Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Morning Manager 2011, Edition 13

Last week: 3-3
This week: TOR (6/27); NYM (6/28-30); SF (7/1-3)

So, What Happened?

First, MMM apologizes for the brevity of this week's edition, as real life reared its head today. So this week's MMM will be short and sweet!

The Tigers are a first place-by-themselves team today after a 3-3 week in which the Cleveland Indians continued to struggle.

The highlight was Sunday, when the Tigers rallied for seven runs in the eighth inning to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-3, on the same day the Tigers retired Sparky Anderson's number. The Tigers clawed back to win the series after blowing Friday night's contest.

3B Brandon Inge returned from the DL and RHP Ryan Perry was recalled from Toledo. IF Danny Worth and LHP Adam Wilk were dispatched to the Ohio town to make room for Inge and Perry.

Hero of the Week

Quite a menu this week.

Jhonny Peralta continues to mash. Justin Verlander continued to deal. Miguel Cabrera continues to gather clutch hits. Al Alburquerque continues to strike everybody out.

MMM, for the second week in a row, is going with Verlander, who is as good as any pitcher today, and who has been as good as any pitcher the Tigers have had in the past 40+ years.

JV vexed the D-Backs Saturday night, a day after Arizona rallied from a 4-0 deficit to nip the Tigers, 7-6. The "you gotta be kidding me" moment was in the eighth, when Verlander faced a no-out, runners on second and third scenario.

No worries; JV struck out the side as the Comerica Park crowd of 41,000+ roared its approval. That was some good stuff.

Verlander is 6-0 with an ERA of under 1.00 in his last six starts. The man is a freak.

And he's also MMM's HotW.

Honorable mention goes to Miguel Cabrera, whose clutch, two-out, bases loaded single plated the go-ahead runs Sunday in the eighth inning on a day where it looked like the Tigers might lose, 2-1.

Goat of the Week

Ryan Raburn continues to frustrate MMM with his sorry impersonation of a big league ballplayer. Strikeouts, suspect defense and an overall, season-long malaise is testing MMM's patience.

In a week where most in the lineup contributed, Raburn stuck out like a sore thumb, as usual, with his limp noodle of a bat.

RR isn't doing anything spectacular defensively to make up for it, either.

Under the Microscope

Who else could be UtM than 3B Brandon Inge, fresh off a bout with mono and a 28 at-bat rehab stint at Toledo?

Manager Jim Leyland got very testy before Friday's game when he was asked about Don Kelly's fate in the wake of Inge's return. For his part, Inge told the press that he doesn't feel like he should lose his job to injury.

All of which, naturally, got sports talk radio aflutter with phone calls and heated discussion about Inge's place in the lineup---or whether he should have one at all.

Upcoming: Jays, Mets and Giants

Interleague play takes a pause as the Tigers play a makeup game with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.

It's Max Scherzer on Monday, gunning for his 10th win, despite an elevated ERA.

Then it's back to the NL teams when the Mets and Giants visit, as the Tigers' 10-game homestand wraps up.

The Mets feature Jose Reyes, whose name has been bantied about by Tigers fans as someone who should be pursued to shore up second base. Reyes is a free agent at the end of this year.

The defending World Champion Giants invade this weekend, but word is the Tigers will miss RHP Tim Lincecum. Oh, what a shame!

That's all for this week's MMM! Sorry for the brevity. See you next week!



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