Sunday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Indians

Jim Leyland has always taken a lefty-heavy approach against Justin Masterson. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But with right-handed hitters batting just .198 (23-for-116) off Masterson this season and .232 last year, compared with .237 and .296 respectively from left-handed batters, it’s worth a shot.

That is why you see Don Kelly and Ramon Santiago in the lineup. Jhonny Peralta is just 1-for-15 with six strikeouts for his career off Masterson. Santiago isn’t much better at 1-for-11, but at least has three walks mixed in. Kelly, meanwhile, is 6-for-17 off Masterson.

Terry Francona, meanwhile, is throwing right-handed hitters at Jose Alvarez, aside from Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis at the top of the order. Left-handed hitters batted just .145 off Alvarez this year, compared with .236 from right-handed batters.

After backing away from Miguel Cabrera on Beat the Streak yesterday for fear of his numbers off Carlos Carrasco, I went back to Cabrera (11-for-28 off Masterson) today. You can look at MLB.com’s beat writer picks here.

Gameday | TV: FS Detroit, MLB.TV | Radio: 97.1 FM, AM 1270, Gameday Audio

TIGERS (career numbers off Masterson)

  1. Andy Dirks, LF (5-for-19, 2 walks, 7 K’s)
  2. Torii Hunter, RF (9-for-22, 3 HR, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (11-for-28, 2 HR, 5 walks, 5 K’s)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B (4-for-11, HR, 2 walks, K)
  5. Victor Martinez, DH (6-for-15, 3 walks, K)
  6. Don Kelly, CF (6-for-17)
  7. Alex Avila, C (6-for-19, 2 walks, 5 K’s)
  8. Ramon Santiago, SS (1-for-11, 3 walks, 3 K’s)
  9. Omar Infante, 2B (3-for-8, walk)

P: Jose Alvarez

INDIANS

  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  3. Nick Swisher, 1B
  4. Mark Reynolds, 3B
  5. Carlos Santana, C
  6. Jonny Gomes, DH
  7. Ryan Raburn, LF
  8. Mike Aviles, SS
  9. Drew Stubbs, RF

P: Justin Masterson

93 Comments

Is Jonny Gomes really with Cleveland now or this a ‘Jason Giambi’ typo?

Not Jonny. This is Yan. Seriously.

Any update on Sanchez? Reason to worry?

Jason, your analysis of this Sunday line up is absolutely superb. Tigers be patient he does walk too many. And Go Tigers!!!! Jose, you have to dominate these two lefties at the top and that won’t be easy. Just jam the right handed hitters. Do well and you may get a few more opportunities this summer. Go Tigers, again!!!!

Playing Donnie and Ramon AND Alex in the same game is asking a lot out of the TOP of your lineup.

well ya can’t play alex against a lefty so…..
alex vs RHP in 2013: .205/.310/.352/.662
alex vs LHP in 2013: .043/.083/.043/.127

Can’t resist this one. What part of the line up won the game today?? Slow you inspired them!! Keep up the good work.

I was about to say the same thing. Lol. I love it because don kelly just keeps coming up huge for us almost every time he goes out there.

Anybody have any good reason for Ortega being sent down (he was fresh and ready to pitch) instead of Putkonen who has thrown twice recently and neither time very well?

very interesting slowbyrne!
last 7.1 innings for jose (may 13 till now): .300/.417/.500/.917
last 7.0 innings for luke (may 2 till now): .192/.300/.308/.608

last 3.1 innings for both:
jose: .182/.357/.455/.812
luke: .313/.389/.500 /.889

Putkonen went down once and started a game for Toledo. He went four innings so he is stretched out to be a long man. Ortega can do two innings okay but I just think Cool Hand Luke won this one because he can go three. Check his Toledo stats. Also other teams may be looking at him. Believe this decision was made BEFORE any pitches on Saturday. Ortega had given up two homers that gave him two losses.

Could Tom Wilhelmsen, the closer for Seattle, be acquired for Garcia? Seattle’s OF is old – their 26y.o. CF isn’t hitting well this year (Michael Saunders)….maybe Seattle sweetens the deal with Michael Morse (can play OF and can hit lefties)….

I sure as hell hope not. I hope they dont give up garcia for a mediocre closer for what 1 or 2 years at the most.

Im leaning more towards casey janssen of the jays. Hes got better numbers. Im thinking a couple of prospects not named garcia or castellanos. Maybe a pitcher. Idk. Some combination without sacrificing the farm.

Remember sometimes the guy that stays up is being showcased. Do you want to toss out some trade possibilities???

just did – but i’m not looking to get rid of bullpen arm’s but rather acquire them

And Evan I am not giving up our starting RF in 2015 for a set up guy trying to become a closer.

fair enough fair enough – albeit i thought i saw Tom over the past 3 years has pitched better than Jose – so maybe you keep him the closer until Rondon takes the job and you switch him to setup.

May 24th the last time we had our lead off hitter in the first actually get on base….Dirks and sometimes Infante have got to do a better job.

