Game 4 lineups: Tigers vs. Red Sox (updated with more quotes)

Austin Jackson is not on the bench tonight, but he’s not leading off, at least not in the opening inning. Basically, Jim Leyland dropped Jackson from first to eighth in the order, kept Jose Iglesias ninth, and moved everybody else up. For a manager who has always set the goal of his batting order to get as many guys on base as possible ahead of Cabrera, batting Cabrera second is a very big shift, much bigger than Jackson. It’ll be the first game in the two spot for Cabrera since June 27-28, 2004. It’ll be the first start for Hunter in the leadoff spot since July 4, 1999 2000.

For Jackson, it’ll be just his third career start somewhere other than leadoff. He batted second on April 17, 2011 and ninth on May 1 of the same season.

“Basically I just moved everybody up,” Leyland said. “That means in the first inning we’ll have Hunter, who’s had some success [against Peavy], and then I followed it up with two guys who can hit it out of the ballpark. Miguel and Prince will both come up in the first inning.”

Martinez, meanwhile, will bat cleanup. The reason he cited for that were similar to the reasons he cited for the order he hit Magglio Ordonez with Cabrera a few years ago: Baserunning.

“The only reason I did it the way I did it,” Leyland said, “is if I’ve got Martinez and Cabrera back-to-back, it’s going to be hard for Prince to knock in a run. So I put Prince ahead of Martinez because Prince can score a run if Martinez can knock him in. He can run a little bit, so he might be able to score him. But if you Prince behind both of those guys, it’ll be hard to get an RBI unless you can knock [the ball] out of the ballpark.”

In other words, Leyland considers Fielder the stronger runner. In a way, though, it also might be a statement about Fielder’s hitting lately, homerless since Sept. 22 and held to a double as his only extra-base hit so far this postseason. That said, Fielder has also been tasked with driving in Cabrera, whose running has been limited for a while.

“I didn’t know what else to do,” Leyland said. “Everybody acts like you’ve got magical players.”

The reason for starting Jackson was the same as for starting Jose Iglesias at short. He said after last night’s loss that he was going to think about what to do there, and he said he sat watching the Cardinals-Dodgers game with a pad and pencil trying to come up with solutions. But the defensive aspect was something he did not want to sacrifice.

“I did not want to play Donnie Kelly in center alongside Jhonny Peralta,” Leyland said. “I wanted to play my regular center fielder with Fister pitching.”

On moving Jackson down, Leyland said, “He’s on the big stage. He leads off every game. He’s struck out a lot of those times. The focus is on him leading off for the Tigers, so I tried to get him away from it. That’s all. If I can get him down there and maybe relax him a little bit, maybe he’ll come up with two men on and get a hit.

“He got arguably the biggest hit of the postseason so far, which was a broken-bat single. I don’t know. He might strike out four times tonight, but I had to try something. For one time, I agree with the media. I had to try something. I didn’t do it for the media’s purposes. I did it because it made sense.”

If it makes no sense, well, Leyland hopes maybe that will help too.

“It might almost be a funny thing for [players],” Leyland said. “What’s he doing, panicking? You can call it whatever you want. I don’t give a care what anybody says. If they want to say we’re panicking, say we’re panicking. I don’t give a [care]. We had to try something different.”


  1. Torii Hunter, RF (7-for-16, HR, walk, 2 K’s)
  2. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (13-for-45, 3 HR, 4 walks)
  3. Prince Fielder, 1B (10-for-36, 2 walks, 10 K’s)
  4. Victor Martinez, DH (2-for-7, HR, K)
  5. Jhonny Peralta, LF (7-for-34, HR, 2 walks)
  6. Alex Avila, C (4-for-21, HR, 4 walks, 5 K’s)
  7. Omar Infante, 2B (1-for-5, K)
  8. Austin Jackson, CF (9-for-28, HR, 2 walks, 9 K’s)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS

P: Doug Fister

RED SOX (career numbers off Doug Fister)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF (3-for-8, 3 walks, K)
  2. Shane Victorino, RF (4-for-5, HR)
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B (3-for-13, walk)
  4. David Ortiz, DH (5-for-20, 2 walks, 5 K’s)
  5. Mike Napoli, 1B (2-for-14, 2 walks, 2 K’s)
  6. Daniel Nava, LF (5-for-12, 2 walks, K)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C (5-for-11, HR, K)
  8. Stephen Drew, SS (1-for-9, 2 K’s)
  9. Will Middlebrooks, 3B (2-for-5, walk, K)

P: Jake Peavy


merry christmas, dan!

