Game 2011.47: Rays at Tigers

by Coleman on May 23, 2011 · 77 comments

in 2011 Season,Game Post

Post image for 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
 
 

{ 77 comments }

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Game should be starting about 7:30 EST

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Yeah, well, Leyland. I just don’t know what to say anymore since this stuff has been going on for 6 years (seems longer). Furbush for Thomas switch makes sense – see what the kid can do and get the bum out of there. As for Villareal down and Gonzalez up (WTF? – to borrow a phrase from JL), it looks like upper management are trying on their clown suits now too. I just can’t get Firesign Theater’s “We’re All Honkies On This Bus” skit out of my head.

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I liked Gonzalez better the first time when he was called Jason Grilli

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Actually, that is an insult to Jason Grilli.

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Leyland was answering those talk show radio idiots. They are a bunch of morons and deserved it. Bravo Leyland.

scotsw May 24, 2011 at 6:17 am

Disagree. You can’t say five times that something is “a legitimate second-guess,” and then tear someone a new one for, er, second-guessing. That’s crazy talk. Anyhow, the decision to bring in Valverde with a 2-run margin on Sunday is certainly defensible. But the reason it’s NOT a no-brainer is that we all know that the rules are totally different if that’s Verlander or even Scherzer on the mound, not Porcello.

So let’s play another round of second-guessing: Why on earth does Valverde come out on Monday night with a 5-run lead? He’d just pitched the night before, and it’s certainly not a stretch to think you might NEED him Tuesday and Wednesday. But hey, we have so many reliable arms in the bullpen, you could get a guy like Zumaya or Rodney or Seay to step in an close… Er, what’s that? Oops, I was thinking it was 2009 again. I hate it when I do that.

Andrew in Toronto May 24, 2011 at 9:37 am

I’m guessing Valverde was already warming up before those 9th inning runs were scored.

Mr X May 24, 2011 at 11:55 am

Valverde was already warmed up. The 4 runs we scored in the bottom of the 8th were scored after the fact. Only other choice was to have Benoit pitch another inning and we know that’s not going to happen when Valverde is ready to pitch.

Mr X May 24, 2011 at 11:55 am

Anyways he directed his answer at the talk show goons.

JOE Z May 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm

lol jim leyland.

LETS GO TIGERS. win streak anyone?

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Damon has the highest batting avg in the TB line-up with a unsweet .265.

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Their 2 best hitters have the misfortune of being LHB.

Matt Joyce .355 (.158 ! vs LHP)
Casey Kotchman .352 (.294 vs LHP)

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm

The hitting is just terrible league wide so far this year. MLB average batting avg is just .250. Just a few years ago it was .270. The Mendoza line doesn’t look as bad from that perspective.

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

The Mendoza line just isn’t what it used to me. The Magglio Line (.175), now that’s an accomplishment.

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Maggs doesn’t have enough AB’s to qualify!

Here’s some other darlings:
Evan Longoria .224
Hanley Ramirez .219
Jason Heyward .214
Carl Crawford .209
Adam Dunn .194
Dan Uggla .185

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Well, to be fair Longoria is still recovering from her split with Tony Parker

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Unfortunately, that also makes our 5.91 bullpen ERA look even worse.

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Avila breaks up the double perfect game with a hard-earned walk.

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Hmm, Upton trying to break up the perfect game with a bunt…good thing it’s only the 4th inning or that would be one of those unwritten rule things

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I would of yanked Coke out of that situation too.

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Oh Lord, we’re doomed…6 innings of Blowpen

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 8:30 pm

TB may be on to something here with their bunting since we seem to be entering into a new dead ball era.

Kevin in Dallas May 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Holy cow did Furbush get hosed there.

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Furbush awesome! K’d the side. Ump made it a 4 out innings there.

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Go C-Fur! Our bullpen has been refurbushed!

Kevin in Dallas May 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Strong candidate for post of the game.

JOE Z May 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

very nice furbush

Steve May 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Think that guy heard any jokes on the bus?

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm

So, exactly what happened to Coke?

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

He twisted his ankle trying to field a bunt down the 3rd base line.

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Some chick down the street from me just yelled “I got a Furbush!” Seriously.

