Friday: Tigers at Twins

I’m off this weekend, but as usual, I’ll try to post the lineups here. In the case of Friday’s series opener, it includes Austin Jackson back atop the batting order.

One other interesting change: Alex Avila, not Brayan Pena, is catching tonight with left-hander Scott Diamond on the mound for the Twins. Avila will bat ninth.

On the Twins side, former Tiger Clete Thomas is starting in center field with Aaron Hicks on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.

TIGERS (career numbers off Diamond)

  1. Austin Jackson, CF (4-for-18, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
  2. Torii Hunter, RF (2-for-8, walk, 2 K’s)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (10-for-19, HR, walk, 3 K’s)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B (1-for-14, walk, 4 K’s)
  5. Victor Martinez, DH (2-for-11, K)
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS (4-for-18, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  7. Matt Tuiasosopo, RF (1-for-5)
  8. Omar Infante, 2B (3-for-10, HR)
  9. Alex Avila, C (1-for-3, 2 K’s)

P: Rick Porcello

TWINS (career numbers off Porcello)

  1. Jamey Carroll, 3B (9-for-22, walk)
  2. Joe Mauer, C (9-for-30, 3 walks, 2 K’s)
  3. Ryan Doumit, RF (4-for-13, walk, K)
  4. Josh Willingham, DH (7-for-13, 2 HR, 4 walks, K)
  5. Justin Morneau, 1B (7-for-29, HR, 2 walks, 3 K’s)
  6. Oswaldo Arcia, LF
  7. Clete Thomas, CF
  8. Brian Dozier, 2B (3-for-8, HR, K)
  9. Pedro Florimon, SS (1-for-3)

P: Scott Diamond


Alex Avila against a LHP? That is worthy of the first comment:
No Comment!
I hear JL wants to know who the fans would put in as “the @#$@!#& closer). Answer:
Somebody Else.
The Brewers need help. Isn’t KRod still on that team?
You want to find out if Jose Valverde has any potential left? Just offer him as trade bait. DD would not got ONE SINGLE phone call.
And yet, it seems as though he is good enough for the Detroit Tigers.

Bruce Rondon Stats. (Zero Home Runs Allowed)
ERA: 0.74
Saves: 11
IP: 24+
R: 2
BB: 12
Avg: .114
WHIP: 0.86
Only 3 of those 9 hits allowed came with men on base.
He has walked 1 and struck out 6 in his last 3 appearances.
I am not quite sure how much better they expect these numbers to be before he is given another opportunity.

Borrowed your post for another site.

I’ll send you a bill for that!!

“I’m done talking about the closer’s situation,” Leyland replied. “Everyone focuses on the wrong things around here.

“Everyone forgets we scored only seven runs in Kansas City, and just two runs in two of the games. Nobody said a (bleeping) thing about it.

“We have to improve in close games. We haven’t done very well in close games. We’ve been terrible

“But all they do is focus on the closer,” said Leyland. “We got shut out 1-0 in Pittsburgh, but no one ever talks about it. They focus on the wrong thing. I’m tired of talking about this (bleep).”

From The Detroit News:

HFS (and I will not interpret that acronym on this BLOG).
JL is redefining the other acronym we know and love/hate—SOC.
How obtuse, self-serivng, and insulting can this man continue to be with the fans?
Anyone here forget we have an offense that has been “offensive”?
Do all of us here focus on the closer?
No, many of here are astonished at the inefficiency of this lineup. Of how they can’t get add on runs, how they can’t score more than 2 or 3 for their deserving starters.
Leyland is becoming a divisive force on this team. Certainly in Motown. Insulting fans, burying his head in the sand, spouting anger and vitriol with the media.
The truth is yes, the offense has been dreadful, especially (and often spoken of here) on the road. But, if you have an element of your tam not working then another department has to pick up the slack. I don’t give a rat’s a$$ if it is a 10-8 ball game or a 2-0 nothing ball game. Your closer has to preserve the victory. P-E-R-I-O-D.
My respect for Jim Leyland is rapidly diminishing. This latest outburst is atrocious.

