Fourth of July lineups: Tigers at Blue Jays
Happy Fourth of July — or, as they know it here in Toronto, Thursday (the photo above is actually from Toronto’s Canada Day fireworks Sunday night). It’s actually Country Music Night at Rogers Centre tonight, which is neither an American nor a Canadian thing.
As expected, neither Miguel Cabrera nor Omar Infante are in the lineup. Torii Hunter moves down to the third spot, with Andy Dirks filling the second hole. Alex Avila moves up to seventh in the order ahead of Ramon Santiago and Don Kelly.
Cabrera is available to pinch-hit. I got the sense that Jim Leyland doesn’t want him running a whole lot, but with Infante out and both Kelly and Santiago starting, the only pinch-running option is Avisail Garcia. Given his struggles at the plate, it might actually make more sense to do that with him than to send him up to hit.
The bullpen is thin, too, with both Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly on rest tonight. Don’t be surprised if Phil Coke ends up covering an inning along with Al Alburquerque. A deep outing from Justin Verlander migth take care of that, though.
“The way I look at this game is this: If our bullpen is a factor early, we probably lost,” Leyland said.
My Beat the Streak legend ended with Cabrera last night, so it’s back to square one tonight. I played the matchups against Esmil Rogers and doubled down with Hunter and Fielder tonight.
TIGERS (career numbers off Esmil Rogers)
- Austin Jackson, CF (0-for-4, K)
- Andy Dirks, LF (1-for-2, 2 walks)
- Torii Hunter, RF (3-for-4)
- Prince Fielder, 1B (4-for-10, HR, walk)
- Victor Martinez, DH (0-for-1)
- Jhonny Peralta, SS (1-for-4, K)
- Alex Avila, C (2-for-3, K)
- Ramon Santiago, 2B
- Don Kelly, 3B (0-for-1)
P: Justin Verlander
BLUE JAYS (career numbers off Verlander)
- Jose Reyes, SS (3-for-4, walk)
- Jose Bautista, RF (3-for-10, HR, walk, 2 K’s)
- Edwin Encarnacion, DH (2-for-16, 2 HR, 3 K’s)
- Adam Lind, 1B (4-for-14, 2 HR, walk, K)
- Colby Rasmus, CF (2-for-5, 2 walks, K’s)
- Maicer Izturis, 3B (11-for-27, 2 walks, 4 K’s)
- Rajai Davis, LF (2-for-11, 3 K’s)
- J.P. Arencibia, C (0-for-2, walk)
- Munenori, Kawasaki, 2B
P: Esmil Rogers