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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Leyland stays loyal to his guys, keeps Penny on postseason roster

Tigers manager Jim Leyland is nothing if not loyal.

You can see that from the decisions to keep Magglio Ordonez and Brandon Inge in around, in the hopes that they’d be useful later on in the regular season. They were, as it turns out.

And you can see that from the decision to keep fifth starter Brad Penny on the playoff roster.

“I'm very proud of this decision. I really think in the end I think this is what we stand for. Brad Penny took the ball every five days. He pitched 180 innings. You can say what you want about his statistics, whatever. He pitched 180 innings for the Detroit Tigers this year in the number five spot. 180 innings and won 11 games,” Leyland said in Friday’s press conference. “That’s pretty good for a fifth starter. I think you have to do things right, and I think he deserved to be on this roster.”

Leyland’s thought is that Penny could come in handy as either a spot starter, should weather mess with the series schedule, or as a long reliever. Max Scherzer is scheduled to start Game 3 at Comerica on Monday, while Rick Porcello is scheduled to start Game 4 on Tuesday.

Not only have both struggled at times this season, neither has ever pitched in the postseason, as well. Penny has, compiling 23 career innings over eight appearances — including four starts — for the Marlins and Dodgers.

The rest of the Tigers staff had 32 2/3 innings combined headed into Friday’s Game 1 at Yankee Stadium.

“I just believe you have to stick with people. If you believe in people, you stick with them. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t mean you’re right all the time, you’re not,” Leyland said recently. “Somebody said I stick up for my players to a fault. Well, I hope I take that to my grave.”


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