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


  1. kathy

    July 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    They finally heard you, stephen!

    • Coleman

      July 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

      Nice to hear from YOU, Kathy!

      • kathy

        July 20, 2011 at 11:08 pm

        Thanks, Coleman. Still check in and read comments, but I know this is an all-men’s club.

  2. Andrew in Toronto

    July 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I was trying to figure out why he has so few at bats when his numbers are so good. It’s hard to get good stats on a Blackberry! But, at least this year, he seems to have a pretty clear platoon split.

    He’s a switch hitter, but has been pretty poor against Lefties. So, I guess he’s going to get platooned with somebody.

    I’d hate to see Santiago go, but which of those guys are they really likely to cut? Or can they go with one less pitcher?

  3. stephen

    July 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I thought I’d be happier! I think Inge defeated me in a war of attrition. Once he broke the all-time strikeout lead and they signed him to a two-year deal my spirit was broken. I am just a hollow version of my former self. This all is a Jason/Friday The 13th deal, until Inge is playing for the Hiroshima Carp, I believe nothing.

    • Coleman

      July 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm

      I see the future…it is very cloudy…it is becoming clearer…I see a large Japanese city, yes, it’s Hiroshima…I see a player with his socks pulled high…he is the Hiroshima McDonald’s Player of the Game…

  4. Mr. X

    July 20, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    What a great catch by Jackson. His range is ridiculous.

  5. stephen

    July 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Live from Hiroshima, The Super Fanastic Brandon Inge Happy Strikeout Fun Goatee Hour!

    • Kevin in Dallas

      July 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      anime/hello kitty promotions coming soon.

      • stephen

        July 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm

        I fear they’re going to stash Inge on the DL and he resurfaces in spring of 2012. Me scared.

        • Coleman

          July 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm

          Inge has gone MAD: he will sit out the remainder on the DL with Mono-related Anxiety Disorder.

          • scotsw

            July 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm

            I actually think this is the most likely outcome. As someone who had a pretty bad bout of mono in college, I can attest that it is a badass disease, and if Inge is truly 100% over his mono, I would be flat-out shocked. He was OK last year, and we all figured we’d get an encore of 2010 Ingey, and I think (think?) we were at least OK with that. His pathetic performance this year is either lingering mono weakness, or the worst case of aging in modern science.

  6. Coleman

    July 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm


  7. Coleman

    July 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Decent debut by D-Low

  8. Mr. X

    July 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Here comes the blowpen

  9. Brenden

    July 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Boy…I’m glad we traded away Scott Sizemore to get Purcey Walks-A-Lot…..

  10. tbran in Troy

    July 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Can we leave Purcey with his old team?

    • Brenden

      July 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      Seriously….Just take it as a loss, this guy is awful.

  11. Brenden

    July 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Ths is going to get a lot worse before it gets better…

  12. Coleman

    July 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I blame Mr X. He invoked the blowpen.

  13. Brenden

    July 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Stupid blowpen…..

  14. tbran in Troy

    July 20, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    This is disgusting. Walk the bases loaded and then let them single them all home. Wow.

    • Brenden

      July 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm

      Seriously….this is disappointing. I want to know how Leyland thought it was a bright idea to leave Purcey in long enough so that he could walk the bases full. There’s no excuse for Benoit, he’s a million dollar man.

  15. stephen

    July 20, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Inge available for late inning pinch hit!

    • kathy

      July 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      Not yet, stephen. Brandon knows he’ll be back with the team. He could never play for another team. Those were his words, with tears in his eyes.

      • kathy

        July 20, 2011 at 10:55 pm

        I hope this Betemitt(sp) guy is a real mover and shaker.

  16. Brenden

    July 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    V-Mart has been hitting into way too many DPs for my liking lately. Gosh that was a rally killer…

  17. Coleman

    July 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Well, that was disappointing. Still, I’d hate to think where we’d be this season without Victor.

