Jim Leyland is a very good manager. You can’t have the success he has had throughout his career if he wasn’t a good skipper. However, all managers make mistakes some times. The Detroit Tigers‘ lineup Leyland used in Game 3 was a huge, huge, huge mistake.
First of all, Leyland hit Omar Infante ninth. While that might be a good idea in most cases, it wasn’t the right move considering Infante has owned Ryan Vogelsong in the past. I believe I heard during the broadcast that Infante was 8-12 lifetime versus Vogelsong, not including the hit he got after Joe Buck told the world that factoid. Considering Infante has hit second basically throughout October, why put him in the 9-hole when he owns the starting pitcher? Strike one.
Secondly, why is Quintin Berry playing, let alone hitting second in the lineup. Berry had a three-week stretch where he mattered, but after that he was basically worthless. Berry left six men on base tonight, including a bases loaded, one-out strike out and a key grounded into double play. Strike two.
Berry brings me to my third point. Why in the heck is Andy Dirks hitting sixth? Dirks had a slash-line of .336/.375/.515/.889 versus right-handers in the regular season, so it makes sense to give Berry more at-bats than Dirks. Pfft. Strike three, Jimmy. You’re out.
This is the type of stuff that drives some fans crazy. Going by your gut sometimes works, but at least put some convential wisdom behind your decisions.
Jim Leyland failed to do that tonight.