Game 2011.123: Tigers at Twins

A Once Notorious Tiger Killer meets Newer Tiger Killer.

Pavano’s dominance over the Tigers has taken a 180 since 2009.  Since a 4-0, 1.69 ERA start covering 5 games in 2009 (still hurts), he’s 1-3 with a 7.12 ERA over his past 5 starts.  Several Tigers (avg/ABs Cabrera – .310/29, Ordonez – .375/24, Betemit – .333/12, Peralta – .417/12, Avila – .300/10, Martinez – .444/9, Santiago – .444/9, Raburn – .333/6, Young – .600/5, Kelly – .750/4) are ready to pounce on Pavano.

Despite his winning record, Penny has been pretty bad this year posting a 1.49 WHIP and 4.99 ERA.  But has been above average at home, posting a 3.98 ERA in 81 1/3 at CoPa.  He also has reverse BAA splits, as lefties are only batting .250 against him this year, while righties are batting .339.  This bodes well against the lefty heavy Twins lineup which includes Thome tonight.

– Al Al had a CAT scan today.  If all went well, he could be ready to pitch this weekend.
– Chance Ruffin is on his way to Seattle as the PTBNL in the Pauley/Fister deal.
– Phil Coke has allowed 0 runs and only 3 hits over his last 5 2/3.
– Cabrera is batting .414 with 8 RBIs over the last two weeks.

Today’s player of the game – Bad Brad Penny gets on a roll heading into the stretch run.

Today’s Leyland has been reading Vince in MN’s platoon suggestion Lineup is:

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

65 thoughts on “Game 2011.123: Tigers at Twins”

  1. It was reported that Brad Penny showered today with lemon juice and salt… and he now “feels like a shiny new Penny”

  2. I don’t understand this lineup from Leyland. Why did the Tigers acquire Betemit? I’m not saying he’s great, but he is hitting .316 with two homers and 11 RBI in 17 games since joining the Tigers. Leyland just gave Betemit three straight days off(Tues, Wed, Thu), yet Avila has caught 11 straight games. What Leyland should have done is have Kelly catch tonight, and put Betemit at 3B. That way, Avila would have nearly three full days of rest, a guy that truly needs it. And then, why not this lineup: 1-CF Dirks 2-RF Boesch 3-1B Cabrera 4-DH Victor 5-SS Peralta 6-LF Young 7-3B Betemit 8-2B Santiago 9-C Kelly, especially going into the big series against Cleveland this weekend, when your best nine should play in each game.

    1. Avila has the hot stick, so I get having him in the lineup, but is Martinez ineligible to catch once in a while or what?

      1. By the way, Kelly is 3 for 4 lifetime vs Pavano. Leyland saw that .750 BA and blew a gasket. Who says he never looks at stats.

      2. Victor has only been available as a DH since tweaking his knee in KC. The Tigers are afraid that he will injure his knee worse or aggravate it if he is forced to catch a nine inning game.

  3. Young with the clutch RBI. So far this is looking pretty good, if for no other reason than Young is beating up on his former team. We’ll see what happens later.

  4. I agree that not playing Betemit is crazy. I wonder what Betemit is thinking after sitting on the bench for the past 3 days. Just wait till Inge comes back.

  5. Betemit hasn’t been as good as his batting average seems. He’s striking out a lot and has been very lucky with a very high BABIP.

    Not saying he shouldn’t play, but he hasn’t been great.

    1. His defense sucks too. I’d rather play Inge. Inge has the credibility to be a defensive plus, and he has sucked at batting historically, but he still does possess the talent and potential to hit at a qualified clip, and Betemit has a lower chance for that. I would agree Betemit is safer and more likely to produce a decent output, but we have to go for a higher level hitter and Inge’s chance of doing that exceeds Betemit in my opinion. Inge just needs to be healthy and to get his mental approach and physical approach tweaked and he COULD do it despite the fact that tons of Tiger fans have no confidence in him. Baseball success isn’t predicated upon fans believing in that guy, and Inge does have the tools if he can sort our those 3 other issues I mentioned.

