Anibal Sanchez pitched the game of his life, putting his name in the franchise record books.
The Tigers have played 17,520 games in their 113-year history. No pitcher, including such stalwarts as Justin Verlander, Jack Morris, Denny McClain, Mickey Lolich, Tommy Bridges, Dizzy Trout, Hooks Dauss and Hall of Famers Hal Newhouser and Jim Bunning, had more strikeouts in a single game than Sanchez.
This defines dominance. Of Sanchez's 17 strikeouts, 14 were swinging.
Watch the record setter:
Stat of the night: Anibal Sanchez was either striking out Braves or allowing an extra base hit. Of the five hits Sanchez gave up, three went for doubles.
Second stat of the night: Sanchez faced the Braves 17 times as a Marlin and never struck out more than seven.
Third stat of the night: Often when a pitcher is racking up strikeouts, a big reason is due to having such good movement on his pitches. But that also tends to make walks more likely. Tonight, Sanchez issued ONE free pass. A textbook case of having complete command of your arsenal.
Fourth stat of the night: Not a single Tigers outfielder recorded a put-out. Talk about taking your defense out of the game!
I tip my cap to Anibal Sanchez.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:
The Tigers offense has been in mired in a slump since facing King Felix in Seattle. Looking for offensive spark from Triple-A Toledo? Good luck, there isn't any.
CALL SOMEONE UP FROM TRIPLE-A [only guy on the Hens hitting above .250 is a first baseman] WELP— Matt Sussman (@suss2hyphens) April 26, 2013
The only Mud Hen hitting above .250 would be 27-year-old career minor-leaguer Jordan Lennerton, at .273. For what it's worth, Nick Castellanos is hitting .244, Quintin Berry .213 and Danny Worth .136.
Matt Tuiasosopo didn't take a very good route on a second-inning double. Let the Twitter trolling begin!
We all know the Tigers defense suc...wait, what?!
Now, that's just silly. Miggy starting a picture-perfect, 5-4-3 double play with an off-balance throw from behind the 3B bag.— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) April 27, 2013
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE TIGERS' DEFENSE— Detroit4lyfe (@Detroit4lyfeRob) April 27, 2013
Even Mario Impemba and Rod Allen were stunned by the marvelous around-the-horn double play to end the third.
Mario: "WOW! I didn't think they had a chance..."
Neither did I, Mario. Neither did I.
Speaking of defense, after Austin Jackson singled past a sprawling Dan Uggla and Mario blurted "That looked like a makeable play," the obvious was stated.
Shouldn't the strategy of every at bat be "hit it to Uggla?"— Jennifer Cosey (@VivaTigres) April 27, 2013
I'm guessing other fan bases say the same about Jhonny Peralta.
The fun third inning totals: Nine batters, four runs, four hits, one walk, and an error.
The fun fourth inning totals: Ten batters, six runs, six hits, one base on balls, an RBI single, RBI ground out, RBI double, and a three-run bomb.
The TL;DR version:
#Tigers sent 19 batters to the plate in the span of two innings. Scored 10 runs.— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) April 27, 2013
Ron Burgundy Mario Impemba after Tuiasosopo's dinger:
Paul Maholm entered the game with a 1.03 ERA. He left with an ERA of 3.30.
Remember when professional golfer Phil Mickelson tried out with the Mud Hens? He made the team and changed his name to Matt Tuiasosopo.
The last 17 K game in MLB? Brandon Morrow on Aug. 8, 2010.
The Braves would ultimately K 18 times.The last whiff of the night came on a 101-mile-per-hour fastball from the rookie fire-baller Bruce Rondon.
There might be one downside to Sanchez's dominance.
Porcello sitting at locker: "You think the Braves are mad? I hope they're not mad."— Matt Wallace (@MattinToledo) April 27, 2013
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez's post-game presser lasted 12 seconds. The full transcript:
He (Sanchez) was pretty good and we weren't. That's all I got for you. You guys have a good one.
A man of few words.
A man never lacking for words, Jim Leyland had a little more to say than Gonzalez on FSD, especially about his starting pitcher.
"It was just a terrific performance against a real aggressive team. They hit the ball out of the ballpark, and they’re real aggressive, and they let it fly. He just made some great pitches, consistently, inning after inning.
"You can’t really get any better than that."
Matt Tuiasosopo: A BIG game for Big Squiggles. Two hits, a three-run homer and five RBIs. Been a long time since we've seen a power bat come off the bench in Detroit.
Anibal Sanchez: A brilliant night on the mound with a career-high 17 strikeouts, shutting out the Braves over eight innings. A certain sports talk radio host here in Detroit said this week the Tigers would have been much better served signing Rafael Soriano instead of Sanchez. That's why you shouldn't listen to sports talk radio (especially between 2-6 PM in Detroit), folks.
Oh, yeah. Remember the top prospect the Tigers gave up to get Sanchez, the centerpiece of the trade with the Marlins?
Unrelated: Jacob Turner has a 7.27 ERAand 1.79 WHIP in 17.1 innings at Triple A this season so far.— Scott Rogowski (@DNR_Rogo) April 27, 2013
Victor Martinez: The Tigers' DH was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. The bad luck Martinez was hitting into is finally beginning to even out. (knocks on wood)
Not even going to bother. This win was far too much fun to complain about a damn thing.
GAME THREAD ROLL CALL:
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Justin Verlander was forced to leave the game due to a blister on his pitching thumb, but was more than impressive enough over his seven innings to take PotG honors with 78% of the vote.