Kevin in Dallas May 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Picture?

Kevin in Dallas May 23, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Any predictions on the Mavs/OKC game?

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Dallas

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Lotsa points

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Inge is a great tagger at 3rd

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Furbush! Dirks!!! These kids can play!

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Dirks now has as many home runs as Magglio

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm

And Dirks Jerks One!

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Dirks Donk.

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Peralta Phans.

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm

We have a brand new ballgame, as they used to say.

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Attaboy Boesch. Way to run those bases!! that’s why he’s batting 3rd!

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Cabrera with a little base-clowning

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm

The old double steal try with the slowest runner on the team at 2nd base. Leyland loves that play. Too bad in 6 years it has never worked.

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm

And look who’s Joaquin out to the mound. I hope I’m right about the Rays effect…

tbran in Troy May 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Mr. Benoit has something to prove — to everybody.

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I just wish he would stop jokin around.

tbran in Troy May 23, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Thank you Mr. Benoit.

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Almost a clean inning for Benoit. On that walk, it looked like he got squeezed by the ump a little. Nice pitching nevertheless. Just like that, it looks like he got his mojo back.

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Amazing what a one-day demotion can do.

tbran in Troy May 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm

That is what you call a Brandon Inge single

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 10:10 pm

A Bringle

tbran in Troy May 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm

we’ll go with that — and so will Inge.

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Wow, Longoria just Raburned that one

scotsw May 24, 2011 at 6:21 am

I believe the correct spelling in that particular context is “Rayburned” that one, IIRC.

tbran in Troy May 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Note to Mr. Martinez: Just get a freakin hit!

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm

VMART!!

tbran in Troy May 23, 2011 at 10:25 pm

2nd note to Mr. Martinez: That qualifies as a FREAKIN hit!

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 10:25 pm

OMG – 4 runs!

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

We need to stop wasting runs, we already had our daily allotment of 2.

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

TB’s bullpen implodes! Maddon should be fired!!

JOE Z May 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm

might as well be a blowpen for the rays

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm

And to think we still haven’t seen Farnsworth

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 10:29 pm

OMG – 6 runs! This qualifies as a laugher under the current circumstances.

Vince in MN May 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Maybe Leyland should demote Valverde as the closer for one day. I mean, it worked wonders for Benoit, yes?

Brenden May 23, 2011 at 10:51 pm

You know…everytime Valverde is brought in for a non-save situation, he always throws a ton of pitches and gives up at least a run. So, why does Leyland insist on bringing him in these situations? I have no idea, but I know Valverde will not be available tomorrow if he is needed…

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm

1st, 4 times out 11 is not always.
2nd, Benoit wasn’t about to pitch another inning. Valverde was getting ready to pitch the 9th when the score was 2-1. Naturally, he was the only guy warming up in the pen because he was set to close the game. The Tigers adding 4 more runs was inconsequential.

scotsw May 24, 2011 at 6:23 am

Mr. X, while those statements are all true statements, they still don’t add up to a good reason. If Valverde can’t close Tuesday and we need him, who else is going to step in? I mean that seriously.

Mr X May 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm

That’s rhetoric. Well, what if don’t need Valverde? What if we didn’t use him Yesterday or the game before? You just going to sit him forever until a perfect save opportunity arises? That’s what it sounds like you’d do.

Mr X May 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm

also
1) I’m not the manager, so that decision is up to Leyland
2) I’m not going to 2nd guess the manager

Kevin in Dallas May 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Cle is for reals.

Brenden May 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Yeah…I think we should start aiming for the Wild Card, because Cleveland is running away with this division…

JOE Z May 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm

keep it in perspective. we play them for a 3 game series in a few weeks. then we dont see them again until aug/sept where we play them 12 times.

things can change quick in late summer.

Mr X May 23, 2011 at 11:30 pm

…..like the Tigers ran away with this division in ’09….

Coleman May 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm

With an assist from Carl Crawford with the 9th-inning R3L2O fail.

Kevin in Dallas May 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Reader comment from a Freep story today:

On the way to my 11 year old’s game last night I told him his 2 for 9 with 5 Ks start for the year put him in Brandon Inge territory. He quickly retorted that he can still make the big leagues!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Switch to our mobile site