Game 2012.58: Tigers at Reds

Detroit Tigers, 26-32, 6 games behind Chicago. Injury Report: Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Fog.

While the result of last night’s game lingers over Tigerville like a noxious fog, a flurry of movement can be seen at the town gates.

Austin Jackson is in, finally returning from the 15-Day DL.  Jhonny Peralta, have a cigar, and enjoy your paternity leave. 20 year old Hernan Perez (2B, .253) has been recalled from Lakeland, and will no doubt pinch-hit in a bases-loaded, 1-out situation. And Octavio Dotel is… something.  And there is still a shoe to drop:  someone has to go to make room for Jackson (Matt Young, anyone?) (Update: Jose Ortega draws the short straw).

And don’t worry, none of this will result in Berry and Jackson in the outfield at the same time:  “It is what it is. He’s an extra player on the bench,” Jim Leyland said in his pregame remarks. “I’m not going to take Boesch out. Hopefully we’ve got him going. I’m not going to take Delmon out.”

***

I am trying to keep this all straight.  Apparently Dotel, like Benoit, was newly unavailable last night (elbow inflammation, day-to-day). And Benoit was unavailable (forearm tightness, day-to-day), thus The Jose Ortega Experience. Although apparently Benoit may be available today.  And Dotel. Different day I guess.

“Day-to-day” pretty much sums up the Tigers this season, doesn’t it?

The Tigers easily lead MLB baseball in total number of day-to-day days. There is seemingly a new day-to-day player every game. Some will go on and off the list…some will be day-to-day, then go to the DL.  But both the bench and bullpen have been shorthanded all season because of the day-to-day action.  Is this bad luck? Bad conditioning? Too much work (bullpen)? Is this about the thinness of the minor league ranks (why DL a player if there is nobody to bring up)?

***

The Tigers were beaten by a squeeze bunt. It’s the kind of play other teams use to beat Detroit, and the kind of play Detroit could never execute to beat other teams.  The Reds are hardly a small ball team:  they are 4th in the NL with 64 HRs (Votto crushed one last night that would make Cabrera envious). But they showed that both kinds of skills can happily co-exist.

As for the bullpen moves, they make a little more sense now that we know that Dotel was unavailable: Leyland was stuck in a Don’t Ask, Dotel situation.  Then there was the double-shifting that took Boesch and Peralta out of the game early, and left poor Matt Young manning RF in clown shoes. Leyland rightfully took a lot of heat for yesterday’s game.

Maybe we should extend the Jim Leyland Signature Song poll question: In Jim Leyland’s future career as a singer, his signature song will be:  ______.

***

Speaking of Votto, ESPN has a good comparison between Votto and Hamilton, and argues that Votto is the better hitter. They have one of those cool “heat maps”  that show that Votto just does not swing outside of the strike zone, and almost never at outside pitches. (By the way, in the Alternate Baseball Universe in which the Tigers won last night’s game, Coke’s strikeout of Votto was the play of the game).

***

It will fall to Justin Verlander to make Tiger fans forget the bunt force trauma of last night.  Although apparently nothing is more important than for Verlander to get his first career hit.

Stat of the Day: The Tigers are undefeated in games in which they have led after 9 innings.

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Austin Jackson.  Jackson has been leading the Tigers in about everything (Batting Average, On-Base %, OPS).  Can he pick up where he left off? Or will he come back as 2011 AJax?

Tonight’s Would-It-Really-Have-Killed-Him-To-Try-Austin-And-Berry-Together? Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Brennan Boesch RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young LF
  6. Ramon Santiago SS
  7. Gerald Laird C
  8. Danny Worth 2B
  9. Justin Verlander P

25 Comments

  1. Kevin in Dallas

    June 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Really disappointing to hear Leyland say that about Berry. Young and Boesch need to feel some pressure. If he’s so in love with Boesch why did JL yank him last night.

  2. Tigers Rule

    June 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Smokey’s SS …. “Nobody’s Business But My Own” by Taj Mahal. Regarding the way Smokey thinks about his management decision making.

  3. Tigers Rule

    June 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Since day one Smokey has been getting the benefit of doubt, but his decision making has been getting worse as time goes on ….. bordering on senile ….. the only solution is to show him the door, along with the rest of his coach’s ….. and this team will be much better off.

  4. Coleman

    June 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Leyland SS: still sticking with Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. But Stevie Wonder’s Superstition has to be on the playlist.

