Game 2012.80: Twins at Tigers

39-40, 3rd place, 3 games back.

Let’s talk about the lineup for a second. I really feel that the Berry/Jackson swap is gaining momentum, since I now know of 3 people on the bandwagon (me, Coleman, and Sean). Jason Beck even chimed in, though he thinks AJax should stay at the top. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Beck raised the point that Jackson’s doubles rate makes it likely that a double + bunt puts one one at third with Cabby/Fielder coming up. My contention is that if Berry gets on 1st, we have a much better chance of bringing him home with AJax behind him (due to Berry’s ability to get to 2nd on his own, + the XB power of Jackson, Cabrera & Fielder).

But, the other point to consider is Jackson’s current .404 OBP (also raised by Beck). Now, Berry’s is currently close enough (.385) that I still think it makes sense. But if their OBPs diverge, then Jackson is likely a better choice. In the long run, I see Jackson moving down the order (a la Granderson/Cano/Sizemore).

Last night’s game saw an ordinary Smyly (actually, he was fantastic for 4 innings, and terrible for 1) followed by a superb bullpen. While the Tigers are addressing the 5th spot, the bullpen looks to be set. 4 IP, 2 H and 6 Ks last night. I wonder if Leyland is considering going with Villarreal and Coke as his 7th innning guys in lieu of Dotel. After a great April, Dotel was lit up in May and June to the tune of a 6.32 ERA. Villarreal led the bullpen with 16 innings in June posting a .94 WHIP and 22Ks.

The Tigers get Liam Hendriks tonight, a guy who has yet to win in 12 ML starts. It’s hard to believe that the Twins don’t have a better option than a guy with a 6.82 ERA this year (6.55 career) and a 1.61 career WHIP (1.67 this year). Though the Tigers have been known to turn unknowns into Cy-knowns. Hendriks does have 2 QS this year, one was a ND against Texas back in April, and the other was his last time out against the Sox.

This will be the Tigers’ 8th shot at getting back to .500 since May 15th…

A few notes:

- Congrats to Fielder (starter), JV (in the running to start) and Cabby for their all star selections. Jackson was left of the vote-in list, but he’s got to be next on the list in the event that an outfielder gets injured.
- I saw Leyland’s press conference last night (UVerse offers FSD as part of its regular sports package) and he mentioned that Villareal really loses arm strength after an inning, especially the next night. I’m okay with that.
- Ryan Raburn hit .321 with an .809 OPS in June. Boesch hit .220 with a .576 OPS. Which explains the order below, despite a RH starter.
- Dontrelle Willis announced his retirement today.

Tonight’s Back to .500 Lineup Is:

1. Jackson, CF
2. Berry, LF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, DH
6. Raburn, RF
7. Peralta, SS
8. Avila, C
9. Santiago, 2B

60 Comments

  1. William

    July 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    question: with Uverse, you get FSD…but not the actual games for the Tigers, Red Wings, etc…right?

    I get it on DirecTV, but the games are not available. I guess Uverse has something like DTV’s Extra Innings?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      July 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Yeah, the games are blacked out. Should have cleared that up.

  2. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Of course Berry should lead off. But, since he doesn’t play CF…. On the other hand, B.O.O.Bs have been doing a pretty good job lately of getting on base for the mighty Action Jackson later in the game, and since the middle of the order has been somewhat lax lately, maybe it is just as well to leave him where he is at the moment – at least until we get a bonafide 5-6 combo in the lineup.

    As for Twins pitching, their rotation has been fairly abysmal for most of the season with the exception of a couple of kids – most recently DeVries and Diamond – who have looked pretty good so far. Diamond goes in the last game of the series. As for their hitting, with the weather heating up, their bats have heated up also, so don’t expected them to be the pushovers they were earlier in the season.

  3. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Watch out for Plouffe – .333/.395/.784/1.179 since June 1 with a homer every 7.85 AB

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      We got Plouffed.

  4. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Good strategy by the Twins there to get to swing-happy DY.

  5. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    What’s happened to Fister’s fastball? That was an 87MPH one right in Willingham’s wheelhouse.

  6. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I get the feeling that Fister is not 100% yet. That was like batting practice.

    • Brenden

      July 2, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      I’m wondering the same thing, he has been awful the last couple games…

  7. Kevin in Dallas

    July 2, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Fister needs to be pulled right now.

  8. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    This is getting out of hand. Since they are losing, Marte and Below should be up and throwing, in fact should be ready to come in right now. But no.

  9. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    A relief pitcher – what a novel idea.

  10. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Bad outing by Fister. Nonetheless, the fact remains that we are about to give Cy Nobody his first ML win. I guess I shouldn’t complain; we had 2 good games in a row, which qualifies as a hot streak these days. I have a feeling we’ll still be striving for .500 in September.

  11. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Wait–the Twins have 6 runs, but only singles. I thought you needed 6 solo home runs for 6 runs.

  12. Jerry The Tiger Fan

    July 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    …………………..and the real Tigers show up and douse everyone’s fragile enthusiasm with another dismal performance. I’m of the mindset that nothing is going to change soon and am officially in a “fire Leyland” state of mind. Not an original thought by any means, this I know. The majority of his seasons at the helm have been highly frustrating, with the intermittent good season thrown in. 2006 and 2011 were nice (2006 was a lot nicer because it was unexpected and most of 2011 before September was as frustrating as the other Leyland years), but I am now smitten by the notion of Francona coming here in 2013. I just don’t feel as though he is getting anywhere near the most out of his team, nor does he in most years (who can forgot the disaster of 2008?)

