23-25, third place, 4 games behind Cle.
A missed strike three on a foul tip that was caught cleanly, but ruled to have hit the dirt first, gave the Red Sox an extra strike and 3 extra runs in the 2nd inning yesterday, and though Doug Fister will never admit it, you can’t help but wonder how different the game could have been. The margin of victory was, after all, 3 runs. I can’t see what the Boston press is writing about the call, but it seems that even they know the call was bogus. Leyland knew it from the time he left to dugout on his way to his 2nd ejection in a week, but his post game interview left me wondering why he’s so anxious for everyone else to address the problem other than him. His anger towards the media makes me think that the Raburn articles are getting to him; and perhaps he’s batting Raburn 2nd in an effort to prove everybody wrong. I know that it sounds ridiculous, but watch the video and tell me what you think.
As for the umpiring, Leyland is on to something. The blown call yesterday was made by Bill Welke at 1B. That name may sound familiar, because his brother Tim Welke missed a bunt by Alberto Gonzalez of the Rangers that hit him in the field of play in the 10th inning on April 22nd, and led to another Tigers’ loss (Tim Welke also had the blown call of the year when Todd Helton was 2 feet off the bag in early May). Throw in the missed balk in Cleveland last weekend, and the Tigers umps really have our number. I don’t remember umpiring being this bad in the good ol’ days, but then again, there has never been so much scrutiny on the game in terms of camera angles and coverage.
Fister fell to 0-3 and saw his ERA go up to 3.16 (after yesterday’s poor outing). Prior to the game Jeff Jones gave a little insight on Fister, Smyly and Porcello. Berry only had 1 hit yesterday, but he has hit safely in 6 games to start his Tigers career, something no one else has done since 1918. Leyland likes the spark he’s given the team, but said “don’t get crazy” thinking about possibilities for Berry, presumably once Jackson gets back.
JV is on the hill tonight looking for a little more run support this time than the 1 run he was given last time out. A complete game tonight would give JV three straight, something he’s never done in his career. JV’s lost to the Indians last week was his first following a Tigers loss in some time…according to Elias “Verlander (had been) 12-0 over his previous 13 starts that immediately followed a Tigers defeat, including a 4-0 mark in five previous starts under those circumstances this season.” That’s incredible. He’s got a chance to start a new streak tonight. JV is 3-2 with a 2.78 ERA covering 8 starts in his career against the Red Sox.
A few bits of good news…The bullpen has a 1.00 ERA since May 17th covering 27 IPs. Fielder is starting to rake, hitting .429 with a 1.089 OPS over the past two weeks.
– I’m starting to get a little nervous about the CWS. Sale looks to be the real deal.
– Rumor is that Jackson will be back for the Yankees series, hopefully for the opener on Friday. Jeff Riger says Berry must remain on the roster, and Chris Iott predicts that Raburn will be sent down since Kelly is out of options, yet Raburn has one remaining.
– We’ve been talking a lot about bringing up Justin Henry to play 2B, but keep an eye on Castellanos, who is tearing up Lakeland to the tune of a .414 BA and 1.030 OPS. They’re not going to bring him up any time soon (likely not this year), but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get promoted in a month or so and then start taking some balls at 2B.
– Kurt Mensching of BlessYouBoys.com and DetNews.com writes today that fans should be leery of firing Jim Leyland.
– Ordonez will officially announce his retirement on Sunday at CoPa.
– Verlander’s parents are releasing a book on how to raise a child who will star in commercials with the likes of Kate Upton. Book signing coming your way soon.
1. Berry, CF
2. Dirks, LF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, DH
6. Boesch, RF
7. Peralta, SS
8. Avila, C
9. Santiago, 2B
Some last minute notes from the Freep: Leyland said a few hours ago that Raburn is on a “short leash” and Young was originally out of the lineup b/c his travel to and from New York for his court appearance; thank goodness for modern travel.