    1. You don’t have to be an Einstein to know enough to go to the 7-8-9 routine there. Especially with Penny pitching.

    1. No…not again….This has got to stop….how many innings has Lamont killed with his own efforts?

      1. Seriously…and you better believe he won’t be thrown to the roadside like the outsider Rick Knapp…

  6. Gene Laclown.

    Or has Boesch, like half of the other Tigers, simply decided to ignore the random motions of that guy standing sort if behind 3rd base?

    1. It doesn’t matter. Our team doesn’t know how to behave logically in decision making processes. We still need to invest in brains to manage and teach these guys how to shore up their weaknesses in all facets. It’s totally disgusting and unacceptable. I had a brilliant baseball teacher when I was younger, so by the time I was 12 I had already started figuring out how all the little elements of the game worked. Our little league team went to the city championship not because we had the best players but because our coaches got the most out of us and taught us proper fundamentals and so baseball logic was something I learned early and developed an affinity for, and now it’s my biggest gripe with the team. As much as I lambast DD for transactional moves, I could survive that if we at least handled all the small things correctly, that’s a massive totality of our shortcoming. It’s worth millions of dollars to just fix that stuff alone!!!!!!!!!

  7. We’re at our best when our players don’t attempt to swing the bat. Keep it up! 🙂

    3 outs to go, somebody’s bound to draw a walk to tie it up. Leave the bats in the dugout and challenge the pitcher to strike out 3 guys hahah j/k

    1. Yeah….and bring Valverde into a non-save situation, which he usually struggles with. I guess there are just a pile of extra arms in the bullpen ready for pending extra innings…or Leyland is planning on losing it in 9.

  8. Great bullpen we have here….and a great manager….another series lost to a division rival, and just in time for Chicago and Cleveland to catch us. I’m so glad Leyland got that contract extension….

  9. ‘captain obvious’ here… this is one they gave away… and by ‘they’ that includes JL and Mr Lamont.

  10. Pinch running Martinez was yet another flop by Leyland….Instead of getting another at-bat by Victor, we were stuck with Raburn….

      1. Why he PH for Jackson there is a headscratcher, but not a totally unexpected thing to do from King Clown, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  11. Leyland and Lamont loss this game…and they will cost the Tigers the division, again… What a great contract extension…..

  12. There is an old saying that “if you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything”… JL should apply this standard more often… but then again, he may never leave his house/bed if he applied this full time.

    Tough losses like this tend to be magnified by the history and margain of error involved.

    I don’t have a lot of confidence going into a 4 game series in Tampa – but i’m typically wrong, so who knows? maybe they win 3 of 4?

  13. Look, I’m the biggest pessimist here, but I still think the other teams in the division are more terrible. They win it at 85-77 and then get machine gunned in the playoffs.

      1. How about we just put the Tigers, Indians, White Sox all on the field at once and they duke it out, last man standing represents the team that advances.

      1. LOL, I’m actually an optimist to an extreme level. My disdain for the Tiger’s organizational performance is not one of pessimism. I just merely form the opinion that what they are doing is wrong, and that’s not a product of being optimistic or pessimistic by nature, rather one of simply an “opinionated disapproval” of the quality of their work. That’s my honest and unbiased assessment.

        Plus, I have said all along that I don’t fear losing the division, I’m highly confident that we will win it. We have a 3 game lead with a small portion of the season remaining compared to the first day of the season. We are in a far greater position with a small number of games to go and only 2 teams in competition with us and a healthy 3 game lead. As the number of remaining games decreases, a 3 game lead just becomes more powerful and more certain to win it.

        And now we have the bonus of Betemit and Young who aren’t good enough to make us an elite team, but they are good enough to give us insurance and depth to secure our status for the level we are at, plus we will be getting Inge back on the team and he has played about as poorly as possible, so the odds of Inge helping us more than he did earlier in the year is pretty high.

        1. Oh and my bad, I realize we are now only 2 games up on CLE, my comment here is from an antiquated perspective based upon where we were at yesterday. I pulled up the standings and box scores after I just made this post to see that CLE won their last game and now we are down to 2. So it is tighter, but it’s still better to have a 2 game lead on them at this point than a 0 game lead at the beginning of the season. So my post perspective still holds true but to a slightly less degree.

