The Good: Our blog’s namesake, Michael Fulmer, dealt with a similar issue to Matt Boyd the other day, namely a rapidly mounting pitch count in the early innings. However, also like Boyd, Fulmer was able to right the ship and get his pitch count in order to give the Tigers a quality start, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, with 3 strikeouts, over 6 innings. We can debate the importance of the “quality start” until the cows come home, but Fulmer more often than not gives the Tigers a chance, and he did just enough today. The Tigers’ young righthander felt his stuff was there, but lack of command ultimately “killed” him.
The Bad: Justin Wilson, I guess? He gave up a homerun and another add-on run, but, like. He’s been literally untouchable until this point. Brad probably got slammed by someone somewhere for using him in that inning and situation, because this is Detroit and we love second-guessing our managers/coaches, but Wilson was the correct choice for a tied game in the 10th. It just didn’t work out. More often than not, it will.
The Ugly: I fell asleep during the sixth inning and only woke up in the ninth when Victor homered because Dan Dickerson started screaming. It was just one of those games.
Things of Note:
• Blaine Hardy gave up a homerun to José Abreu, the Sox first baseman’s second bomb of the game and just the second homer of the season for him. Hardy and McCann think Abreu might have snuck a peek at the signs, via McCosky.
• Shane Greene pitched 1.1 IP and did okay. After coming in and promptly drilling Todd Frazier, Greene struck out Avisaíl García to end the eighth. He came back out and pitched a scoreless ninth—around a minor two-out jam—before giving way to the aforementioned Justin Wilson. Greene seems to have better command of the strikezone in his last couple outings, and this is perhaps something to build on.
The Tigers are going to need Greene to regain some semblance of strike throwing if they are to have a chance at even mediocrity. The bullpen is just too thin to carry 4 guys who can’t throw strikes in addition to the Wilsons and K-Rod.
• I admit I cringed every time a ball went Nicholas Castellanos’ way, but he was fine.
• José Iglesias trying and failing to bunt for a base hit in the ninth with two outs, after failing to do so in the same at bat, on the previous pitch no less, was…curious. He certainly didn’t catch the Sox by surprise.
• As far as I know, nobody made any egregious defensive misplays!
• The Tigers’ last few starts have helped reset/rest an overworked, struggling bullpen. Fulmer went 6 on Saturday, while Boyd and Verlander went 7. It seems minor, but the rotation going deeper into games can go a long way.
• Don’t look now, but Buck Farmer is mowing down Triple-A competition with the Toledo MudHens. Fans have bandied his name about as a possible replacement for Anibal Sanchez, and his numbers do look good. Drew VerHagen has also stood out for the MudHens as he works his way back from a few injury plagued seasons. Both could get consideration if the Tigers reach the end of the line with Anibal.