Tigers surely went very quickly and quietly in the first…way to work the pitcher boys.

Alvarez looks pretty good so far. Not much velocity, but he mixes it up and pounds the zone.

donny kelly baby

Really a 190 batting average…

Hats off to Kelly, still not impressed with his average. Maybe this homerun will get him going.

good man Alex! way to go!

Bottom gets us one run. Could Santiago drop one down the third base line??

Alvarez looks very composed and really has command of all his pitches. Crafty lefty stereotype?

So far so good for the kid……impressive so far.

Why didn’t Smyly get a spot start in this spot. He deserves it….

He’s not stretched out.

I was afraid of that, but Alvarez is looking good..

I wish they would use him more in pressure situations. Let’s see what he has. Either that or get him ready to start for us again.

Anyone at the game??

Tough homestand for Miggy. He has not looked very good at the plate.
Goes through brief periods like this and then breaks out of it with astonishing results.
I think he’ll get Masterson next at bat.

Smyly is a relief pitcher right now. He’s not “stretched out” enough to go more than 2, 3 innings, at most.

and the best relief pitcher we have!

Right about the relief pitcher for now, so let use him…

Amen to that!

Clete Thomas is playing LF for the Twins today.

LFfor the Twins today.

Jose—fabulous job through 4. 2nd time through now and you have to be very careful with these RHB.
Bueno suerte.

I was thinking the same thing about Miggy…he has looked out of sorts lately. Doesnt it seem like when he gets walked a lot like he did in the Tampa series it throws him for a minute?

Let’s go get the lead back.

Other than the 2 inning our hitters have looked pretty pitiful. They had a good approach that inning and reverted back to exactly doesn’t work against Masterson……..

Andy, Andy, Andy. You are not lookin’ good me boy.
Rod Allen on Torii Hunter: “Those milestone home runs are the toughest ones to get”.
How the heck would he know?

I don’t agree with Avila’s pitch selection this inning.
Calls for the fastball and that is the one pitch that Jose is vulnerable with IMO.

Looks like the kid might be starting to lose it……pretty bad these guys didn’t give him any support…..in the run department I mean. All in all he did a great job though.

Alvarez did very well. Got a way with one to Reynolds too.
It is time to take him out. Except the option appears to be Putkonen who I don’t think is pitching well right now.
Tiger bats have fallen asleep again. Needed some throat stomping in the 2nd inning and let Masterson get away from them.

Our line up is a trap to get Francona to bring in a lefty. Take a look at their stats.

I guess that’s why Don Kelly was in, maybe the skipper knows something we don’t?

He hit .353 against the guy. He was due.

Kelly and Raburn homer in the same game!!!!!!!!!

Ok ok I take it all back!

Kelly is one of those guys who will never hit consistently but he does have the knack for coming up big at the right time. He does it with not only his bat, but with his glove, his legs and his arm too.
Interesting and dependable role player.

Here’s hoping this ever so shakey pen of ours can hold this together. Smyly not looking good so far, a double and a walk.

Nice play by Miggy to get the double play to save Drew.

Anyone have the answer why Smyly with four RHB behind Santana??

My opinion Drew is probably still better against righties than the other available option. That’s without actually looking at the stats, but that’s my guess. I’m guessing he will go back out there in the 8th and Benoit will handle closing duties if necessary. Valverde I am sure is out for today
.
Andy got way with a bad bunt there.

I was thinking exactly the same thing. Smyly is pretty similar to Alvarez in pitching style and velocity. I thought for sure Putkonen would be in.
Smyly did wiggle out of trouble and I would think they are going to leave him in to face Bourne and Kipnis.
Don’t be surprised if you see Putkonen in the 9th. Sounds silly but JL has a plan to give Benoit a day off too.

Benoit didn’t pitch yesterday did he?

No he did not.

Andy Dirks is an old fashioned hard ball player. One of the few in the league really.

I’d be shocked if Avila ever threw anyone out.

That stolen base was on Smyly. He did not make Bourn stop after his crossover step.

KC pitching is gonna get a fatal dose of Miguel Cabrera next week. He is frustrated, pi$$ed off and looks like he’s “not going to take it anymore”.

Ya they are. Lol. Remember last time he looked like that. He made texas pay with a 3 homer game and just went on a roll from there.

VV is not getting a chance for his specialty today—-the three run save.
Have to give him credit for yesterday though.

More drama lurking in the form of Raburn.

Can’t believe the idiots are still booing Raburn.

Kind of puts the kabosh on the “they’re booing Leyland for playing him” line, doesn’t it?

Wasn’t surprised that Alvarez pitched well, wasn’t really surprised that Kelly did something big. Was surprised that we won the game.

5-1 on the homestand. Now we go to Kansas City and Minnesota. Both teams have been better the past ten games. Let’s see, Valverde should get one more day off?? Or two?? Anything on Downs?? How long has it been since a call up starter for the Detroit Tigers won the first time out?? Great job men.

