Where the first game of the Tigers season was everything a fan could dream, the second was the stuff of nightmares. The Tigers couldn’t seem to make a dent offensively, and their pitchers were handing out home runs like free candy on Halloween. It wasn’t the best way for the team to conclude their already abbreviated first road trip.
White Sox Jose Abreu continued a hot spring with his second RBI and fourth hit in only two games, and with the aid of two 3-run dingers, the Sox soon took an insurmountable lead.
Nick Castellanos continues to have a hot bat, with a double in the first and an extremely lucky three base error in the eighth. Castellanos showed a lot of impressive speed in spring training and that hustle has followed him north for the regular season.
Tyler Collins smashed a home-run to right field to lead off the second inning, which might help some folks overlook the Melky Cabrera hit he missed catching. Alex Avila drove in the game’s only other run with an RBI double.
James McCann proves his throws haven’t lost any accuracy as he threw a killer toss to Kinsler to get Saladino out during a stolen base attempt. Last season his caught stealing numbers were among the best in the AL, at an impressive 45%. He doesn’t appear to be losing steam in that area this year.
Matt Boyd got chewed up in the third inning, topping out at 80 pitches and racking up five earned runs. After giving up only one walk all spring gave up four in three innings, capping off the dismal inning with a 3-run blast to Geovany Soto. Boyd’s command and confidence both looked shaky in his first outing of the year.
Anibal Sanchez came in for relief, but the White Sox were relentless. Sanchez gave up two more walks, and another four earned runs. It’s worth noting that had a jumping groundball to Castellanos been scored as an error instead of a hit, Sanchez’s final line would have looked a lot different.
The scoring on that grounder to Castellanos is the difference between 0 earned runs and 4 earned runs for Sanchez in 4th inning.— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) April 6, 2017
STREAKS AND INFO:
The first three Tigers pitchers for the game gave up at least one home run each, with the streak broken by Blaine Hardy’s 1-2-3 eighth. Alex Avila’s appearance in the eighth inning also meant every one of the Tigers regulars got an at-bat during the first series. Some of those went better than others.
Miguel Cabrera: hitless in his first 6 AB to start season; first time he has failed to get a hit in both of his first 2 games of a season— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 6, 2017
There are still 160 games left this year and it was inevitable the Tigers were bound to lose a couple.
If Boyd is able to regain his sure footing from spring camp and Sanchez starts trusting his adjusted arm slot again, there’s no reason to worry about either of them too much at this early stage in the game. Certainly after two delayed games this wasn’t the result anyone wanted to see, but there’s a long season ahead and many more winning games to come. The Tigers can try on some other Sox this weekend.