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 Tigers pulling together to try to end skid - 04/08/2008

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PostSubject: Tigers pulling together to try to end skid - 04/08/2008   Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:55 pm

04/08/2008 10:37 PM ET
Tigers pulling together to try to end skid
Detroit (0-7) at Boston (4-4), Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

BOSTON -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland had a quick answer ready on Tuesday morning, when he was asked about ideas on his team.

"I worked on it," Leyland said, "and I figured out I'm going to play [Magglio] Ordonez, and I'm going to [Placido] Polanco, [Gary] Sheffield, [Miguel] Cabrera, those guys."

It was a witty retort, but it made his point. If there's a panic button to be pressed, he isn't going to push it. Even though the Tigers lost to the Red Sox on Tuesday afternoon to fall to 0-7, that approach isn't likely to change.

"We are who we are," Leyland said. "We've got what we've got. It's real good. We just haven't got it going yet. Obviously, at some point, you've got to get it going, but I'm not going to continue to harp on that. We've got a good offensive ballclub that just hasn't hit yet."

Some of those hitters will be in for some early work on Wednesday, he said after a 5-0 loss in which they were held to five hits and saw their season average fall to .234. They had a regular hitters' meeting prior to Tuesday's game, and they tried to make sure that players were listening to the message.

But as far as lineup overhauls, strategy sessions or anything like that, there isn't much to be done. The only changes likely to happen will be the regular moves that come up against left-handed starters such as Jon Lester, who is scheduled to take the mound for the Red Sox on Wednesday night.

Marcus Thames is likely to start, and Ivan Rodriguez will probably lead off. Other than that, however, the improvements will have to come from the star players who are already playing in their accustomed roles.

"There's no special remedy for this," Leyland said. "Everybody thinks there is, but there's not. When something like this happens, you do what every team in baseball does. You look at film. You hit a little extra. You work with pitchers. We've done all that. We'll continue to do all that. That's what every team in baseball does."

The players haven't found a special remedy, either.

"If I knew it, I would tell everybody, including me," said Polanco, whose 1-for-3 performance on Tuesday raised his average on the season to .115. "We've just got to keep fighting, keep working hard and get out of this somehow."

They have an intriguing matchup in that aspect with Lester, who has never faced the Tigers. The only other lefty the Tigers have faced this year was White Sox ace Mark Buehrle, who continued his typical success against Tigers batters on Sunday night. Detroit's lineup is loaded with right-handed batters with success against left-handed pitchers, but Lester has had better success in his brief Major League career against right-handed hitters than left-handed ones.

It's not an easy split to figure out. But then, neither is the Tigers' offense. The Red Sox are obviously hoping it stays quiet while they're here.

"It will confound you," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, "but they're going to be a great team. I hope we don't see it. but everybody knows that."


Pitching matchup
DET: RHP Jeremy Bonderman (0-1, 5.68 ERA)
Bonderman is the last Tigers starter to last at least six innings, having done so in his season-opening outing on Thursday against the Royals. With a Red Sox lineup that can work counts while still being aggressive, his changeup is going to be put to the test.

BOS: LHP Jon Lester (1-1, 3.38 ERA)
Lester tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the A's on Thursday, scattering three hits while allowing three walks. However, his track record of high pitch counts suggests that he's a pitcher that Tigers hitters can work with some patience.

Tidbits
No team has made the postseason after starting a season 0-7. ... David Ortiz is just 4-for-21 lifetime off Bonderman with a home run, four RBIs and four strikeouts, but he has drawn five walks off the righty. ... Rodriguez said after the game that he's fine after taking a foul ball off his left wrist while catching on Tuesday.



On the Internet
MLB.TV
Gameday Audio
• Gameday
• Official game notes
On television
• FSN+
On radio
• 97.1 FM/WXYT 1270

Up next

• Thursday: Tigers (Nate Robertson, 0-0, 9.00) at Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 0-0, 4.50), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Tigers (Dontrelle Willis, 0-0, 5.40) at White Sox (Gavin Floyd, 1-0, 4.50), 8:11 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Tigers (Justin Verlander, 0-1, 6.17) at White Sox (Mark Buehrle, 1-0, 8.31), 1:05 p.m. ET

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers pulling together to try to end skid - 04/08/2008   Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:23 pm

I still believe. Its hard to wear Tigers stuff, but I've done it for so long now, I don't know how not to be a Tiger.
Yes I still believe.
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers pulling together to try to end skid - 04/08/2008   Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:23 pm

besides, Leyland will be the first to go!
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers pulling together to try to end skid - 04/08/2008   Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:24 pm

just think of Magnum wearin' his D cap in Hawaii!
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