Isn’t that what we’ve been talking about since last season. Screaming about it is more like it. Stranded? LOB? Clutch?

interestingly enough we are 4th in the MLB in BA with RISP….. @ .287

Yeah the offense has been bad Jimmy. Putting Avila in today against the lefty (.042 vs LHP) ought to be whole lot better than the .slick.375 Pena is hitting against lefties.
Smooth move Mr Metamucil.

Currently Pena is .234 against lefties and .375 against RHP. Avila should hit a lefty like Diamond. In 2011, he hit .273 against lefties. I will not see the game so watch him closely. Does he try to hit the guy to LF?? That is the key. He must go that way and have some success. Does Toledo have a nice home stand heavy schedule between now and the 4th of July???

why the [bleep] is this game delayed? I got friends over and everything! Radar: NO RAIN. ugh it always urks me about the decisions of when to play and when not to.

Game was supposed to start at 8:10 now it’s 8:28??????? Hello start the freaking game

DOK–your are absoutely correct. My bad. I did mis-read that stat.
Pena is only hitting 192 points higher than Alex against southpaws.
Since I am mired in cynicism at the moment I had to wonder if Jim Prices’s background was softball and not hardball, judging from that pre-game interview he did with JL.
Funny, he seemed to be pretty adamant about the end of that game the other night when he was in a rant about Valverde.

That’s okay. The numbers say Pena should get the bulk of the playing time right now.

It was changed a few days ago due to a special ceremony and the failed to ask us Tiger fans for permission.

well they didn’t tell either

even said the game was “in delay” so it’s not like they rescheduled the game in a conventional sense.


Inducting Guardado, a closer, and the first employee of the team

Maybe Eddie Guardado could come out of retirement and close for the Tigers. Couldn’t be much worse!😉

Start the ceremony early… the game can start closer to on time. Stupid

Here’s hoping for a happy and productive evening from our Tigers!

Quickly and quietly…..that’s just how our hitters role…..

May 31st the lat time the tigers scored in the first inning….pretty sad

Let’s be positive!

Well we won’t get no hit!

What’s up with the rf wall?

Why is Avila in the game?

I know I’m not Dave Dombowski…but how can you continue to allow a starting player (Avila) to get so much playing time while batting .169? It’s ridiculous he should be in AAA….guess what this offense isn’t good enough to allow it
Again not a multi million dollar MLB player….but might want to try to o the other way because appearently Florimon and Carroll aren’t going to let anything through. But that’s just me.

Shaping up like another typically well pitched game by another one of our excellent starters. I sure like the way Porcello gets a nice throw over to 1st to hold the runner.
He is an all around athlete on that mound–much like Fister.
Can our limpy offense get their collective act together or are we gong to be subjected to another 1 or 2 run game in the 9th?

Boy, Prince has to have the ugliest slide in baseball. Don’t know how he hasn’t injured himself trying to defy gravity with his 280 pounds.
This 4th inning is a big one for Rick. Good luck Ricky.

Your not kidding with that slide….it’s something else
This offense is infuriating.

Where was Avila?

Where was Avila on the bad throw from Omar? Nowhere to be seen.
I’m tellin’ ya, his game is going downhill.

The ball went in the dugout.

Top of the 5th Scott Diamond, Tiger Slayer,

Cy Diamond and his 5+ ERA way to much for this supposed top notch offense. I’m growing really weary. They just have nothing again tonight it appears.

Rondon with Valverdian save. SO Rhymes

I saw that Kathy. But he should have been backing that play up. He wasn’t even in the picture. He would not have been able to do anything about that particular ball going in the dugout but my point was he didn’t know that when the bal lwas hit and he didn’t do his job.

I hear ‘ya.

Looks like possibly the twins are starting to make adjustments against Rick….starting to hit it harder and in the air.

Horrible route by Jackson on Arcia’s double.

Should JL put Kelly, the 10th Man, in for defensive purposes?

Yeah, Prince looked ugly on his slide. But, he went head first at elephant weight. Kudos to Prince for his effort. Cannot recall Cecil ever doing the same.


Brookens had the stop sign up and Miggy looked for himself.

Yeah. Surprised at how awful Brookens has been. Expected much more from him.

Power surge!!!

Prince likes to pound the Twins. Keep it up man.

