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Game 144: Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 p.m.

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Current Series

Orioles lead the series 2-0

Fri 09/10 WP: David Hernandez (6 - 8)
SV: Koji Uehara
LP: Phil Coke (7 - 5)
3 - 6 loss
Sat 09/11 WP: Jeremy Guthrie (10 - 13)
SV: Koji Uehara
LP: Max Scherzer (10 - 10)
3 - 5 loss

Baltimore Orioles
@ Detroit Tigers

Sunday, Sep 12, 2010, 1:05 PM EDT
Comerica Park

Chris Tillman vs Justin Verlander

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.

Complete Coverage >




Chris Tillman

#24 / Pitcher / Baltimore Orioles

6-5

200

R

R

Apr 15, 1988



W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Chris Tillman 1-4 7 7 0 0 0 0 30.1 40 27 25 5 16 16 7.42 1.85

vs.


Justin Verlander

#35 / Pitcher / Detroit Tigers

6-5

225

R

R

Feb 20, 1983



W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Justin Verlander 15-8 29 29 2 0 0 0 191.1 168 79 75 14 67 179 3.53 1.23

For those who choose not to watch the Lions attempt to play football build on their successful 2009 season this afternoon, we present a baseball-y alternative.

Tigers lineup: Rhymes 4, Raburn 9, Kelly 7, Cabrera 3, Peralta 6, Boesch dh, Inge 5, Wells 8, Avila 2.

Orioles lineup: TBA

Alex Avila is starting his eighth consecutive game. Day games after night games? Generally managers loathe to start their catcher when that happens. But the Tigers just keep plugging Avila in the lineup, day after day. This brings up an interesting question: What's up with Max St-Pierre?

When you run into a question like this, you can go two directions when seeking out the answer. The first, everyone assumes the manager is crazy/stubborn/stupid. Especially when the catcher he keeps starting is hitting 212 for the past two weeks and 215 for the season. We know why Gerald Laird isn't starting -- he's injured. But why isn't Avila getting a day off, even if just a mental day to just watch the game? It's not like the Tigers are in position to make the playoffs.

Assuming the manager is neither crazy nor stupid, there's a logical reason for Avila starting pretty much daily dating back to Aug. 27. I can come up with two answers: The Tigers really, really want to get a great look at Avila heading into the offseason. Can they count on him as the starting catcher next season, or do they need to look elsewhere and play him as backup? (Still I wonder if starting him daily and wearing him down is the best way to make this decision, if that is the case.)

Or maybe there's something going on with St-Pierre. He has played just once since Sept. 4, and that time he entered as a defensive replacement near the end of the game. It was so unexpected to him his uniform still had the tags. Remember, his first start in the major leagues he fouled the ball off himself and appeared to be injured. So maybe there's something along those lines we don't know about too.

I don't know the answer. But I do know this. If St-Pierre is healthy, he ought to be playing more. He got the callup after hitting .300 in Triple-A Toledo, and because the Tigers had to have a little more catching depth. He's a terrific story, and he hasn't made a start at home yet. I'm disappointed we don't see him a bit more, no matter the reason.

Avila will be happy to have an off day Monday, I'm sure.

OK. Enough of that. Some tidbits from the game notes:

  • Tigers rookies now have a total to 448 hits this year, the most in a year by the franchise since the rookies on the 1954 club posted 477 hits. The most? 590 in 1929. (Tigers' source: STATS LLC)
  • The next time Brandon Inge hits a double it will be the 200th of his career. Only 26 other Tigers have done that in the Olde English D uniform.
  • Their use of the phrase "Recent success against the Orioles at Comerica Park" is a weird one to use after dropping two games to the Orioles at Comerica Park. Just saying'
  • Justin Verlander has recorded quality starts in fix of six games against the Orioles.
  • Avila has thrown out 32.7 percent of runners, for second in the AL.