Two hitters having little luck batting this year knock in all our runs. Both had a good history against this starting pitcher. For Don Kelly to have seventeen ABs against any one pitcher is just one of the mysteries of the universe that are best unknown.

Many Tiger fans are good fans. Many are knowledgeable. The ones booing Ryan Raburn today are likely neither.
Not now when he comes back. When a player is with your team and is obviously hurting the team with performance or actions it is somewhat (emphasis on somewhat) understandable.
I would rather have heard some cheers.

In my opinion you boo a guy if you feel there is a lack of effort…….there was never a lack of effort by Raburn or Inge for that matter. They got in funks they count get out of here and in my opinion only made worse by the obnoxious booing.

i agree wholeheartedly

I also agree. Theres alot of fake fans out there. A real fan sticks by the players the team and managers through thick and thin. Even when there struggling. To many people hate a guy when hes doing bad and wana trade him or cut him or whatever and then a month later when hes doing good oh i love that guy i never gave up on him and all that nonsense. Its a long season and no matter how good you are the team and the players on that team are gonna go through some struggles. It happens. Thats why i pride myself on always trying to stay positive and not saying anything bad about players and or personnel unless they truly deserve it which would still take alot.

When a rival breaks a no hitter, fans will boo him. He is now a rival in the same division,so it is always good when he fails.
Alvarez back to Toledo. Reeds called up. Like many I was expecting Rondon but not really surprised

kudos to JL for putting Kelly in there today. Many wouldn’t have. kudos to Alvarez – heck of a performance today. i feel like we have starting insurance now. That insurance likely will mean Drew cements a role in the pen (until today, if they needed a several starts they’d send him down and stretch him out) – and i wouldn’t be surprised if it was closer.

Good call up. Reed has pitched two or more innings SEVEN times this month. In the baseball dictionary his picture has been put next to “innings eater”. The ERA is a eyeopening 1.04 for the past month.

Rogacki:”Drew Smyly, still criminally under-used.”because he is only used in open meaningless games.
Fully agree. And again deprived of the save opportunity. While the veterans stats are padded. Of course could have been worse like the time he was pulled out with only one out left to end the game.
He could the closer. He has the stuff, he showed it against the Yankees.

I think Jim succumbed to that siren call, lefty-righty, and went with Benoit. I had fully expected Smyly to finish the game.
This 5.5 game lead this early in the season is rare ground for the Tigers. I’ve yet to pinpoint who the competition will be. If I had to bet money, I’d put it on KC for a hot streak.

On the other hand, not using Smyly for too many pitches is a point in his favor, meaning he’s going to be relied upon for important relief work. Maybe?

that’s what i have been telling some folks -> KC

Look back over the last two or three weeks of posting, and all you have is a criticism of Don K being in the lineup. Even today’s pregame comments lamented his selection. But it seems that every game hie plays, he does something positive; a walk, a sac fly, a great catch, and occasionally a very important homer. Of all ouor players, he’s probably comfortable and at peace with what he does and what he can or can’t do. He still plays a better center field than Avi, and he is much better defensively than T-Soap. Is he a better hitter than either? Absolutely not! But I’m glad he’s a Tiger. As for Alvarez, you couldn’t have asked or demanded more than he gave today. Top kudos to him and Donnie. A three game sweep over the Tribe is a great way to head on the road with other central opponents. Starting pitching continues to be beyond amazing. If we take 4-6 on the road, we will be in a very good position. Cabrera will awake from his mini-slump, and the juggernaut continues. Great home series. Let’s take a look at three things tonight:
1. Cleveland only received 2 free passes over 9 innings. I have little problem when teams beat you with base hits. With 11 K’s to go with those 2 walks, the Indians didn’t get the ball in play very much today.
2. The Cabrera DP shut down a potential huge inning for the tribe in the seventh. Drew was all smyles after that play.
3. Alvarez displayed the nerve of a seasoned lefty, through 6 solid innings. Have we stolen another “gem: from the Marlins?

Fielder had a nice day also. But the day truly belonged to Jose and Don Juan.
On to KC. Good evening all!

Nice win today! Alvarez was and looked like a veteran out there today.

If Kansas sort out the managing problem, yes. They must be the main rival. Would be even more interesting if Brett is the manager

<<<<<—————— The Photo of the day

Follow the schedule. Study the schedule. We still have to play Kansas City seventeen times and the Chicago Hawk Sox nineteen times. Those two teams still have ample opportunity to give us fits. Would the Sox like to get back at us for last year?? Of course. So far we are king of the division but we have much work to do yet. Go Tigers!!!

How bout alvarez stays up and coke goes down. Use him as a long reliever and smyly strictly 7th or 8th inning guy.

Problem is he can’t pitch for 4 days. He is the insurance policy for the rotation.

Louisville TV showing U of L highlights as they beat Vandy to advance to the College World Series. Jeff Thompson pitched seven innings with 9 Ks and was winning pitcher in a 2-1 game.

So, if one doesn’t comment at all about Kelly being in the lineup, that’s not a criticism, right?

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