After Tarik Skubal nabbed what many considered to be the most impressive start of his career, fellow 2018 draft pick Casey Mize looked for success of his own on Thursday night.
However, Cleveland overwhelmed the young arm early, forcing him to exit the game in the fourth inning.
On the other side, the Tigers offense didn’t look much better. Although the Indians sat on an 8-game losing streak, the Tigers made it look like they carried an 8-game winning streak.
Tigers Offense Stifled Again
For the second day in a row, Detroit failed to put together enough hits to create much offense. At least this offensive struggle was a bit more warranted than yesterday’s game.
The top pitcher in the American League, Shane Bieber, toed the rubber on Thursday, who leads the league in ERA, wins, and strikeouts.
It was business as usual for Bieber as he tallied 10 K’s through 7.2 innings until the ace fell apart late.
After Isaac Paredes doubled and pinch hitter Derek Hill walked, Willi Castro got a hold of a 91 mph cutter and sent it into right field for a three-run shot.
However, those would be the only runs of the game for Detroit, as they pieced together just four hits on the night.
The Tigers actually hit Bieber somewhat hard tonight, one being the home run from Castro and the other a double from Paredes, but some line drives and flyouts also had good exit velocity numbers.
The young hitters flew out five times against Bieber and even lined out twice. Unfortunately, when those balls don’t drop in for hits, and you strike out ten times, the task of scoring runs seems infinitely more challenging.
Mize Still Winless
Once again, another start from the rookie brought no triumph, as the birthday boy, Jose Ramirez, individually ruined Mize’s outing in Detroit.
Early in the first, Mize dropped a splitter right down the heart of the plate that Ramirez smacked into right field to grab a 1-0 lead.
Later in the fourth, Ramirez stepped to the plate again and ate a second piece of birthday cake. The 28-year old sent a two-seamer into the seats, driving in Cesar Hernandez during the process to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead.
Mize subsequently loaded the bases and gave up two more runs partially due to an error from fellow rookie Isaac Paredes, therefore ending his day. The Auburn alum’s final line featured three earned runs on four hits with just one strikeout.
The Indians rendered Mize’s off-speed pitches ineffective tonight, whiffing on none of the 27 thrown, and demolished the splitter with a 104.2 average exit velocity.
Nick Ramirez entered the game for Mize, who pitched quite well. Ramirez, a recent call-up from the alternate training site, threw 2.1 innings without allowing a hit and struck out three in the process.
Jordan Zimmerman followed Ramirez and stumbled. Hopes were high after a semi-promising start last week versus St. Louis, but those skeptical hopes fell today. Zimmerman gave up six hits and five runs in less than two innings.
Cesar Hernandez led off the seventh with a single, followed by a double from Jose Ramirez, a walk by Carlos Santana, and a two-run bases-loaded knock by Franmil Reyes. With few off-days remaining, Ron Gardenhire opted to stick with Zimmerman to kill some innings.
A few more hits in the eighth and a couple runs plated would end the day for him and the Tigers.
The Tigers dropped game one of the series 10-3, and their playoff chances continue to dwindle with just eleven games to go. Michael Fulmer faces Zach Plesac in game two of the series on Friday at 7:10.
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