  5. Chris in Texas

    June 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I disagree that Dotel being unavailable makes, the decision to use Ortega understandable. No, he had Below and Coke…Yes, neither of them are RH pitchers,but, they are also not pitching in their ML debut after having a WHIP of 1.8 in AAA…The Tigers thought so highly of the guy they brought in to get the crucial 2 8th inning outs w/ the tying run on 2nd…That they shipped him back to Toledo the next day. Why oh why would your first sign of trouble in a crucial inning be…to summon the Extra arm from Toledo…Now, if he would have left Ortega in..then I could see a little (basically, our pen was spent guy…so we had to use the kid) No…He took him out and rode Coke for 3 innings..and he pulled Porcello after 5 ( not that I disagreed,but, after the game he talked about how nearly his entire bullpen was unavailable) So, I think if Below can bat in the 8th..then Ricky could have tried to give you one more inning and batted in the 6th…In other words, it sounds like Political spin…all these guys are now available today…to the point, to where you need a single A 2B over an extra arm…Give me a break…Man up and say you screwed up….No accountability for anybody in this organization. The excuses coming from the top would make Washington proud and they make about as much sense as those fools.

  6. Vince in MN

    June 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but DD will never fire me.” Oh wait, that’s not a song. OK, how about “Satisfaction”, after all it has the lyric about smoking.

    Now that Jackson is back, Berry goes to the day-to-day list.

    Now that Leyland gets to play NL-ball, watch out! He’ll be in his element and really get to manage. Double-switching will be the thing. With a bench of (pick 4) Santiago, Perez(?!? -from Lakeland – Henry who???), Kelly, Worth and M. Young (and now Berry) how could this strategy fail.

  7. Tigers Rule

    June 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    It looks like it’s developing into one of those games ….. at least after the top of the first. AJ strikes out on ball four and Miggy’s comebacker up the middle hits the pitcher and drops in front of him for an easy out instead of going through to center for a hit.

  8. Coleman

    June 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    So apparently umpires are now wanting to keep their ball-strike decisions private? Never have seen that before.

  9. Tigers Rule

    June 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    It seems that the Tigers have a difficult time hitting off-speed pitches. They are making this guy look pretty good with 6 K’S after two innings of work.

    • Tigers Rule

      June 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Sorry, 3 K’s. Smokey has got me so pissed off I could scream!

  10. Coleman

    June 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Wonder what all the mound confabbing was about.

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    June 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Bruce was relaying signs. He’s gonna get drilled next time up.

    • Coleman

      June 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Or else 4 100 mph pitches

  12. Kevin in Dallas

    June 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    That’s what first pitch strikes will do for you.

  13. Coleman

    June 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Wonder what the MLB team record for solo HRs in a season is.

  14. Coleman

    June 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    New song nominee: O Solo Mio.

    • kathy

      June 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      As Robin Gibb would say: I Started A Joke

      • kathy

        June 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm

        Better make that past tense. He gone.

        • Coleman

          June 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

          Bonus points for making me envision Leyland singing in a Bee Gees voice. Penalty points for putting Hawk Harrelson’s voice in my head.

  15. Coleman

    June 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Good thing Clownman Young is in left and not Berry.

    • Chris in Texas

      June 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Good Win. The thing that the Tigers management needs to address as Dirks and now Berry, on the team…Why do we put up w/ little league defense from substandard offensive players. Prince and Miggy are not the best defenders,but, the ARE STUDS offensively…does having D.Young’s clown show in left make you a better team because he may hit .260 w/ 15 HR’s..or does using an OF of Dirks, Jackson, and Berry or Boesch (at least he has an arm) allow you to do more things in pursuit of winning. I hate how they say “well, I’m not benching Delmon or Bredan” as if they are borderline hall of famers? Teams win w/ balance and you can not have little league defense once a game and expect to win…IT HAPPENS EVERY GAME. Today, they won, but it taxed JV and they had to use their bullpen more than they should have…which will lead to mumbles using an “Ortega” in a big situation and pretend as if their lack of defense is not THE SINGLE BIGGEST REASON, they are not in first place. Is Young providing that much offensively, so, that he NEEDS to be in the lineup in NL parks? He ran into one and left a village on base in this series and cost JV a win. Give Berry a shot and see, what element that brings, can you imagine the ground they can cover in Comerica?

      • Vince in MN

        June 10, 2012 at 9:56 am

        Balance requires the ability to have reliable platoon and bench players who can fill in from time to time. When was the last time the Tigers had not only the players, but the FORESIGHT, do that? Illitch/DD will spend 200M+ on a Fielder-like player, but when it comes to veteran backups and role-players, they completely ignore the issue (except C for obvious reasons and marginal relief pitchers), and this is not a recent trend.

  16. Kevin in Dallas

    June 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    That H has got to be changed to an E.

  17. StorminNorman$

    June 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    JV 76 pitches through 4 innings… so can’t really expect more than 6 or 7 innings out of him today… too bad JL doesn’t have another rookie pitcher (fresh from Toledo) available tonight – that’s gotta be a dilemma for him.

  18. StorminNorman$

    June 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    if one were to assume a record of 87-75 could/would win the AL Central, the Tigers will have to win 60 of the remaining 103 games to reach that mark. 60-43 is very do-able for this team, but there will have to be some significant improvement in some key areas.

    Today’s win is an example of a win good teams typically get, yesterday’s loss is an example of a game bad-to-mediocre teams typically lose.