Monday’s lineups: Tigers at Pirates

Cleveland and Pittsburgh 015

The third and final home opener of the season for the Tigers is in Pittsburgh, where it’s looking like a postcard type of day with high temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. They’ll see a Tigers lineup that’s rolling (check out the AL batting leaders after one week of play), but one that will not have Victor Martinez in it with the designated hitter slot unavailable. Everyone else moves up, which means J.D. Martinez will bat cleanup.

With no DH, it also means Tigers pitchers are batting in April for a second straight season. They’ve been taking batting practice for the last week or so as prep work, but that likely won’t help much with Sanchez, a career .091 (22-for-241) hitter from his days with the Marlins. That said, he did hit an RBI double last April at Dodger Stadium.

Asked if Sanchez will be allowed to swing, Brad Ausmus said, “Out of his shoes.”

As for the bullpen, Ausmus might have a decision to make if the Tigers take a lead into the ninth. Joakim Soria pitched all three games in Cleveland, and four out of the last five days. However, his Friday appearance lasted just eight pitches and a third of an inning. Soria said he thinks he can pitch today, and Ausmus wasn’t ruling it out, though he wanted to check with Soria first. It’s mid-April, and there’s 155 games left after this one.


  1. Anthony Gose, CF
  2. Ian Kinsler, 2B (0-for-3, K off Gerrit Cole)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. J.D. Martinez, RF
  5. Yoenis Cespedes, LF (1-for-3 off Cole)
  6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
  7. Alex Avila, C
  8. Jose Iglesias, SS
  9. Anibal Sanchez, P

pirateslogoPIRATES (career numbers off Anibal Sanchez)

  1. Josh Harrison, 3B (0-for-3)
  2. Gregory Polanco, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF (4-for-14, walk, 5 K’s)
  4. Neil Walker, 2B (3-for-14, double, HR, walk, 4 K’s)
  5. Starling Marte, LF (1-for-4, K)
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 1B (4-for-12, 2 doubles, HR, 5 K’s)
  7. Francisco Cervelli, C
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS (2-for-6, double, 2 K’s)
  9. Gerrit Cole, P


I think Vmart could use the break to heal some….and not having Vmart for this series should highlight why his signing was important

Keep Gorzelanny and Al2 to close

What do you all think about the idea of following Joe Madden’s lead and flipping Iglesia’s and Anibal so that Iglesia stay’s number 9 and helps turn the batting order over in the way we’ve become accustomed to? I think there’s some real merit to that

i have no issues with that logic

He’ll want to double switch Castellanos if the situation arises.

I suppose playing the bullpen by ear just isn’t done. No difference today between the 7th 8th and 9th innings. I kind of think we won’t be needing a closer today, though.

o’rly? whys that señor, rich?

Predicting a bunch of runs today Rich?

A HOMERUN? whelp that’s it. season over. see ya’ll next year!

Well that isn’t the start your looking for

Anibal should be willing to try and throw change-ups to RHB. It is absilutely lethal but he reserves it for LHB. A tough slider away and down followed by a change-up down and in??
Give it a try Anibal.

Nope just don play well in this park

I know we can’t expect to go 162-0 but it does seem for some reason they have trouble with the Pirates. Didn’t they lose all 4 games to them last year?

something like that. i think the last time they won in PIT was when Carlos sent a ball to the river.

What I meant up there is that I don’t expect the Tigers to win this game. Law of averages, among other things.

That being said—-Anibal is pitching well enough to win and his hitters need to rally ’round him.

If our hitters are going to eat Humble Pie today, at least the guy serving it up is an excellent pitcher.

A-Mc must have a good arm not to have Miggy score on that hit.

No reason to take the risk with no outs

Casty has lots of guys on base so far. it is time for us to see the materialization of his potential–right here—right now.

I was so hoping the Tigers would ruin jolly rogers Opening Day. You know Leland is there and is probably thrilled.

thrilled about what? what are you suggesting?

He’s a diehard Pittsburg fan. I just got off the phone with my son (he was watching on gameday) and he said the same thing. The Jolly Rogers are in his blood.

He’s an employee of the Detroit Tigers, remember?

That is why you need Victor

Yes, Casty has not hit well yet and I believe he has LOB the most so far. One good game out of seven? Maybe Pittsburgh would take Casty, Joba and Country for Josh Harrison? (wink)

Country Joe

He mentioned he has problems keeping the ball down during ST

I had to leave for a while so missed a 3,4,5, innings, but didn’t like the way Ausmus managed this one.

Score a run to tighten the game and Anibal folds.

Not Anibal’s fault. The energy was sapped by the Casty 1st pitch swing DP. Right there—the game was gone.
It is encouraging to see the mastery that Anibal showed for most of the game.
The dingers are a concern though.

lets see Kroll be better than last time!

Yesterday, Castellanos.Today, Perez taking the first pitch in the niddle of the they changed the swing at the first pitch approach that worked very well last season?

