Game 2012.10: Tigers at Royals

Some thunder from the bat of Air Laird, some cleverly induced wild pitches, and the 6-3 Tigers head to Kansas City to once again defend their perch atop the AL Central, in their 2012 night game debut.

Without the big bat of Laird in tonight’s lineup, the Tigers will have to depend on help from unlikely sources, perhaps even Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is in the midst of an 0-18 slump, the longest since he went 0-23 as a wee tyke on the Marlins.

Justin Verlander will try for a third straight brilliant start, and hope this one ends better than the other two did. And if the Royals choke, he may even get the save. If anyone on the Royals is going to give him trouble, it is, unsurprisingly, the dreaded Bill Butler, who has hit Verlander at a career .359 pace.

2nd-year lefty Danny Duffy will take the mound for the Royals. Duffy was 0-2, 5.63 against Detroit last season, but is fresh off 6 shutout innings with 1 hit, 4 walks against Oakland.

Today’s Player of the Pregame: Delmon Young

Young’s bat started to heat up against the White Sox, and he should welcome the Kauffman stadium lights. Delmon is a career .304 hitter in night games, vs. .255 in day games. And as DH, he doesn’t have to dizzy himself in left.

Today’s Under-the-Lights Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Brennan Boesch RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Ryan Raburn LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Alex Avila C
  9. Brandon Inge 2B

66 Comments

  1. Tigers Rule

    April 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    After yesterdays poor performance at the plate and being pinch hit for ….. why is Inge in the line-up tonight?

    • Vince in MN

      April 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Leyland: “Inge is gonna play 2B agianst LH g..dammit, and I don’t want to talk about it any more.”

    • Tigers Rule

      April 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      I would rather see Ramone at second.

      • Vince in MN

        April 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm

        It’ll come, but be prepared to put up with this for awhile. The loyalty thing is just going to have to run its course – sooner rather than later I hope, but we’ll see.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          April 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm

          I’m gonna make an effort to support Leyland for a while since everyone outside of Tigers fans seems to think he’s a top 10 manager. Maybe it will help me to make sense of it all.

          Ahem.

          “Inge is a major leaguer, I’m not going to make any rash decisions after 2 plate appearances. He was our guy against Lefties going into the season and that hasn’t changed.”

          • beejeez

            April 17, 2012 at 11:50 am

            Actually, Inge’s track record vs. lefties isn’t bad, over .800 OPS in recent years.

  2. Vince in MN

    April 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    “[Delmon]…. doesn’t have to dizzy himself in left.” Um, I think Rayburn has that covered.

    Speaking of Rayburn, Leyland inexplicably has him hitting 6th again. Either he is trying to show him confidence or he is truthfully afraid of having 2 black holes back to back in the 8-9 slots.

    JV may need his shutout stuff again tonight.

  3. Tigers Rule

    April 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    A-Jax showing he has muscle too ….. oh yea.

    • Vince in MN

      April 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      He is still K-ing to much and I expect him to regress, but he is certainly putting some muscle on the ball and he is walking more too.

    • Coleman

      April 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      AJax must feel lonely having the only glove in the outfield.

      • Vince in MN

        April 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm

        Boesch isn’t that bad is he? And Rayburn doesn’t need one.

      • beejeez

        April 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm

        Agreed. Even when his hitting tails off, he has to stay in the lineup for that reason alone. Scared to think of what it’d be like out there with a mediocre center fielder.

  4. Tigers Rule

    April 16, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    It seems that Prince is hitting into quite a few DP so far this year?

    • Vince in MN

      April 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Needless to say, he won’t be beating many relays to 1B on those infield grounders. And with Young batting 5th (23 GIDP last year), there is going to be a lot of around-the-horn action whe the Tigers play.

      • beejeez

        April 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm

        This is why I’m in favor of running AJax a lot until we start getting some production from the two-spot. We hit into two double plays the other day with him stuck on first.

  5. mcb

    April 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    We definitely are lacking in defense. Terry Foster just tweeted “Magglio woulda caught that”. Lol

    • Coleman

      April 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Somehow Inge got almost as close to the ball as Boesch…Boesch isn’t that slow, he must have just got an awful break on it.

  6. mcb

    April 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    How is it that Leland keeps giving players days off but not Raburn?!?

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      April 17, 2012 at 11:52 am

      How about giving Cabrera a day off? I think he might be hurt. Remember that at-bat versus Tampa last week where he tweaked his wrist on a swing and kept shaking his hand? He doubled later in that at-bat, but has been hitless ever since. If he was hitting the ball hard I wouldn’t be concerned, but the majority of his outs have been weak ground balls or strikeouts. Cabby is too good for something to not be wrong with him physically.

  7. Brenden

    April 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    What the heck is Leyland trying to pull with Inge and Raburn starting yet again today? There are effectively two blackholes in the line-up offensively…It is painful watching them play and kill so many scoring opportunities with just bad at-bats…

  8. mcb

    April 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    The Raburn thing is getting ridiculous.

    • Brenden

      April 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Yes…yes it is… As is the Inge thing….One or both have got to go….There has got to be better options out there than having both of them in the lineup on a regular basis…

  9. Coleman

    April 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Inge is today’s Laird.

    • Steve

      April 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Man, Pretty good shot there

      • Coleman

        April 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm

        Yeah, he drilled it. Opposite field, too, that’s what he’s done when he has had hot streaks.

