Game 2011.55: Twins at Tigers

Tonight is the closet game of the Twins series, as the Tigers look to break out the brooms.  Last night’s game was filled with glove-clownery on both sides, and a phantom tag at home, but the Tigers again came out with the one-run victory.

After the game, Leyland had this to say of Ryan Raburn:  “he’s played good left field this year.”  He then went on to say that Raburn will “probably” be back at 2nd for tonight’s game.  Then today he submitted the lineup:  Ramon Santiago 2B.

He only made the briefest of appearances, retiring the pesky Jim Thome, but the third of an inning by Charlie Furbush gave him the cumulative equivalent of a 9-inning complete game shutout for his young career.  His 9 scoreless innings to start off his career is the most by a Tiger since Chris Mears in 2003.  Nonetheless, he is still stuck carrying the bullpen backpack, a new larger one apparently.  But is it still pink?  Still Hello Kitty?  Or some other horror?  We demand to know.

About the bullpen:  they came through last night.  But, say your closer isn’t available, and your 8th-inning guy blows through his 3 hitters in devastating fashion–well, is there some reason you couldn’t bring him back out for the 9th?  I’m just saying.

Rick Porcello tries to dust himself off tonight from the roughing up he took from the Red Sox last out.  Scott Baker was roughed up by his own bullpen last outing–they blew a 5-0 lead over the last 2 innings.

Today’s Player of the Pre-Game:  Andy Dirks

The Dirks has impressed with his play in left field;  now he gets to take a crack at the vast Comerica centerfield.

Today’s I Bet You Didn’t Expect This Lineup:

  1. Don Kelly LF
  2. Ramon Santiago 2B
  3. Brennan Boesch RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
  5. Victor Martinez DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta SS
  7. Andy Dirks CF
  8. Alex Avila C
  9. Brandon Inge 3B

27 thoughts on “Game 2011.55: Twins at Tigers”

  1. Don’t get me started on how Layland (mis-) manages a pitching staff.

    MR2B sitting on the bench tonight (2 for 10 vs. Baker lifetime, but 2 for 16 vs Duensing [before the game last night]), so I doubt the matchup has much to do with it.

  2. The White Sox beat Boston again and swept the series, so now we are only 1 game behind Boston for the Wild Card.

  3. Even though Benoit barely got it done last night I would have brought Alburquerque back out for the 9th. He blew them away in the 8th 3 up 3 down with 2 K’s and should have finished the game.

    1. I was going to say: why not just leave in Furbush if you’re going to ride it out with whatever worked in the following inning?

      Leyland is well known for using a bullpen hierarchy. I think we all know what it is by now.

  4. Sure am glad Al Al was available Today. We needed him right there to stop the bleeding. He might not of been had he closed out the game Yesterday. Funny how hindsight on hindsight works. So Leyland got it right after all.

  5. just like it should be done. sweep a last place team at home.

    well done. lets keep it going, tigers!

  6. 9 straight wins against the Twinkies!!! (dating back to last year) – if the Twins weren’t playing so horrible this year, i’d swear this is ‘a sign’ of something great… or Armageddon.

    The next 6 games on the road against the White Sox and Rangers – good time to put together a 10-game winning streak.

  7. id like to speculate on trade rumors. its absolutely in dombrowkis pedigree to trade one of our minor league arms for a mlb upgrade. this being a contract year for him, and the tigers on the fence of the playoffs. i have to believe someone like andy oliver is a possible name. i think turners safe. ill be honest and i dont know much beyond on them. but oliver seems a very ready, movable arm, that doesnt really hurt the future of our pitching. verlander, scherzer, porcello, turner is a quite a workable 4 some. and sure they are improving parts and all that.

    so just to be chatty. ill throw jose reyes into the mix. oliver and a prospect, maybe 2 seems quite fair? who knows. move peralta to second. gives us speed, top of the lineup hitter. i mean, lets make a major move if we’re gonna make a move. thats quite top of the line, i get it. but lets do something major?! thats one thing dave d doesnt do. hes made a lot of minor moves

    post probably goes on deaf ears in this thread, so lets move on

    1. Disagree on the “minor moves” theory. What about Granderson/Jackson for Scherzer/Jackson/Coke/Schlereth? That saved the team $$$, and netted them several years of team control, and 4 players on the major-league roster, including 2/5 of the rotation. Or what about the deal that brought in Cabrera?