  14. By the way i don’t know where to put this but I am seeing lots of errors with the site still. I tried sending a message through the contact box twice but never herd back, so whoever runs the site now there seems to be an issue with posting. I made 3 posts yesterday that didn’t show up. And if I tried to resubmit them i get a message saying that I already posted that comment and it is a duplicate comment. But they don’t show up on my screen, how do I know if they are showing up from everybody else’s point of view or if they just vanished completely?

    It just seems odd that a chat interface like this would be so inconsistent and random with accepting submissions.

      1. Ha! No, some of them were short posts. And even if there was then a notice of such would be nice so the content doesn’t get lost and without informing the poster. But in this case if I tried to hit the back button and copy the content and re-post it, the system still acknowledges that the post was made and the new one is a duplicate despite never showing up!

        1. TSE – I think the contact us form goes to billfer, and I don’t think he checks that email very often. I just checked, the problem is you used a word on the blocked list. Try to keep the language clean, please.

            1. Yeah what word would that be? And in the past I posted the “sh” word once and it said a note “awaiting moderator approval”, but this was not the case, there are no instances of that situation.

            2. I don’t know for sure, but based on trial and error, mostly in the 7th & 8th innings, four letter words are prohibited.

              1. But I didnt type any 4 letter words at all, and this happened to 3 different ordinary posts with nothing unusual said at all.

    1. Kind of disappointed in the article. He makes a good point, but the value of where we are hurt in batting order isn’t as big of a slice of the total pie of the damage he causes. I was expecting to see every aspect of the game that he hurts us listed and then summed up with a conclusion. That was like Part 1 of a 10 part series.

      Plus, in Jim’s defense it can sometimes be helpful to not play your best players early. We aren’t going to get the #1 seed in the AL, so we only need to win the division, and if we win by 2 games at the end of the season instead of 4, that’s still a win. If you are confident you are going to win, it can be beneficial to not play your best batting order. Maybe Avila will get a lot more money on his next contract if he gets more atbats and more RBIs, but Delmon Young is a goner or available at a cheaper rate. So we can save money by forcing our young keepers to a lesser total production. It also means Avila might come to the plate less and be less likely to get hurt. So we have the potential to conserve health and money by using a screwy lineup that doesn’t give us the best odds to win a given game.

      That’s part of how I would strategize the game, but to me if you do things right and you get the uber elite team that you should have, then you have more room to play with to try and pickup those side benefits. So it’s not a total waste as his crappy lineups will benefit us so long as he ensures we don’t fail at winning the division.

      1. Not to play your best players early does not compute. But then, I’m just a woman, what the heck do I know.

        1. Since you mention that, why is “women’s intuition” seen as silly, yet Leyland’s “gut feeling” approach seen as good old manly old-school stuff?

  15. Rumor has it that Verlander went into Smokey’s office and demanded the ball on Sunday, and Smokey turned him down…to rest him?! I don’t think I have ever seen, outside of the great Chuck Hernandez’s idea to have JV pitch with less velocity in that terrible 2008 campaign in order to “keep him fresh throughout the year”, JV have a problem with velocity. The man is a freak–he is a once in a generation talent whom has never shown any signs of wear and tear, and the biggest series of the season is coming up, your STUD walks in and demands the ball (man, JV rules) on the potential rubber match, and you say no…for an extra day of rest…

    Smokey is over-thinking here. It’s baseball, not rocket science. And as far as the article posted above, line-ups are not set in stone. To have Avila and Peralta down in the line-up and have a rotating “who’s that” hitting in the historically, strategically best place to put your best hitter, the 3rd hole, is flat out over-thinking (that goes double for you, TSE–play your best players early and often).

    1. How does it go double for me? I have been complaining about the batting lineup a lot longer than anybody else on this site lol. And before I even joined this site i used to scream about our batting lineups over on the MTS website and 9/10 of the room disagreed with me on that being a problem. Nobody disagrees with our lineup strategy more than myself!

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