  18. don

    July 20, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Maglio should play left – can barely get the ball into the baseline. No power as I said before they signed him. Can be a good 2nd hitter, move people up and some singles.
    Are Cabrera, Maglio, VMart and Guillen running the team? Just asked.

    • kathy

      July 20, 2011 at 11:03 pm

      Magglio is fine. Not the big power hitter he was, but can still hit. Still has a good arm.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        July 21, 2011 at 1:07 am

        I love your loyalty kathy. Good to hear from you.

  19. Coleman

    July 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    The Furby is looking good. Maybe they should’ve brought him in sooner. Oh well.

    • Mr. X

      July 20, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      Furbush was warming up in 3rd inning just in case if Below couldn’t work his way out of that mess. I think they were hoping to save Furbush for a long relief situations. Too bad Purcey couldn’t work 1 measly inning. He never pitched this bad before.

  20. Mr. X

    July 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Well at least Cleveland already lost their game earlier Today.
    We can’t blame Raburn or Inge for he loss either.

  21. kathy

    July 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    They still need more pitching.

  22. stephen

    July 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Brandon Inge and Cale Iorg soon to be patrolling left side of Mudhens infield! This is like Seals & Croft opening for a puppet show.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      July 21, 2011 at 1:08 am

      Holy cow what a reference. Let’s go Hall & Oates or Nelson & Nelson next time.

  23. stephen

    July 20, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Inge ends his Tigers career having hit .205 or below five times

    • beejeez

      July 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

      Inge might be the most frustrating career Tiger ever. You could overlook his sad OBP numbers when he put up two 27-homer seasons. And due credit and respect there. But the dude never seemed able or willing to apply himself to maximizing his hitting skills, or even coming to bat with a strategy. For that, I think you have to wonder about his baseball smarts, and even as a factor in why Tiger pitching was so poor until Pudge came aboard. He’d surely love to take back his statement that people were pitching him like Babe Ruth, but he was right. Pitchers didn’t want to throw strikes to Ruth and they didn’t want to throw strikes to Inge. There the similarities end.

      • Jeff Molby

        July 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

        But the dude never seemed able or willing to apply himself to maximizing his hitting skills, or even coming to bat with a strategy

        I have neither seen nor heard even the faintest hint that he has ever given less than his best effort. From day 1, he was in the Majors for his defense. I think it’s likely that he has maximized his hitting.

        and even as a factor in why Tiger pitching was so poor until Pudge came aboard

        With the possible exception of Weaver, none of the pitchers Inge caught went on to any meaningful improvement with other catchers. The Tigers’ pitching improvements coincided exactly with the increase in pitching talent due to the DD/Chadd drafts.

  24. JOE Z

    July 21, 2011 at 1:16 am

    inge appears likely to be called up in september, thought doubt it will lead to much playing time. but in all honesty, you know, good for inge. i think he realizes it all, he enjoys michigan, hes been here a decade, his family is here. its probably doubtful any team makes a waiver claim at him, he just straight accepts the demotion and realizes he’s either old and/or needs improvement. thats pretty strong loyalty whatever the situation. ive always enjoyed inge, even more so when i realized he lived (moved to) in my home town (saline) in 2001 or so. he’s at least not trying to act like a prick when his career is dwindling.

    • ouchudied

      July 21, 2011 at 8:54 am

      Inge lived in Dexter until a couple years ago, at which point he moved to Saline. I know the girl that was a nanny for his kids. He does live in Saline now, though.

  25. Andrew in Toronto

    July 21, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Wow, I never dreamed the Tigers would have the sense to make a decision like this regarding Inge, especially with his new contract. That’s great. I guess having contracts on the line is making people more accountable. Let’s see if they can get a new 3rd base coach next.

    As for Betemit:
    Career .809 OPS as a left-handed batter, and .683 as a right-handed batter.

  26. judpma

    July 21, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Best of everything to Inge. thanks for Bleeding Tiger Orange

    …but more best of everything to Wilson Betemit

  27. stephen

    July 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Betemit is going to break his arm in a bizarre gardening accident. Inge back at 3rd by 9/1.