A crooked number!!!!!!!!!Yes it is. Rejoice.

4 runs OMG

Nice catch Torii!

Great shut down inning by Rick!

Smyly is throwing.

Ya Drew is throwing Balls……pen going to implode yet again?

And Smyly is looking kinda ugly again.

JL: “We’re going to use Jose Valverde.” Detroit News

Benoit to the rescue?

Yes, Benoit did.

Without Avila “helping” him, he had a chance

Valverde is warming in the pen. R u kidding me? 1 game later. Wow leylands got some balls thats for sure.

Agreed. JL has balls.

“You can tell me I am bald but you can’t tell me how to grow hair”-JL

Balls but no brains. WHY IS HE DOING THIS? If JVV blows this one, somebody has to pay. BIG time.

SO, where are you now?

Well least hes got the pen ready. Oh phil coke. Well im not sure thats any better. Cmon rondon needs another shot. Hes earned it. Nice d.p.

I’m just not sure of his reasoning for bringing him…..just no point in bringing him in in a non save situation….unless this is he they are going to use him like this until he trusts him again?

Because this is the JL show and he’s telling us that.

He might get buy once in a while with just a fastball but that isnt always gonna work. Hes gotta get another pitch. I say throw the splitter just to see. Hes got 2 outs and no one on base. Its worth a gamble just to see/show that he can still throw it

Nothing new about the HBP. Willingham is a target. 13x?



No control. Lucky against a subpar offense

AND sorry for the HATERS. Just do not get the hate thing.

If he needs a closer the next to days , who closes? Burning his”closer” today

I agree with the voices calling for Rondon. No hating, just want to see the Tigers have a dependable closer.

Wha’s the Frank Sinatra song I’m trying to associate with this man???

My way?

That’s close. I’ll Do It My Way??

I’ve Got You Under My Skin

Set me straight. I’m not as baseball “savvy” as some of you. This man has always had only 2 pitches- splitter and fastball? Now the splitter is not working? Do all closers work with only 2 pitches? Is JVV too old or stubborn to learn another pitch or two to prolong his career? When he blew JV’s shutout, he nearly tore this team apart. You have to admire whomever held them together. Cabrera? V-Mart? Hunter?

HIGH HOPES?……Can that ant move a rubber tree plant……lol.

Or for JL…..I did it MY WAY!

Yes, for tonight he did it his way. But I’m hoping for “The Best is Yet To Come”

Good to see some hard hit balls today. Miggy is being picked up a bit and you gotta love that.
Valverde? Great job of preserving a 4 run lead.😉

Just goes to show ya, anybody can close a game.

Here’s the deal. PAPA is at the end of his career and the Tigers need him as much as he needs them.So.. I am in. There are no other viable options at present. And, I hope VV shits on all our faces.

Exactly. Im not hating the guy i just want him to learn another pitch. If he can get the job done im all for him. Id rather not trade the farm for a closer so maybe send valverde down to work on another pitch and still pitch in games while developing that pitch against actual competition. Bring rondon up til valverde is ready and if rondon fails bring up another one of those arms like albuquerque and maybe let him and smyly handle the 7th or 8th while benoit closes. Or whatever. Theres plenty of arms ready and waiting. Im sure there is some combination that can get the job done.

Mr. Porcello is all grown up now!

Rick in his last 4 starts:1.33 ERA

Over the winter a lot of our folks were crying for Ricky to be dealt for closer and SS help. I pleaded the case that the guy has four seasons, with at least ten in each, and he’s only 24. Tonight vindicates all those who pleaded patience with Rick. He can win 12 to 15 games a year for several years. I don’t know what happens next year with our rotation, but right now it’s just fine. Congrats Rick on a wonderful performance. ERA of 4.37, with the blowout game is pretty amazing.
Offense really didn’t show up tonight. Starting with the seven hole, seven through three was hitless tonight. So we win with five hits from 4,5, and 6. What a strange game. No comments on JVV; it’s not worth the time. All I will say is “what an insult to Tiger fans”.
1. Hunter’s fabulous shoe string catch. Best defensive play of the year for Mr. Smiles.
2. Four straight runs score after 2 are out. Every it tonight was a double. his was classic clutch hitting on display.
3. Biggy’s continued clutch hitting after teams walk Miggy. That strategy might get very old, especially when Victor get’s it fully going. I know I’ve criticized Biggy a lot. But he comes through more often than not. And he hustles at everything he does.

