Game 2011.47: Rays at Tigers

“No, no, no, no”

This was Jim Leyland’s response when asked if he considered leaving Porcello in the game yesterday.  He added, “To me, it’s a no-brainer,” Leyland said. “Your closer is supposed to be better than your starter after eight innings, in my opinion.”

As much as we are used to the no-brain style of management, it is strange that Leyland didn’t mention the only decent rationale for removing Porcello, using the pinch-hitter to try to add another run (you know, those things that we get 2 of per game).  At any rate, Leyland later decided to go all F-bomb about fan second guessing. Fun stuff.

Today is a homecoming of sorts:  The Tigers return home, and greeting them will be the Tampa Bay Rays, and some old friends:  the suddenly brilliant Matt Joyce, a reanimated Johnny Damon, and the Sobbing Barber himself, Kyle Farnsworth.

Making the start for the Rays will be the promising youngster Jeremy Hellickson.  And the Rays could use a bit of promise in their starting pitching lately.  Phil Coke will be going for Detroit, which, inasmuch as it keeps lefty Matt Joyce on the bench, is a promising thing right from the start.

About Coke:  his last start against Boston was perhaps the best of his career.  There had been rumors afloat after the demotion of Benoit that the solution was going to be Coke to the BP as the new 8th inning guy, and Andy Oliver up to join the starting rotation.  Coke made that very difficult with his last outing.  Is the un-demotion of Benoit back to the 8th inning role related to the continued presence of Coke in the starting rotation?

In other news, after placing Brad Thomas on the DL with an elbow that can’t pitch, the Tigers recalled Charlie Furbush, then followed that up by sending Brayan Villarreal to the Hens of Mud, and bringing up Enrique Gonzalez, because they missed having a guy who pitched like Brad Thomas.  I expect the Rreality Show to resume in time for the fall season, if not sooner.

Today’s Player of the Pre-Game:  Joaquin Benoit

After a 1-game demotion, it looks as though Benoit will be Joaquin to the mound in the 8th inning again.  Because…it’s a no-brainer.  Seeing the Rays reminds Benoit that he was actually really good last year, and he responds with a good outing.

Today’s Intraleague Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Scott Sizemore 2B
  3. Brennan Boesch RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
  5. Victor Martinez DH
  6. Andy Dirks LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Alex Avila C
  9. Brandon Inge 3B