Well, well, well.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it works?

In the past, we’ve gotten to Peavy mid-game. When we get to him.

if it doesn’t work i hope the SOC comes on here and rips ya’ll a new one😉

I just read Jim’s reasons for changing the lineup. Almost word for word what many fans have said for a few weeks now. 🙂 So entertaining.

and BTW it will work. We got this tonight!!!

I’ve been riding the ‘dont even say the word Tiger out loud’ train all Boston series. Now I’ll say it. LETS GO TIGERS! Jinx be damned.

Deck chairs on the Titanic……

who knows

When those RISP chances are there, we have to get HITS. It does not matter who is up. Keep it simple. First and foremost we need Doug Fister locked in. Go Tigers!!!!

I think we should go back to the strategy someone posted in the ALDS thread. Score one more run than Oakland. That is a game winning strategy. They just need to change it up a little. Score one more run than Boston.

This is really really interesting. I like it. It may even get into Peavy’s head a little. Now watch, it will be the bottom half of the order that comes through tonight:-) And that’s OK. JL will still be right. Hunter 1st……..he listened! Not to me of course, I’m suffering under no such delusions…..that I would admit to.

Slower running power hitting 2-6. Speed guys 7-1, once the game gets going. Sets up two completely different approaches each time through the order. You never know.

No comment on the lineup changes, other than ‘It’s about bloody time!”.

More patient but still
Time to pull the ball, hitting 300 with only singles…

I can’t stand all these commercials.

good foul catch by miggy

OMG, with the whining all over again.

Well fisters stuff looks crisp tonight. Very good sign. When hes on hes just as tough to score on as the other guys. Hes already got the swing back and the yellow hammer working early tonight.

Way to go jackson! That easily could of been an inning ending double play if he swings.

should be 5 nothin if the ump didn’t rob us at 2nd. love peavy!

Drew was not on the bag. Very liberal neighborhood play. Way to go tori!!!!!’
— Bob


Victor and Hunter want to win

I said that same thing. Along with our starters as well. And pheralta. He isnt getting any younger. And of course you cant really leave cabby out.

And Iglesias kept the inning alive

Who will ask?
why do you waited that long to do it?

If fielder wants to swing at mistakes maybe he should take more than pitch to give the pitcher a chance to make a mistake. He is becoming our playoff Arod.
— Bob

close, close

Man hes got a yellow hammer tonight. The red sox are a bunch of cry babies! Already crying.

I know. They cry over almost every pitch. It gets old.
— Bob

I know. You dont see detroit doing that. And they had way more bad calls against them then detroit had.

Have a game austin jackson. Loving this lineup change.

Ya they are crying and it is working …..

I am not usually a joe west fan. But I will give him credit for not buckling to their crying in game 1.
— Bob

Ya….he didn’t buckle.

aj with an rbi? if so you can thank the skipper, who should thank the good fans who he obviously was appeasing

Another bad ump call. Iggy was safe.
— Bob

I dont like the bunt and both are no no in an open game

No lead is safe!

He was bunting for a base hit don’t you think?


Jackson was already in scoring position with no outs No need to give away an out. Especially with the usual 2-3-4 coming

I agree if he was trying to sacrifice but I dint think that is what he was going for in that case??

If he was bunting to get on base , it was a smart play

Cabrera is such a smart baseball player. Man whoever lit this fire under the tigers behind thank you very much!

This team is playing like they mean it tonight!

Good defense tonight to go along with Fister’s pitching. This lineup change should have been done at the begining of the series, though, and we’d be talking sweep right about now.

