Game 2011 Playoffs.6: Tigers at Rangers

Time for round two, and what better way to start than with Justin Verlander, who will pitch games 1 and 5 of the series (and what better way to end than with Doug Fister, who will once again pitch the deciding game of the series if this one goes 7).  The experts seem to agree that Verlander is the key to the series. (We know that it’s actually Don Kelly).

Not that he needs any more motivation, but look for Verlander to have a little extra adrenaline going pitching in Texas in front of his idol Nolan Ryan.

One other key to the series will be how well the Tigers fill in for Delmon Young. Young is off the roster for the series with an obique strain, which means he will be replaced by Ryan Raburn in Left, and Raburn’s spot in the 2B rotation will be taken by Danny Worth, who was added to the ALCS active roster in place of Young (expect Worth to be in the lineup soon:  Santiago may be a bit overextended right now, as Kevin suggests).

Young’s spot in the lineup, however, will be taken by Miguel Cabrera, who will move up to the third spot in the lineup.  Perhaps the change will do him good;  other than the one opposite field home run, Cabrera had a quiet ALDS series, batting only .200 (.800 OPS).

Austin Jackson will need to start getting on base to make Cabrera’s stay in the 3-spot a useful one:  Jackson finished the ALDS hitting only .125 (.488 OPS!) and struck out 8 times (38%) which is high even for him.  Jackson has yet to put a ball in play to lead off a postseason game–he led off the 5 Yankee games with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks.

The Tigers have struggled against C.J. Wilson in general:  the current roster is a combined .203 career against him (.620 OPS), with some of the most reliable Tigers seemingly having the most trouble.  Martinez is a career 3-for-17 (.176, .508 OPS), and Jhonny Peralta a career 1-for-14 (.071, .330 OPS…yikes).  The only Tiger with a home run against Wilson is Brandon Inge.

The Tigers will also be dealing with the fatigue of a short turnaround and traveling, not to mention hangovers.  No, not those hangovers, says Ol’ Smokey.  Emotional hangovers.

There isn’t much to add to Kevin’s excellent rundown of the Rangers’ lineup, other than to add that there is a 10th player which we might mention–Rangers Ballpark.  The Rangers are a vastly different team at home than on the road:  .296 BA, .860 OPS vs .269 BA, .740 OPS (.269, .692 at Comerica).  And it isn’t just the Rangers–the Tigers love The Ballpark at Arlington even more.  (.373 BA, .990 OPS).  Unfortunately the most at-home Tiger, Brennan Boesch (.467, 1.433) is not in the lineup.  Adrian Beltre is the biggest Ranger homebody, hitting .326 (1.078) at Arlington, with 23 of his 32 HRs.

Player of the Pre-Game: Ryan Raburn.

He has been Mr. August-September his whole career, posting a ridiculous (for him) .308 BA over those 2 months.  Time to see if he can add October to his list.  Raburn is a career 2-3 against CJ Wilson.

Today’s Cabby-Gets-to-Bat-in-the-First Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Ryan Raburn, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  4. Victor Martinez, DH
  5. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  6. Alex Avila, C
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Ramon Santiago, 2B
  9. Brandon Inge, 3B


65 thoughts on “Game 2011 Playoffs.6: Tigers at Rangers”

  1. Once again, K-Jax fails to put the ball in play to start the game…this must be some sort of record

  2. After watching the first inning tonight…I guess you’re right. Jackson is a much better fielder than Granderson.

  3. W/o the TBS strike-o-meter the plate umpire is lost!

    Gotta hit and score team!

  4. Verlander is really getting squeezed. We’ll get 3 runs, but if he gets in trouble soon, we may need to get someone up. 4 or 5 may be too many.

      1. I’m watching with a bunch of Rangers fans, even they are saying the same.

        Headed out to game 2 tomorrow.

  5. I recall K in Big D well said comment in the ALDS; there is plenty of ballgame left!

  6. U of M game update 35 to 24 Michigan (for those who care).

    Tigs need to get Wilson — this inning — the guy is not that impressive.

    1. Francona I can take. But I would rather have an ice pick driven into my ear than listen to Joe Buck for even one AB.

  7. Doppler radar for Arlington looks really bad. Heavy weather to the east of Arlington. I can see this one stopping again. But we’ll see.

  8. Why do I hate Brandon Inge? Because he’s the 25th man and still he was all over ESPN radio after Game 5 and now is live on Fox.

  9. Ramon seems to bat when JV is on the mound. He’s having another good game. We really need Avila on this one.

  10. Verlander out. Raburn, Santiago, Kelly and Inge now in the game. On the road. Don’t like our chances, but baseball is funneee.

  11. Ok, only one down. Middle of the lineup needs to step up and spank this touted Ranger relief team.

  12. Hard to believe that someone can actually try to hit a ball and miss by sooooooo much. It’s like Betemit was swinging with his eyes closed. Betemit falling over swinging from his heels missing by a 10 inches on 3 straight swings…. He makes Inge look like A contact monster. ….these hitters look sooooooo incredibly overmatched by these relief pitchers, why don’t they start choking up and take a controlled swing. Are you listening Austin Jackson? Why don’t you just try to make contact with two strikes?

  13. Tigers offense is dead. If it doesn’t wake up, this series is over, quick. I’d like to see Dirks in and K-jax on the bench.

  14. Via Twitter: Will Rhymes
    I turned the game off when danny ran for santi, they are the same speed at best. Very confused. Ill check the box tomorrow.

  15. It is unfortunate that the Tigers couldn’t win homefield advantage as a home crowd may have taken or kept them out of their slump., Meanwhile hats off to the Tigers and Rangers relief staff for keeping us in and out of this game. I do think the Yankees were a better opponent than the Rangers; maybe it is taking the batting lineup a game to get used to their new opponent. Meanwhile after the Yankee series win, it was a hard travel to Texas with lots of pre-game obligations. Let’s hope there is some rest so they can play well to bring the series home even with a win tonight. Score early and often!

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