Welcome back Ajax. Benoit gets Kudos for 2 big outs. And I have no clue as to why Alex was in there tonight. Hope Sanchez is on, so we can claim the series early. Good night all!

Equally impressive is Ricky doing it against the Twins who have some hitters who have owned him.

Do like your positive stuff. Not feeling it of late. Still came away okay after today.

Late October. The World Series ends. Dave Dombrowski has the tough job of telling some players that the team is moving on without them. One player is Jose Valverde. What does Jose do?? He calls his agent. They have work to do.

“Scott, I want to pitch for the Tigers next year.”
“Are you crazy!!!”
“No. That’s what I want. Get it done.”
“Okay, but this will take some time.”
” That’s okay, my arm needs some rest.”
“Be sure to start working out.”

Is this for real?

Four shutouts tonight. Many teams in MLB have much improved pitching. One of those teams is the Royals. Beware them as they are getting on a roll. We have to return to Kansas City before they come to Detroit.

Well that’s pretty positive Richard!

Yeah…I think Greg is like a breath of fresh air on most occasions, unlike many of us who are critical and continually whine about the Tigers. As a commenter once said, this blog is kind of a release venue where we fans can vent without making our families suffer. So…I thoroughly enjoy Greg’s positive perspective. DOK is good that way too. And there are some others. I would just hate to see them come to the Darkside and wallow with me in misery.

Darin Downs last pitched on jun2 (0.2IP)
Luke Putkonen last pitched on jun8 (0.2IP)
Evan Reed last pitched on jun7 in AAA (2.0IP)
so what’s the word JL? are you afraid to use these guys? Last night wasn’t a save situation why not pitch a guy who needs to get some innings in…

I came only to say the the same.Open game , why not Putkonem and Downs then close with Smyly? He shortened his bullpen last night.He could end forced to use them in a close game tomorrow or even today

Both of you are spot on. We need to use all seven relievers.

Enters Jose Valverde
Mauer walks.
“The kiss of death is when you walk the leadoff guy.” — Leyland from Saturday.
NB: only is your name is Alberto

yea could have used his awesome 8th and 9th inning guys in a closer game, tonight.
On another note, thank gawd Jim put Alex in there last night. Musta been a gut thing – a hunch, yea? Or was it a Hope? Either way, Alex’s numbers against LHP is a nightmare and might be 1 for 28 now with 1 walk something like 17 strikeouts.

The so called closer and the manager do not deserve any more comments from me. Greg, I was one who did not want to trade Rick. I remember the Smoltz deal. Congrats Rick Porcello! Go Tigers!

starters have 46 quality starts 46 out of 65 games and a 3.35 ERA
relief has 4 wins, 12 losses and 14 saves 3.83 ERA
and the offense is providing 5.55 runs per 27 outs.
so why aren’t we winning as much as we’d like? Late innings offense! Can we turn those numbers on their head with a little luck and hard work? Heck yea!! 10.5 hours till gametime😦

How do our relievers rank in the AL in those four stats, Evan??? What was wrong with Smyly last night?? Velocity down??

well the walk to clete thomas was kinda ugly — down and away 3 pitches in a row. I mean it’s clete he’s suppose to get that lefty out. Velocity was fine (91.7 on his 2seam fastball).
Detroit’s relievers have 4 wins that is dead last DOK, we have 12 losses so that’s tied with 4 other teams (SEA, TOR, TB) for 10th best in the AL (CHI and HOU are worse with 13 and 15). The relievers are 7th in the AL in ERA at 3.83…KC is number 1. We are 13th in the league with 14 saves.

and after clete walked Dozier made it to first on catcher interferrence by Alex —JL wasn’t just playing the matchup either as Dozier hits much better against righties. maybe he noticed something.

opps i mean Pedro Florimon hits righties better (the next batter)

I hope JVV can get it done. I just fear he is done as a solid closer. I do not see many options. I would not want to trade N.C., Avi or Drew for Pappelbon and there no other closers available that would worth any of those three. I think we have enough to get to October when we would only need four starters. Is it crazy to think one or the starters closes during the playoffs?

