Tigers Trot Out Sunday Lineup Tonight
By John Parent
The Tiger take on Twins left hander Brian Duensing tonight, but the lineup sure doesn’t look like one that should strike fear into his heart. Until you look a little closer anyway.
Duensing comes into the game tonight with a 2-5 record and 4.83 ERA in 10 games (nine starts), but Tigers manager Jim Leyland has stacked the deck with right handed hitters. The Tigers are 12-4 against southpaw starters this year and Leyland is hoping to take advantage of Duensing’s splits. For his career, right handed batters have hit him at a .281 clip (.770 OPS) while lefties have been held to .204 (.527 OPS). This season, lefties have fared a bit better, but right handers have as well, posting an average against him approaching .300 and an OPS north of .860.
The Tigers lineup follows the jump.
- CF Austin Jackson
- RF Casper Wells
- DH Brennan Boesch
- 1B Miguel Cabrera
- C Victor Martinez
- SS Jhonny Peralta
- 3B Brandon Inge
- LF Ryan Raburn
- 2B Danny Worth
The Tigers are fielding a lineup that sees Inge move up from ninth to seventh. This guy is hitting .206 on the year. Raburn, still in the eight hole, is hitting ten points lower. But, if Duensing’s splits hold form, the Tigers should be venomous tonight.
Despite the numbers favoring right handers, neither Raburn nor Jackson have had much success against Duensing in the past, going a combined 3-for-24 (.125) in their matchups. Peralta has mashed against him though, at .364 (4-for-11), as has Inge (.353 6-for-17) and Cabrera (two home runs in 18 at bats). Wells is 2-for-4 career against Duensing as well and Boesch, the lineup’s only lefty, is 2-for-5 with a double.
A look at Purcey
Yesterday I got my first real look at David Purcey in a Tigers uniform. He worked one inning plus one batter and allowed a walk but otherwise nothing. He wan’t sharp, throwing just six of his 15 pitches for strikes, but even without good command, it was easy to see why Dave Dombrowski was coveting this guy.
I don’t know if it was more a function of the opponent than anything else, but I was relaxed watching him pitch, despite the score being tied. Purcey brings a level of experience that cannot be matched by any other lefty reliever on the Tigers roster and that experience cannot be overlooked or understated. Not yet at least. The first time he gives up a three-run homer to choke away the game I’m sure my tune will change, but for now at least, it was a welcome sight to see him on the mound.
Scott Sizemore might have a better upside, but Sizemore can’t get crucial outs in the seventh inning. Purcey can. That makes this a winning trade for the Tigers, at least in terms of the 2011 season.
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