Red Sox are losing 7-0 and these fox idiots are still slobbering all over them. Brutal.
– Bob

We need a quick inning here. I like jackson and iglesias hitting back to back.

Fister usually gets tired around the 90 pitch mark. I just hope they dont leave him in too long.

But Coke is warming

Hey Bob, they talked and talked about trading the players and getting different ones. I did not here them mention Bobby Valentine as the manager. Just got home form work and what a joy it was to listen to Dan and Jim on the way home. Good Night Joe whats your name and Tim McCrapper! Go Tigers!

I know i wish they would let mario and rod call just one home game. They wont ever though because they try to keep their announcers unbiased since their on national televion.

Nice job fister. Now lets do this bullpen thing right. Do not like the idea of coke coming in even if it is a lefty hes facing. I say smyly/albuquerqe for 7th. Veras/smyly (if smyly isnt used in the 7th) in the eighth. And benoit for the 9th.

compensation for the botched call

Here we go. JL is ready to play bullpen Russian roulette. Fasten your seat belts everyone. There is still 9 outs to get.
– Bob

Hate to say here we go again but he we go again with this shitty pen.

AlAl has to throw his fastball. management has to make him throw his fastball. His slider becomes better when it is not predictable.
Smyly in–leave him in. Or you are gonna run your bullpen too short at the end.

Amen Dan. Just saw your comment.

Don’t pull Smyly.

Veras, Benoit again.

As Dan pointed out during Sunday’s game, some of the problems in the pen are due to Leyland getting away from using Smyly as a setup man and using him situationally.

leave smyly in till the 9th

Smyly gets the second out before I could post my second comment. Smyly should have stayed in the game after the walk he gave up Sunday. Leyland was outmanaged in that game because he overmanaged. Nothing unusual from Leyland. Leave Smyly in the game this time. He is the best pitcher in the bullpen.

Really wish we would of got soriano and i wish rondon was healthy. Rondon would make a big difference if he was with the tigers right now.

I have thought of Rondon also. Because he seemed to be coming into his own, maybe DD’s decision was correct. However, the Tigers bullpen was and is so terrible that even with a reliable Rondon, the Tigers needed more. So, DD should have gone after Sorianao. Instead, we are left with this piece of fecal matter bullpen for the post-season with the exception of Smyly.

Ya our bullpen isnt the greatest but if used correctly we may just be able to get by with it. Totally agree with smyly being used as setup and not just situational. Keep coke out of all games unless its mop up duty. And i really dont understand why leyland doesnt use veras more. Hes a good pitcher. Basically. Just stick with smyly veras and benoit for the 7th 8th and 9th and use alal if u have to. GvJHbGgFfJjjJjhhhhhhhBbJjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhgggggggggggggggghhhbbbbbbushhhhhhhe alarters arent going any less than 6 so thats really all you need.8

Sorry for all the random letters. Totally did not mean to do that. Just ignore them.

That is how an 8th inning is supposed to go.
– Bob

gawd willing we get to the WS, and AJ hits well the rest of the series in the 8 hole. I put him back to leadoff for the WS.

Great heads up hustle on that single by Iglesias!!

Thank goodness there is a 5-run lead.

So, 7-0 is not enough

Seriously either Benoit is hurt or he’s completely lost it…..what the heck.

Would you trust him in a 1 run game right now?

In a word, no.

Smyly needs to be the closer henceforth.

Because he was so good with that walk the other night? He was part of the problem too..tonight better though.

i thought benoit was going to bounce back 2 wks ago

3 to win 2

That’s more like it! Fun night at Comerica.

The season is too long for him. There were always doubts about him been able to be a closer

Hard to have any good feelings about this series after Sunday, even if Tigs win tomorrow. I can’t imagine Max and Justin pitching back to back as well as they did in games 2 and 3.

You make a point,,,,

Well we are 2-2 now. I’m still having a hard time swallowing Sunday night though.

Good win Tigers! We win tomorrow, than head back to Beantown with Max and JV (if needed). All positives for Detroit!

OPS BOS: .450
and i don’t have to talk about who our starting pitchers are the next 3 games.