    Hopefully the White Sox get white hot and put this farce of a team out of its little fantasy of winning the division this year, or maybe the Twins can sweep us at home again and do it for Chicago. Whatever it takes to get Ol’ Smoky fired is the outcome that I am now hoping for going forward.

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      July 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      Can’t edit previous post but by “he” in the last sentence of the first paragraph I meant Leyland, not Francona. :-)

      • Vince in MN

        July 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

        I have been begging for a managerial change since the late summer/fall of ’06 when it became pretty obvious that Smokey didn’t have a clue. In the last year I have lost all hope, and fear that he will now be the Tigers manager forever, or until Illitch dies, whichever comes first. The old man, either through senility or drinking of the DDJL koolaid just isn’t capable of letting him go.

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Hang on, the Tigers have just figured out that they are facing Liam Hendricks, not Cy Hendricks, and have decided that perhaps not swinging at balls out of the strike zone would be a worthwhile strategy to pursue.

  13. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    It looks like DY swung at a wild pitch.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      July 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      It looked like strike before the pitcher threw it.

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      That was a positive outcome. My computer simulations predicted an 80% chance of GIDP in that AB.

  14. Kevin in Dallas

    July 2, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I love how Delmon swings at wild pitches. They’re so hard to lay off.

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Just Delmon being Delmon.

  15. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I think this is the year that Rayburn discovers his true self and fails to succumb to the usual summer illusion that he is Raburn

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      July 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      Raburn doesn’t emerge from his “rayburnation” until after the All-Star game. This is a well known fact and is documented by baseball zoologists. :-)

      • Coleman

        July 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

        “Rayburnation” is the term of the month.

  16. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    “Seems like we have a lot of road trips this year.” Thanks Mario. Actually I was thinking the same thing. It seems like half the time we’re on the road.

  17. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Begone, Denard Span: career BA: .283. Career BA vs Detroit: .362.

  18. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Great…Marte Walkathon time.

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      July 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      Pretty sweet stuff, huh? I feel like I’m watching one of my nephew’s little league games where three consecutive walks is not uncommon.

      • Coleman

        July 2, 2012 at 9:25 pm

        It took the Tigers 5 innings to figure out Hendriks wasn’t throwing strikes…it took the Twins 5 batters to figure that out about Marte.

  19. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    A little overeagerness on the part of Morneau there perhaps. Lefties are hitting .313 against Coke this year.

  20. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Swarzak’s career started out slowly, after he was sidetracked by a marijuana-related suspension. He is also notorious for being an outspoken believer in the existence of the Sasquatch. I’ll leave you to your own conclusions.

    • Jerry The Tiger Fan

      July 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Believing in the existence of Sasquatch is more plausible than believing the media hype that Leyland is “one of the best in the game”.

      • Coleman

        July 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm

        The Sasquatch made a big comeback, until they discovered tobacco.

      • Coleman

        July 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm

        Apropos of nothing, I’d like to see one of those Bigfoot commercials where Leyland and Lloyd are playing one of those silly baseball pranks on the Bigfoot…

    • Vince in MN

      July 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      The average IQ of a professional baseball player is 84. I’ll leave you to your own conclusions.

  21. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Did I mention that RHers are hitting .333 against Coke this year?

  22. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Speaking of Bigfoot…

  23. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Boesch as a pinch-hitter? Yikes. “Maybe he can run into one….” Thanks Mario.

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Predictable.

      • Vince in MN

        July 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm

        Tweedle-dee for Tweedle-dum.

  24. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    What happened to all the Prince Fielder power. He is on pace to hit 24 homers this year. Or isn’t it hot enough yet?

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      He will compete in the Home Run Derby, which is the important thing.

  25. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Avila just struck out on a wild pitch. A new act being perfected in the Clown Show Follies. Who else wants to try it out?

  26. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Well, in the 9th at least we have our 2,3, and 4 hitters followed by………… oh god.

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Now we are pleased to introduce the “oh god” portion of our program.

  27. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    That Boesch pinch-hitting for Raburn thing was stupid in 3 different ways.

    • Vince in MN

      July 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      And the Worth pinch running for Peralta when down by two was a nifty idea also.

  28. Vince in MN

    July 2, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    What reason is there for having Bosh on the team right now? Explain please.

    • bada bing

      July 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      Well, he is good for nearly 20 points a game and 10 boards. What is the problem?

      • Kevin in Dallas

        July 3, 2012 at 9:27 am

        Hilarious.

    • Coleman

      July 2, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      There is no player named Bosh on the team. Better posters please! ((have to give that guy credit though–he said he was leaving and did, a rare accomplishment).

      • Vince

        July 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm

        I think he may have gotten a bit of a nudge.

    • jud

      July 2, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      As bad as Boesch is.. I am willing to give Bosh a try..maybe LaBron also for Young

  29. Coleman

    July 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I fear Boesch has jumped the proverbial
    Chris Shelton.

  30. Jim Eggers

    July 3, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Fister HAS GOT TO GET THE BALL DOWN!…just saw the hi/lowlights on QP, balls up will be crushed, first lesson of pitching….

  31. bada bing

    July 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Fister has averaged 88.4 MPH on his fastball since he returned from his second DL trip this year. He averaged 90.2 MPH on his fastball last year from his starts with the Tigers. This is probably the biggest reason why he is getting hit so hard lately.