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News » Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2008-06-30


Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2008-06-30


Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2008-06-30
Manager Jim Leyland likes to rest his regulars, most of them, and he likes to do it most when Detroit is playing well.

The Tigers just completed a stretch of four series in which it went 9-3 -- a swing at San Francisco and San Diego followed by home sets against St. Louis and Colorado.

In five of the games, Leyland started his current regular lineup; in a sixth, Ryan Raburn went in when right fielder Magglio Ordonez suffered a pulled right oblique muscle and had to come out in the third inning.

So in exactly half the games, the starting lineup included a player off the bench.

On the first game of the road trip, June 16, Michael Hollimon played short for Edgar Renteria. On June 21, it was Clete Thomas in left for Marcus Thames, who entered late game as a pinch-hitter for Curtis Granderson and hit a home run. The next day, Raburn was at second so Placido Polanco could get a break.

The regular lineup played the first two games against St. Louis when Detroit got home, then Thomas subbed for Thames in left the next two games. In the third game against the Cardinals, Dane Sardinha caught for Ivan Rodriguez and Hollimon subbed two straight games at short for Renteria.

Ordonez was hurt on Saturday, with Raburn coming on to hit a grand slam, while Sunday against the Rockies, it was Sardinha catching again and Hollimon making his major league debut at second base for Polanco, who came in late for defense. And Ordonez had been scheduled for Sunday off, his first game out of the lineup this season.

Brandon Inge subbed for Guillen the last couple innings of the first game of the trip but Guillen played every inning thereafter. Granderson missed just part of the one game where Thames batted for him and 1B Miguel Cabrera subbed out the last part of one game.

Out of the last two weeks, Leyland got every position player on his roster into a game at least nine innings.

He feels it pays off in a lot of ways, not the least is which keeping up morale. And now that Ordonez is down for two weeks, the Tigers will be subbing in a player (Thomas) who was 5-for-8 in the week just passed.

And every sub contributed something to at least one of the wins in the last two weeks. There's a lot to be said for that.

TIGERS 4, ROCKIES 3: Backup C Dane Sardinha hit a game-deciding two-run triple in the sixth inning and Detroit got flawless relief pitching from RHP Freddy Dolsi and RHP Todd Jones as the last 17 Rockies were retired. Detroit swept the three-game series with Colorado to go a game above .500 for the first time this year. RBI singles by Miguel Cabrera and Marcus Thames in the first gave Detroit a lead only until Colorado scored three in the third off winning LHP Kenny Rogers. Sardinha ripped a 1-0 pitch into the gap in left-center with runners on first and third and two out. He was up earlier with runners at the corners and one out and bounced into a double play.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: June 30, 2008

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