Even though it worked out, I still don’t like the matchup bullpen use with a big lead. Like I said the other day, it’s a strategic philosophy that I don’t agree with.
Other than that, good game, one that would have been easy to watch if it wasn’t the postseason with all the extra pressure. No lead seems safe in October.
Even Jackson himself said moving him down eased the pressure on him. A person can “observe by watching” (Yogi) and see many things by watching every game, perhaps more than the people involved at times.
Anyway, this series goes until Saturday at the least. Stretch out that season, guys.

Well Leyland may have finally won a game for the club. The change in the batting order was instrumental in the outcome today.
We got a little lucky with Boston leaving men on. They outhit us.
Fister worked his stuff very well.
Smyly finally was treated with respect by Leyland (another good move by him BTW).
drew needs to be engaged and to simply be given more innings (pitches) to stay effective.
Iglesias had a very nice game and is starting to square up on the ball. He is a difference maker in the field. I would think he would be playing tomorrow as well.
Leyland made another good move (forget the score at the time, this is the playoffs) in sending Jackson. He may have sensed the confidence building and stoked the fire a bit more. Jackson now knows he can steal a base and Boston has one more thing to think about.
No point in saying much about Fielder. It’s only gonna get worse tomorrow for him. It’s not only aggravating-it’s also a bit sad.
Everyone took their job seriously today and most of them performed admirably, including JL.
I am not real big on the marching to the mound stuff but at least he stayed sensible with Smyly. I was fearing he would not.

Anibal needs a Cy Young contender game tomorrow.

Great game last night guys – liked how aggressive they were. Did I really see a stolen base by AJ last night? Almost like they are afraid to give up outs when they know Miggy is coming up when AJ is leading off? Tonight is a huge, huge game, we need this W because winning 2 in Boston will be tough. GO TIGERS

Oh, and the funniest part of the night was Miggy’s stolen base. He gets thrown out we are calling him an idiot, he is safe we are saying how smart he is to read the fact he could easily steal. I love his confidence.

Still stinging from game #2. EEEKK!!

There were nine Tigers all in the bed.
The oldest Tiger said, “Rollover.”
They all rolled over and one fell out. The one knocked out saw some room between Omar and Jose and jumped back in.
Then the oldest Tiger said, “Hey I’m first in bed soooo I’ll bat first tomorrow!!!!” He nudged Miguel.
“Okay, I’ll bat second.” He nudged Prince.
“Okay, I’ll bat third,” On and on it goes.
Finally Jose said, “That’s okay, I’ll bat last. I’m the youngest man on the team, anyway. Good night all.”
And the next day when they played the oldest Tiger was up to bat in the top of the second inning with two on and two out. He hit a rocket down into the left field corner and both runners scored. Tigers lead 4-0.

Just heard on the radio…Prince made four outs last night…3 of them were on the first pitch – 1 of the ab’s he saw 5 pitches. Four outs 8 pitches. That really bad.

That’s pretty good DOK!
As bad as Miggy was on Tuesday he snapped out of it last night. Still hard to fathom why he was so hell bent on destruction in his last at bat (Tuesday) when contact was needed. Two hits and two RBIs. Actually struck the ball really well his last time up and an excellent catch robbed him of a 3rd hit. Dare we dream/
Meanwhile, behind him, the Prince is becoming a Pauper.

As opposed to a “Popper”

Can we trade Fielder to the ChiSox for Avisail?

Wonder if the Sox would have taken Castellanos instead of Garcia.

Sure they would have. They tried their best to get Nick or Bruce and settled for Avisail. We did not give in.

Glad they didn’t. As much as I like Garcia, Castellanos may end up as being a great Detroit Tigers hitter

I think Garcia has a bigger upside so when both of their careers are over, I’ll call your grave from my grave and we’ll discuss it. No smiley face necessary on this comment!

Who, besides Tom Brookens, did not immediately see that hit could not possibly score Mig? Why would he waive him in to begin with?

I wish the Tigs would have have just tried to make it through the suspension as best they could and kept Garcia.

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