    • Vince in MN

      April 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      That’ll keep him in the lineup for another 30 games.

  10. Kevin in Dallas

    April 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    crickets

  11. Brenden

    April 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    No way….Inge would go and hit a homer right after I get done bashing him…

  12. Coleman

    April 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Leyland is a genius. OK, except for the Raburn thing.

  13. mcb

    April 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    @ Kevin – its crickets because we are all in shock

  14. Brenden

    April 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Boy, Cabrera is in a funk…

  15. Coleman

    April 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I see Gene Lamont is in mid-season form.

    • tom in troy

      April 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      I just tuned in. don’t tell me that Geno just produced an out at third or worse yet at the plate with another of his classic base running calls?

      • Coleman

        April 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm

        He tried to get Peralta from 1st to 3rd on a single, was out by a mile (Francoeur has a great arm).

        • Jeff Molby

          April 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm

          He was out cleanly, but it was only two steps. If that ball was off by a couple feet, he’s safe. It was an aggressive call, but I like it.

  16. Kevin in Dallas

    April 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Babe Ruth didn’t hit a HR every time up either.

  17. scott

    April 16, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    has Raburn’s average dropped to .001 yet?

    • Vince in MN

      April 16, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      It drops about .002 each AB, so another 33 or so PA should bring him close.

      • Vince in MN

        April 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm

        And that isn’t outside the realm of possibility; he had a 0 for 30 slump 2 or 3 years ago.

    • Vince in MN

      April 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      I just did some checking and after the 0 for 4 tonight, Rayburn is 2 for 31 on the season. So, to get down to .001 he would have to go 0 for his next 169 official ABs. The question is, can he do it.

  18. Vince in MN

    April 16, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    It’s getting close to Potato Time, we need to score some more runs here.

    • tom in troy

      April 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Yes. The Valverde show has gotten quite dicey as of late.

  19. Coleman

    April 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Here we go! Justin grabs the glove and heads out for the 9th…

  20. Brenden

    April 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Ahh crap, this is looking all too familiar…

  21. Stormin Norman

    April 16, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    i see where Raburn’s avg is matching today’s game-time temperature…

    • Brenden

      April 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      I didn’t realize it was below zero in Kansas City today…

  22. tom in troy

    April 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Leyland the gambler!

  23. Brenden

    April 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    What the heck is going on?!?!?!? This is insane!

  24. tom in troy

    April 16, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    VERLANDER! Never in doubt.

    • PHToy in HK

      April 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      With all the drama, can he get credit for both a win and a save? :-p

  25. Stormin Norman

    April 16, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    JV earned his salary and ‘that win’ today.

  26. Vince in MN

    April 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    131 pitches for Verlander tongiht. Leyland is a genius.

  27. tom in troy

    April 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    J. Leyland saw his life flash before his eye with that last pitch

  28. Stormin Norman

    April 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    131 pitches from JV today

  29. Brenden

    April 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Man alive….that was too much…

  30. Stormin Norman

    April 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    well the bullpen is rested should Smyly run into trouble tomorrow.

  31. Vince in MN

    April 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Smily is on a low pitch count, so they’ll need the bullpen anyway.

  32. Andrew in Toronto

    April 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Can I say, it’s not easy being Leyland. Everyone second guesses him, but that’s 20/20 vision.

    Just look at Verlander’s 3 starts this year. First game, he gets pulled for the ninth, Valverde blows it and Leyland gets crapped on. Second game, he keeps Verlander in and he blows it himself. Valverde comes in and makes it worse. Leyland gets crapped on. Third game is tonight’s and it’s all Verlander and came very close to being another blown game.

    I think we should all recognize it isn’t as easy as we imagine it to be when we make the perfect decisions in our head. Look how tricky it is… And that’s when you’re relying on talented guys: 2 of the top 5 Cy Young vote-getters last year.

    So, I’m going to cut Leyland some slack. Except when he puts Inge in the line-up. That’s definitely wrong. Oh, wait…

  33. Chris from Texas

    April 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Fister is injured, Valverde has blown a save, Raburn is hitting under .100, Scherzer has not been very good, Cabrera is hovering around .200. Yet, the Tigers are 7-3. Pretty Amazing. AJaxx has been awesome and we have had a different bat every game it seems. That is depth, I suppose. Not to mention, the work of Porcello, Verlander, Below and Dotel. Miggy has to get a hit tommorow or I am going to start to believe that the 3rd base position is cursed in Detroit. Hopefully, the rookie can give us 6 innings.

  34. stephen

    April 17, 2012 at 12:08 am

    An interesting Verlander profile..

    http://www.mensjournal.com/justin-verlander

    • Coleman

      April 17, 2012 at 12:31 am

      Nice find stephen.

      • stephen

        April 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

        Easy find since I write for MJ.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          April 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm

          Whoa, big time.

          I would have been much more interested had the article been playing putt-putt with Brandon Inge. “That was a warm-up, wasn’t trying to hit the ball. Practice strokes don’t count.”

  35. Jud

    April 17, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Smokey said batting Rayburn in the 6Th spot tonight was a no brainer….. I dont think he means No Brainer like I think a no brainer is for putting him there

  36. Vince in MN

    April 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

    • beejeez

      April 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Saw that, but I don’t agree. Inge is just fine vs. lefties. If Leyland confines him to that he can help the team.