make it up with his bat on anywhere near a routine basis.

Well that went in the crapper quick……he was looking so good.

Jim Price said that perhaps he was tipping pitches or someone was stealing signals. Well, Torii won’t be playing tomorrow either, I bet. He had that elbow smashed. I’s gonna give my 2 cents about AA. Please, send him to Toledo.

I’m not I’s.

I agree. I mean how much more are they gonna put this kid through. Just send him down already. His confidence is long gone and his defense is not making up for it. The sooner we get him down the sooner we get him back. We have a fully capable catcher whos been hitting pretty good the last time i checked ready and waiting for his shot in the show. The time is now. U know your bad when don kelly has a higher batting average.

I stick to my theory: bad defense sinked him

Truthfully I was watching the wings and keeping up with the tigers on game day on the iPad. What defensive miscues were there?

Tiger fans deal with the lack of team-wide hitting every year. We go through extended periods of the whole lineup being in a slump with seemingly no way out of it. I hope this is not another one of those scenarios.
The heavy lumber and free-agent signings should not result in a team that can be this incapable of scoring runs.
The fact that JL feels his best team out there includes Avila and Kelly is a very troubling indeed.

There was a string of 16.2 innings of zeros before the 3-run inning, and then nothing more. Pittsburgh looks far better than Detroit right now.
Miggy just looks tired, like mentally fatigued. His brain is like a computer and maybe it requires periodic reboots. Should be a quick reboot, I’d think.
So was the 7th that inning when Sanchez ran out of gas, as Jim spoke of?
There were about 8 homers hit in Camden Yards tonight.

No one ready for the squeeze play, passed ball, Pirates stealing bases like candy.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a dominating pitcher literally self destruct so quickly. And as Sanchez blew up, the rest of the team fell apart. As Rich mentioned, I wouldn’t take this team so lightly. Lot’s of pitching talent, some really good hitters, speed, and finally the have Inge. I couldn’t resist. We have some structural concerns at this time. I tend to disagree that Garcia is a better center fielder than Kelly; I think he’s a natural right fielder. He does need to be playing every day, wherever it is. Omar is getting a basket of breaking stuff, and can’t hit it. Fielder and Andy are out of sink. I’ll give kudos tonight to Miggy. What a stretch to find three things to like; here we go:
1. Oft criticized Donny gets three walks and scores the tying run.
2. Victor has a huge pinch hit in the top of the ninth; that hit gets Miggy back up to the plate to have the opportunity to tie the game. That’s all you can ask for.
3. Drew puts out the fire in the bottom of the seventh. Pirates could have scored two more with a clutch base hit.

It’s a good thing that Torii was going to be out for two games this weekend. He probably needs to be off tomorrow too with the clunker to his elbow. Miggy needs a day just to clear his head. The whole team needs to come alive. It will be a push to tie tomorrow. If Doug’s pitches are up, could be a long day. Good night all!

Neither Kelly nor Avila are MLB starters, not even on the Astros.

Tigers reject Grilli is 36. VV is younger and throws harder, even now. Grilli has a lot of saves in a row, a little over 1/2 of what VV once did. Grilli and Raburn are gone but VV won’t go away. Regardless of how well VV does, it is not enough for the haters, many of whom remain their hateful selves despite reality. Love the Tigers but am ecstatic to see the hater geniuses suffer.

A liitle less not more than 1/2. VV had 49 Saves in 49 SVO.

Ok, I’ll take flack for this. The ‘Senior Circut’ needs to adopt the DH rule. In this day and age it’s simply time. Pitcher need to pitch, and that’s all. Especially with the salaries teams are investing in these guys. I gaurantee the NL would not have won the World Series the last few seasons if the DH was used through out the series.

Interleague has been dominated by the AL easily.
DH or no DH , the Tigers stand no chance last year, they were out of timing.
NL fans, owners and media love their old style game and wont change it to please the AL

On second thoughts, i was not paying much attention, I had to run in the middle of the inning to ER with my mother in law( she is OK).
Sanchez, pitches , strikes:
93-71. There was no need to steal signs to know he was going for the zone. No wasted pitches. It was easy to go there and swing to the first pitch , it was set to be a strike. Pedro Alvarez has even more easy, after the coach visited the mound, it is almost a rule that the pitcher will try to throw a strike and he did, a sinker that looked high but in the zone.
Only the last run can be tagged to the IF.
Miguel tired? Perhaps, frustrated. Last week, he went 4.for 4 3 HR for nothing. Without Jackson , the offense is a one man band. As soon as 4 and 5( he is getting better but still) keep struggling he wont see much to hit and he is known for lack of patients in that situation and also when the bat is taken off his hands.
Sorry, but all teams play by the same rules,If not that the DH is only for the Tigers. The road trip, tis time, was for both teams in the same conditions. And I guess there is no conspiracy of the Umps against the Tigers.

