Game 2011.28: Tigers at Indians

April clowns bring May frowns, as the old saying goes.

So what are the Tigers to do about their woeful offense?  Jim Leyland says that they have to concentrate better with 2 strikes.  Lynn Henning suggests they should offer some of their good pitching prospects to the Mets and replace Inge with David Wright.  Sure, Inge isn’t hitting, but he’s the number 9 hitter.  That tends to happen.  But when your number 3 hitter is hitting .159 with 1 RBI, now THAT’s a problem.  When your DH can’t get a ball out of the infield, that’s a problem.  He is the designated hitter.  He is designated to, you know, HIT.  This might not be as obvious as it seems, since the Tigers haven’t had a strong DH since Leyland has been managing the team.  He tends to use the DH spot as a place for semi-rest for the weary, instead of a place for a fearsome bat.

And as far as the concentrating with 2 strikes things goes, here are Ordonez’ ABs yesterday

  • first pitch, ground out to 3rd
  • first pitch, ground out to SS (runner left on 1st)
  • first pitch, popup to 2nd (runner left on 2nd)
  • 2-1 count, ground out to 2nd
  • K, 3 pitches
  • first pitch, ground out to 2nd (runner left on 1st)

The 3rd AB was particularly annoying.  Austin Jackson had a good AB and worked a walk after a 1-2 count (good concentration!), and Leyland had Rhymes bunt him to 2nd.  Really?  You really just wasted an out to move him to 2nd with Ordonez coming up?  Of course Ordonez grounded out, and Cabrera was intentionally walked.

For whatever reason, Ordonez is just not capable right now; it’s 2008 Gary Sheffield all over again.  He at least needs some time off.  I know Leyland is a players’ manager, and I know that this often pays off, but this can’t continue forever.  It’s not fair to Magglio. Magglio is still a fan favorite, but eventually he will be greeted with boos when he steps up to the plate, and he deserves better than that.

This afternoon, Phil Coke (1-4) takes on the undefeated Justin Masterson (5-0) as the Tigers try to avoid the back-to-back sweep.  And it looks like Maggs has the day off.  Finally.

Player of the Pre-Game:  Al Alburquerque

Yes, I know he will have the day off.  But lost in the loss yesterday was a completely dominating 3 innings by Captain Querque.  He threw strike after strike and slider after slider, and the Indians were helpless.  Not only did he strike out 6 of 9 batters (the last Tiger reliever to do that was Willie Hernandez), but the other 3 batters couldn’t get the ball out of the infield.  Good stuff.

Today’s sweep-stopping lineup:

  1. Rhymes 2B
  2. Santiago SS
  3. Kelly RF
  4. Cabrera 1B
  5. Boesch DH
  6. Raburn LF
  7. Avila C
  8. Inge 3B
  9. Jackson CF

22 Comments

  1. Marzland

    May 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    It’s about time Kjax is hitting 9. His buddy Rhymes should be right in in front of him at 8 not leading off. The problem is who can handle 1&2 spots? Rayburn & Jhonny P?

  2. Coleman

    May 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Donkey Don Kelly! Leadoff hitter gets on base, sac bunt, and an RBI from the 3 hitter. Now that is pleasant to watch.

  3. TORONTO TIGER

    May 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    First one to 10 wins!

  4. Coleman

    May 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Rhymes is actually looking like a leadoff hitter today…

  5. Kevin in Dallas

    May 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I have every confidence that Jackson is going to turn into an above average lead-off hitter. He’s hitting line drives and taking pitches. He’ll be okay.

    Maggs and Inge are done. Perhaps Kelly can take over 3B. V Mart back on Wed.

