Game 2011.97: A’s at Tigers

Today’s starter: (see Below)

**Breaking News**

The Tigers have obtained 3B Wilson Betemit from the KC Royals for minor leaguers Antonio Cruz and Julio Rodriguez.  The real issue isn’t who they traded;  it’s who is going to go to make room for him. What does this mean for Brandon Inge, Ryan Raburn, Don Kelly, Ramon Santiago? On 97.1 Dave Dombrowski said “We’ll make a decision when the player reports.”  Stay tuned.

Betemit is currently at .281 / .341 / .409 / .750, which is a huge upgrade over the Detroit combined 3B line:  .186 / .251 / .249 / .500.

***

The Tigers fell behind early last night, but didn’t quit and pulled out a convincing victory.  They did however give up The Ghost:  Casper Wells and Adam Wilk were optioned to Toledo to make room for today’s starter Duane Below, and Charlie Furbush, who has been pretty much commuting between Detroit and Toledo.

Casper had been looking forward to playing this series against his good buddy Scott Sizemore, but that went wrong almost immediately when Sizemore had to leave the game after taking a pitch off the jaw.  Then his night got worse.

The evening went well for the team overall though:  from Victor Martinez’ winning game of tag, to Cabrera’s why-are-you-pitching-to-me-with-first-open towering home run, to Guillen’s first home run of the year, altogether a pleasant night.

The Tigers send lefty Duane Below out to make his debut and try to keep Detroit in first place.  Below went 9-4 with a 3.13 ERA at Toledo, with 83 Ks in 115 innings, with opponents batting just .225 against him (which, coincidentally, is the Oakland team road batting avg). He’s known as a strike thrower who gets ahead in the count.

Brandon McCarthy will be pitching for the 4th time in his career at Comerica Park.  He gave up 3 runs in each of the other 3 starts.  I’m putting him down for 3 tonight.

Today’s Player of the Pre-Game:  Duane Below

Below, who makes his MLB debut tonight, is from tiny Britton, MI in Lenawee county. Britton was originally named Balch, until a guy named John Britton paid $500 to rename it after himself.  If Below has a successful career, perhaps he could afford to rename the town Below…it is, after all, at the very bottom of the state.

Today’s Lucky Lefty Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Brennan Boesch LF
  3. Magglio Ordonez RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
  5. Victor Martinez DH
  6. Carlos Guillen 2B
  7. Alex Avila C
  8. Don Kelly 3B
  9. Ramon Santiago SS