Game 2012.115: Tigers at Rangers

61-53, 2nd place, 1 game behind CWS, .5 games behind Brandon Inge and Oakland for the WC lead (which means tied for 2nd WC spot)

Last night’s heart breaker ended on a Mike Olt single in the bottom of the 9th with two outs. Kid’s been up for less than 2 weeks. The two walks to lead off the 9th were definitely the culprit, though Leyland’s assertion that late leadoff walks have spelled death for “1,000 years” may be a bit overstated. To be fair, I haven’t checked the box scores from 1012.

Even so, and despite the fact that the Tigers have lost 3 out of 4, all of which they have had a good, if not great, chance to win, the Tigers can move back into a tie for first with a win and CWS loss today.

To do so, they’ll have to solve Yu Darvish, a riddle against which they are 0-2 thus far this year. Darvish was dazzling in May (6 1/3, 2 H, 1 ER, and just good enough against the Tigers in June (4 ER in 7 IPs). Since that June game against Detroit, however, Darvish has just 1 QS out of 6, and is averaging an outrageous 5.6 walks per 9. He was one win during that time frame. Darvish has allowed the fourth most walks in all of baseball (his WHIP is 1.46), yet in two games against Detroit, he’s allowed just 3 walks. The key today’s game is taking pitches. Darvish will walk you. Cabrera, Jackson and Boesch are a combined 0-15 v. Darvish this year.

Porcello has pitched good enough to win the last two times out, but he hasn’t been spectacular. The Rangers are in a bit of an offensive slump, so he doesn’t have to be perfect. Kinsler (5-8) and Murphy (5-9 with 1 HR) have Porcello’s number.

You know how Leyland gets real defensive of players that are mired in career long slumps, and then they eventually get cut about 4 months after they should have been? Well, Leyland said yesterday that “Gene Lamont is a great third-base coach.”  Could be the beginning of the end for Lamont. (Anyone know where we can check % of runners scoring from 2nd?)

Today’s (proposed) We’ll Get Yu Lineup:

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

A few fun  facts before you look at the actual lineup:

– Delmon Young is batting .250 over his last 10 games, with 3 RBI (think of all of his chances); Berry is batting .185 with 2 RBI, and is batting .238 in games he’s started. Young has had 9 more ABs to get that 1 RBI, but I’m guessing that he’s probably had 2 – 3x as many runners on base in front of him.

– Delmon Young is batting .223 in day games this season; Berry is batting .273 in day games.

– Delmon Young is batting .257 with a .645 OPS against righties this season; Berry is batting .293 with a .773 OPS.

Actual Lineup:

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