    • stephen

      May 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      What are you basing your Jackson faith on? It certainly isn’t the actual number. From 5/1/10 to 5/1/11, Jackson is hitting .263 with a .325 oba. In the same time period, he’s led the major leagues in strikeout while hitting 4 hr’s. That’s a full year of suck.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        May 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm

        Just watching the games stephen. He looks much better right now than he did three weeks ago. Batting .240 with a .341 OBP over the past 10 games. I realize that is far from acceptable, but it’s a marked increase over the beginning of the year. Considering that there is 0% chance that Inge or Maggs improve, I’m giving AJax an opportunity to do so before advocating for his demotion. If he can make the same progression over the next 10 games that he did over the last 10, he’ll settle in.

        • stephen

          May 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

          Best case scenario, Jackson is in top 5 in strikeouts and hits 280 with a 340 oba. That’s not acceptable. That’s not even major league average.

    • TBran in Troy

      May 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      Inge done?? He never started anything to finish. He is a microcosm of this club’s woes for years.

      • stephen

        May 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

        Yes, lets repeat this: The Tigers 3rd baseman for much of the past decade is the team’s all-time strikeout leader and a career .237 hitter with a .699 ops. That’s criminal.

  6. ouchudied

    May 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    For anyone that thinks that Cabrera doesn’t speak good English – read his lips after he got hit by that pitch. Looked like English to me

  7. Coleman

    May 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    A-Money with R3L2O

  8. JOE Z

    May 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    awww hell.

  9. Kevin in Dallas

    May 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    The Indians announcers were pretty blatant in their questioning of the Benoit signing. “He’s been on the DL 9 times in his career, and really only had one good year…”

    They also didn’t hold back on the non-sac attempt by Boesch for the 2nd straight game. At least we’re not the only ones who think DD and Leyland are incompetent.

  10. Kevin in Dallas

    May 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    This first pitch swinging thing has got to be an organization wide directive.

  11. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    May 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Season is over fellas. The only thing to figure out going forward is how to fix this mess so that we don’t have to continually watch this same frustrating mess next year. Mr. Ilitch needs to let DD and JL go. Get us a GM who doesn’t believe in trading away prospects for guys in the backside of the careers and one who can figure out that you can’t have a lineuop devoid of left-handed power (especially at a park like Comerica). I don’t even want to start on Ol’ Smoky because its just too depressing. Detroit fans deserve better than we what we are given by our teams (particularly this one). I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it: four World Series titles in 110 years of competing for one is pathetic. Its time to demand more from our favorite team.

    • Mark in Chicago

      May 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      DD deserves criticism for the Jurrjens/Renteria deal but no GM is perfect. In total however, he has gotten way more out of his trades than he’s given up. The issue with DD is foolish long-term contracts, and that’s either bad judgement or Ilitch wants to see a winner so bad he’s basically urging DD to go sign whatever he can to fill a hole.

      Also, blaming DD and Smokey for what happened before they arrived (the 4 WS in 110 years meme) is dumb.

  12. judpma

    May 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    this team has taken on Captain Mumbles personality,,,,,does he even have a personality???,,,this drag your butt to the plate and drag our butt all the way back to the dug out eat a couple seeds,drag your self out of the dugout and onto the field…has got to stop……Inge is the worst….no Maggs is the worst….no Jackson is the worst…..no what! they are all the same ……they all remind me of Scheff back in 08

  13. judpma

    May 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    and can Maggs be put on the DL for not being able to hit a ball all the way out of the infield in over a WEEK……

  14. stephen

    May 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Kiss of death is Lynn Henning saying Leyland is a master of the clubhouse. Yeah, players love him because he cuts them enough slack to hang themselves and the team over-and-over again.

  15. Kevin in Dallas

    May 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Benoit allowed 9 ER all of last season…he allowed 9 over the last week.

    • Coleman

      May 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm

      What if Al Alburquerque > Benoit? How long, if at all, would it take Smokey to switch roles?

      (By the way. I’ve never quite understood the importance of the clearly-defined-bullpen-role, except I suppose closer…what does a “setup” guy do that a 7th-inning guy doesn’t?)