JAY DEEP! you dirty dog!

casty kills rallies like Damon, Pudge and Inge

Never mind

Swinging at ball 4

Casty is a liablity right now and yet Victor doesn’t PH for him?
Could have had two LHB up in a row with nobody out and one on.
Bad managing by Ausmus

I know its only 7 games but Casty is becoming a real rally-killing black hole in the line-up. The Tigers had a nice comeback going there.

I agree Dan…especially seeings how Ausmus would have replaced Casty defensively had the Tigers tied or gone ahead. Why not let Victor hit for him instead?

Casty gives me fits. I suspect he will never become the player we had hoped for.

Nick is a work-in-progress and was rushed to the Tigers. I agree he is not the phenom we hoped for, but he still has enough potential to become a very valuable Tiger. With work, experience and time that can happen

Didn’t play well. And we lost. The way it is supposed to be.
Baseball is a tough game and Nick has to get used to that. The game came easy to him for all of his life. he has to relinquish his ego, and become a better all-around player.
Anibal has to shoulder some of the blame as he allowed himself to be affected by the disappointment of the bases loaded DP.

Victor always > than Casty in that situation.

Ausmus said he thought about hitting VMart for Castellanos in 7th, but had a feeling they’d have opportunity later in game…
“You don’t save a pitcher for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may rain…”Durocher

Well, We lost Evan. I would rather lose here than to a central opponent to start the year. As good as Sanchy’s stuff is, he really got stung by the gopher ball. So we put the loss behind us, and move on. Three for today:
1. No walks by our pitchers today; Pburg earned it all.
2. Never out of the game; I want be so hard on Nicky, but it wasn’t the time to swing on first pitch, especially the way Meluncon was throwing. Julio’s magic nearly turned the tide again.
3. Igloo’s shortstop play is nothing short of amazing. His replacement value this year will be jaw dropping.


Iggy is rusty. Last game an error. This game he overran a ball and was bailed out by Iggy. Do not get too excited.

Meant Miggy on his catch.

Pretty hard not to get excited by Iggy. I think the ball he “over-ran’ may actually have taken a bad hop.
I really like the future for Nick but I think he needs to slow the game down. I think he expects similar numbers to the big guys. Not gonna happen yet.

He didn’t over run it. Nick tried to get it and Iggy was behind him to back him up. The ball hit Nick’s glove and bounced in a different direction.

if that’s the play you were talking about. I did miss watching a few innings, so maybe it was a different play?

I was referring to the ball in the hole that Iggy went one step too deep on and then backhanded it. His subsequent throw to Miggy was short, but Miggy came up big.

It’s no big deal, in any event. Iggy hasn’t played for a year. He will steady out with more game reps.

In the 7th, Nick hit a hard grounder for the DP. That finds a hole and we’re not having this conversation. In the 9th, that was a really bad AB and disappointing for a second year regular.
How Brad handled the pinch hitting? I would have done exactly the same.

First loss of the year. I didn’t see it so I can’t comment too much, but Dan and Jim didn’t sound too upset by the boys today. I hope my Tiger brothers and sisters can not get too worked up this season over the small stuff!

Last March 29, I posted the translation of on ainterview made by Wilmer Reina
Aníbal said:
” It is all about location , independently of the pitch type, without good location, it wont have effect”
Thanks God, , my pitches have been responsive to my wishes, I need to be a little more consistent in the low zone , but that will improve as soon as I gain innings and making adjustments”

Of course, SO pitchers tend to be HR prone too

There are several non moves, Brad didn’t make in the later game. But in the first inning with Bose up (some of you will think I’m crazy) I hoped he would bunt himself on base and then with his speed and Kinsler, Miggy, JD, Yoenis after that, it might have flustered their pitcher and got them out of sync and maybe make throwing errors. It’s what I was thinking I would do if I had batted first when Gose when out to bat. The idea drifted through my head anyway.

Brad is defending Nick in the papers. Said he thought it was smart to try and hit the first pitch. Well, sure. The day before, Kluber was throwing 1st pitch fastballs right down the middle and the players stood there like the house at the side of the road. But, the pitches Nick swung at on the first pitch was what was so nauseating. I felt bad for him. Still see lots of mistakes by Brad in that game. Hope they win today!

i’d like to welcome everyone to second place in the AL Central. hahahah! breath!

It is a loss that could have been a win . Today is another chance to get even . You cant wait until the 9th inning to come alive .

True. I think when the Tigers do fall into trouble it is because the starting pitcher has been allowed to get into his rhythm. Ausmus has the kind of team that can upset that rhythm. If necessary, start bunting (that INCLUDEs Avila), but particularly with the speed guys. Get a man on base and then pester a bit.
At least the Tigers were able to get to their closer. That is a good sign.

KC’s Rios out with broken hand

The Dodgers have been trying to unload Ethier without success.

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