breaking down jose’s 9th inning:

Maurer: starts off with 3 fastballs (92-94mph) off the plate it didn’t help his 1st one was way outside. then a 94.6MPH down the middle of the plate – maurer takes it. Next pitch a fastball 0.5″ above the outside corner for the walk. Kinda blew it with that 1st pitch because if the 1st one was a strike the 2nd one might have been called a strike (it was close). I don’t think I would have put the 4th pitch down the middle of the plate like that either. Maurer is someone I don’t pitch to with Jose down in the count.
Doumit: 2 identical 94.4 mph fastballs in the strikezone – not well located but not meatballs. Doumit hits into the double play.
Willingham: 1st pitch was a 94mph fastball on the outside black top corner looked real good. Second pitch was a tick slower inside and down, again good pitch. Next he threw his splitter about an inch outside and low off the outside of the plate – maybe a wise move (ball 1). The splitter had good downward movement too it — good compared to this year’s splitter action — much less than the action in 2010 or 2011. Next was a fastball about a half in down on the outter half of the plate (ball 2), then a fastball outter half of the plate middle height and that was fouled off. Then Jose just nails him in inside half inch high with a 93.4 mph fastball.
Morneau: 1st pitch fastball was kinda meaty lil over 94 on the gun. Maybe Morneau thought a splitter was coming since he had seen it earlier or he wanted to see a pitch to start the AB. The next pitch was the splitter which had pretty much no downward movement to it – hung it but it was at the bottom of the strikezone so it was fouled off (strike 2). Next a 94.5 MPH fastball high in the zone middle of the plate – fouled off. Last pitch a 95mph fastball at the bottom of the zone middle of the plate – called strike 3.
So is his splitter looked good once and looked bad the second time. all observations.

Tigers when winning after 5:29-9.
After 7:32-5
After 8:34-4( 3 blown saves /1 lost on Valverde)
The offense put them ahead, the relievers failed ( once in a while a starter was there too long)
RE24: runs saved:
Smyly: 11
Reed. 1.4
Smyly WAR: 1.3
JVV :0.2

The good news is that he got three outs in under twenty pitches. That’s when he is at his best. He threw seventeen pitches and my vote is that one splitter is enough. Last night neither of the two splitters was put in play and I believe that is what we want right now. Make them beat him hitting his fastball. Lose with your best. Now I hope our hitters have a couple big games because he needs a couple days off.

don’t let the radar in minn. fool you – that rain is going to leave by gametime

If your forecast holds up, then good job Evan!!!! If you are wrong, will you feel like Valverde does??

Morosi:”Tom Wilhelmsen this year: 28-2/3 innings, 15 walks, 21 strikeouts. Will need to improve on that K/BB ratio to have good trade value.”

They already have two like him

Alex Avila was quoted as having said he would rather catch a shutout than get a couple of hits.
Memo to Alex Avila: Those two events are not mutually exclusive.

Cabrera close and late:103.350.103.453 10 Bb 11 SO/Fielder:.229.325.286 .611 but just 4 BB and 10 SO.Cabrera is pitched around and he is losing patience.
Only Infante and Peralta are doing well
After the seven, Miguel : 230.374.405.779 16 BB

Tom wilhemsen sucks. Id rather have valverde without his splitter then that guy.

Thomas CF. So, he finally can hit
Mauer DH
Doumit C
Morneau 1B
Arcia LF
Plouffe 3B
Parmelee RF
Dozier 2B
Florimon SS
Deduno P

6/15 lineup: Jackson 8, Dirks 7, Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, Martinez DH, Peralta 6, Kelly 9, Infante 4, Avila 2. @AnibalSanchez19 is starting.

Till he collapses

well at least it isn’t against a lefty😉

The 10th Man gets another start. Nothing “horrible” to add.

well DK does have a homer off of him in 3 ABs….2E has never faced him…neither has Torii. Torii btw has the 3rd most ABs and that is just 2ABs (10Abs) behind Prince (Cabby). So maybe giving him a blow is in order.

Tui, the new version of Jeff Baker.

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