In this morning's game preview, I thought that the Tigers would look to attack Lucas Harrell's fastball early in the count. Harrell relies heavily on the two-seamer to get ground ball outs, throwing it approximately 75% of the time on the first pitch of an at-bat.
No Tiger took advantage of this more than Miguel Cabrera, who did plenty of damage on the first two pitches he saw in tonight's game. In the first inning, Cabrera lined an RBI single through the right side of the infield.
In the second, Cabrera turned on an inside fastball and lined it off the wall behind the left field seats for a two-run home run.
Prior to Cabrera's home run, Omar Infante took the first pitch of the inning up the middle for a single.
Infante was doubled off when Austin Jackson hit a sharp line drive directly at second baseman Jose Altuve.
In the fourth inning, Jackson attacked the first strike he saw, hitting a 1-0 fastball out to the warning track in right field. Alex Avila advanced to third base on the play and would score later in the inning.
And while it didn't come against Harrell, we can't leave out Miguel Cabrera's second home run of the night. This dinger came off a hanging breaking ball from relief pitcher Jose Cisnero on a 1-0 count.
The total damage: three hits and three RBI in six at-bats where the first strike was put into play. This doesn't make much of a difference in a 17-2 laugher, but opportunities like this may help the Tigers in closer ball games down the road.