Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Mike Scioscia defends this lineup
By Mark Saxon
Some Detroit Tigers fans have taken exception to the Angels' lineups since the team was eliminated from post-season contention Monday night.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia got a little testy while defending himself Wednesday. Scioscia pulled Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana from their final starts of the season and replaced them with rookies Tyler Chatwood and Garrett Richards. Five rookie hitters were in Tuesday night's lineup, a 10-3 loss. On Wednesday, Scioscia's lineup had four rookies, including September call-ups Jeremy Moore, Efren Navarro and Gil Velazquez.
If Texas -- which has fielded lineups similar to what it will run out for the playoffs -- can pull the sweep here Wednesday night (or if Detroit loses to Cleveland), it would host the first round of the playoffs and Detroit will have to travel to Yankee Stadium.
Scioscia said injuries and the risk of injury have been at the root of his lineups. He said Maicer Izturis has been playing with a foot injury, Torii Hunter has been dealing with pain in his quadriceps, Santana has had forearm stiffness and Weaver had a flareup of upper-back pain recently. On Tuesday, Weaver said, "This is the best I've felt at the end of a year in a long time." He and Dan Haren have surpassed the 230-inning mark and Santana finished four outs shy.
Howie Kendrick had to leave Tuesday's game after spraining his wrist diving for a ground ball and Mark Trumbo is out for six weeks with a stress fracture in his right foot.
"It's like that horse you've taken the whip to and they're physically beat. They might have one more start in them, but you don't know how effective they'd be and it's something you deal with," Scioscia said. "We're out here trying to win games."
"We went as hard as we could as long as we could. We brought guys on three days rest against these guys a month ago. That's the team they're playing. If they weren't at such a heightened risk, they'd be out there."
Here are the lineups for Wednesday's season finale: