It didn't work. Boesch flew out to center on James Shields' 3-0 pitch with runners on first and second for the second out of the second inning. The intent was to get Boesch to swing at a sure strike instead of chasing, one reason Leyland has given green lights to many slumping hitters on 3-0.
"I let Boesch hit, tried to give him a little confidence," Leyland said. "There's a lot of different schools of thought. Boeschy just missed it, too. He just didn't quite get it out far enough, but he hit it good."
Not many hitters like swinging on 3-0 counts, Leyland said, because they don't want to get caught chasing a pitch out of the strike zone and turning down a walk.
The Tigers have put just three balls in play on 3-0 counts this season, good for an RBI double and a couple of outs. The double actually came from Boesch.