      The team is about to get back Magglio Ordonez, a former batting title winner, and a guy who put together a pretty good year last year. He had a broken foot and his bad start was obviously troubled by that. But such things heal, eventually, and if he’s healthy, as billed, that’s a major addition. There’s little reason to trade for a 2B if Guillen is indeed making his way back (and I presume DD has better info than we do on that). And Peralta is doing fine at short, though he may not set the world on fire. That’s in the “don’t mess with what’s working” category.

      So, what options does that leave? Third base. That means, essentially, eating the contract of Brandon Inge.

    2. Reyes would be a HUGE addition but it would take a lot more than Oliver and a prospect to get him – and i don’t know if the Tigers can afford to drain their depleted farm system any more than it already is (currently ranked 25th in prospects). He’s in his last year of a contract, and due to the Mets financial and standings situation they would like to move Reyes with the right offer (and Beltran also).

      A speedy SS that can hit and field would fit into several team’s lineup – but if the asking price is too high, teams like Boston, Yankees, etc will simply outbid for him this winter (FA) and keep their prospects.

      1. Here’s a point about the supposedly “depleted” farm system:

        Boesch, Avila, Kelly, Sizemore (now with A’s), Dirks, Wells, Albuquerque, Furbush

      2. I like Reyes. It’s just too bad he’s a free agent after this season and will be looking for Carl Crawford type money. He’ll get it from somebody and it likely won’t be us.

        Sandy Alderson, the Mets new GM this season, is one of the shrewdest GM’s out there. He’s the guy who mentored Billy Beane and was a big part of Oakland back in the 80-90’s. I don’t see Dombrowski making a beneficial deal with that guy. We could get Reyes, but it will cost us a guy like Porcello, Avila, AJax, or Turner. For a rental player, I don’t think it’s worth it.

    3. I do agree that Oliver is a guy we would trade. I think he was drafted for that purpose. Not sure what we could get in return for him.

  8. the stat tonight was tigers had the least amount of within 2 run games. so we’re earlier blowing people out for just straight losing. or road scoring woes are notable.

    the bullpen issue another problem that should be fixed on its own trade. likely.

    we need another bat, now jose is top of the line, probably out of our range. maybe an outfielder fits the bill better. but the game remains. we likely need a strong batter, coupled with an obviously pen arm.

    and id rather aim larger this year than years past.

    (i dont know who else to blabber with this about, so i bring it to you guys)

    1. A team with a surplus of tradeable arms doesn’t need to trade for an arm. As Furbush has shown, young major-league ready arms (such as Oliver) can help the bullpen, even if they’re traditionally starters.

      1. Very true. Guys like David Price and Johan Santana started off in the pen. Nothing wrong with keeping Furbush there. He’s been lights out. I wouldn’t even mind us calling up Jacob Turner somewhere down the line if he’s good enough for the majors.

  9. Mr. X:

    If you use Alburquerque for six outs Tuesday (as I would have), then you can use Benoit for four outs last night – and, for that matter, bypass Schlereth, who has no business on the Tigers’ roster right now. The ridiculous idea that you need every reliever ready every night is why there are so many mid-inning pitching changes & three-hour-plus games.

    1. With many relievers these days, once they go back to the dugout in between innings, it’s usually over for them. One and done is the standard for those guys, with the exception of long relievers.

      Benoit likely won’t get used for multiple innings much, unless it’s an emergency. His track record, shoulder problems, and the 3 year contract are his main limiting factors. Probably the best way to use him is the same way Joe Maddon did last year, where he was the 8th inning guy most of the time.

      As for Al Al, the last time he was used in the 9th inning (May 19) he crapped the bed. It was a memorable tragic ending vs Boston. The last time he came back out after finishing an inning (May 11) , it ended in disaster also. His track record is saying that he’s a one inning guy also. Call it attention deficit disorder if you like, or maybe he just gets razzed a lot when he’s in the dugout. Cabrera calls him “Avatar”!

      Also about Al Al, Leyland had him pitch on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and we won all 3 games. Al Al even got credited with 2 of those wins. I can’t remember the last time our bullpen worked so effectively. The pen didn’t give up any runs in the series vs Minnesota.

      I don’t mind pitching changes and 3 hour plus games either. IMO, there is nothing better to watch than a Tiger game. I actually enjoy all the strategy that goes on during those long games.

  10. Having seen last night’s game in person (my first of the year), we’ve got to do something about Inge. His three-strikeout flop looked worse in person than it did in the box score. He’s waving and missing on a steady diet of low sliders. Even Delmon Young, who never sees a breaking ball he doesn’t like, looked better.

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