What a bummer of a game to lose. I did not see much of it, was in the car and up 3-1 and Dan and Jim having a love fest for Sanchez. I get back in the car and it is tied. I get home and we are behind – Sanchez went downhill so quickly, can’t blame them for not getting him out sooner, did not see that coming at all. I did not watch for the comeback, I was hoping for a Wings comeback and watched that instead. They should have lost in regulation, could you imagine if they won that game after that non-goal call?

almost would make up for the fake penalty shot that lost the game for the wings in the previous game

We have become a team that could be considered to have weak LHB.
Where is the power?
Dirks, VMart, Pena Avila, Kelly all have as many homers this month as Fielder (2) does.
In total, the Tigers’ LHB have hit 13 homers this month. By contrast, Chris Davis of the O’s has hit 10 all by his lonesome.
Ranted the RHB haven’t been much better when you remove Miggy from the equation.
My point here is the ongoing problem of having a team built around “sluggers not burners” that fails to slug.
A team of sluggers is a team that can change the complexion of a game in an instant with a hit (or an error) a and a walk followed by a bomb. A team that adequately supports good starting pitching, not intensify the pressure of having to go out and throw perfect inning after perfect inning.
We do not have a home run hitter’s dream ballpark but we do play half our games elsewhere.
We get runners on base where they are not required to “run”. They (and coaching staff) seem content to wait around for Illitch’s money to provide the long ball (that he so generously bought) to enable them to trot home.
Hence we can lead the majors in hitting but ignominiously also lead the baseball (all 30 teams) in LEFT ON BASE. The Tigers lead baseball with 8 LOB per game. They have left an average of 9 lately.

The Pirates won that game yesterday because our hitters are not putting other teams away. They are not supporting their starting pitchers and are letting other teams “stick around” until something bad happens.
Again, we seem to have a team thatd fails to feed off each other. A solid effort by a pitchers does not seem to inspire the offense, or for that matter, the defense either.
Sanchez screwed up yesterday but he should not have been in such a tight ballgame with all the responsibility for cinching the outcome. Ditto with Porcello the day before that.
This team has been paid to hit. And not just for average.

I really thought Prince would hit 45 homers in his second season in the AL.

Tough loss last night. No doubt about it. You all know I tend to be on the optimistic side of most issues concerning our Tigers. However, last night when we did not score in the top of the sixth and the scoreboard read: Tigers 3 Pirates 1 something told me we had to win this game either 3 to 1 or 3 to 2. Sanchez had been so spectacular last Friday and he followed it up by being perhaps just as impressive through six innings last night with only 67 pitches thrown. Our manager saw the low pitch total and he too marked this down as a 3-2 win with Anibal Sanchez giving him eight innings after throwing approximately 100 pitches and Jose Valverde for the save in the ninth. For me, the seventh inning loomed as a monumental trap. McCutchen, Jones, Martin with possibly Alvarez and Snider to follow.looked dangerous to me. Now really I’m stealing a trick from our Skipper’s methods in a way. Bottom of the seventh the manager tells the pitcher (Anibal), “You get no more than three batters this inning. I’m coming to get you after Martin”. Does that get him focused and he gets them three up three down in the seventh?? Not sure. We absolutely needed a zero on the board in the seventh. Would the bullpen have gotten us to Valverde in the ninth?? Not sure. One thing you can take to the bank, absolutely no pitcher would ever give me nine innings like last Friday and six innings like last night and then have FIVE straight opponents reach base against him in a game we lead 3 to 1. It just would not happen. If I were trying to defend the Skipper I would say, “Well the bullpen only threw fifteen pitches.” That’s good. Last night everyone but Benoit and Ortega were ready to go?? Right? Yes?? No?? What do you all think?? Also, you can simply say the Pirates did an excellent job of making in game adjustments against Anibal. They attacked him full tilt in the seventh. If any of you can see a replay, did Mc Cutchen & Jones swing at the first pitch in the seventh, too??

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