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Astros 1, Tigers 0: Detroit bats fall silent against Brad Peacock, Houston bullpen

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The Tigers managed one hit and struck out 14 times in a series-opening loss.

Detroit Tigers v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers got to their Houston hotels at 5:00 a.m. on Monday morning, according to reports. They certainly looked jet-lagged later that evening, dropping a 1-0 snoozer to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Michael Fulmer, who flew in ahead of the team on Sunday, threw seven innings for Detroit in the losing effort. Chris Devenski picked up the win in relief for the Astros, but Brad Peacock’s dominant 4 13 innings in a spot start were the story.

Michael Fulmer is a beast

He did not have his best stuff at first tonight, but Fulmer willed his way to a dominant road outing against one of the best offenses in baseball. He only had one 1-2-3 frame and scattered eight hits, but held the Astros to just one run in seven innings of work. It was his ninth consecutive quality start to open the season, and one certainly deserving of Fulmer’s sixth win of the season.

No inning was more indicative of how Fulmer’s night went than the seventh. He gave up a pair of singles to open the frame — including one that was largely due to his team’s defensive limitations — but buckled down to retire the next three batters to end the threat. He struck out both Alex Bregman and George Springer before inducing a weak flyout from Josh Reddick to escape the jam.

Best of all, Fulmer hit 98 miles per hour on the radar gun with his 109th and final pitch of the evening. If he’s not an ace yet, he’s certainly on his way.

Pitching depth is crucial in a 162-game season

Anyone dreading who will start for Detroit in Friday’s doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox yet? While the Tigers don’t have a spot starter set in stone, the Astros were able to comfortably turn to Brad Peacock in this game. Peacock has been a mediocre pitcher throughout his career, but the Astros identified his biggest strengths — a sharp slider with a high spin rate that he commands well — and told him to use it with abandon.

Peacock threw a boatload of them in his 4 13 innings, holding the Tigers to just one hit. He repeatedly got ahead in the count, and pitched with two strikes to 14 of the 16 hitters he faced. Whether it was a breaking ball diving out of the strike zone or a well-timed fastball over the plate, the Tigers had no answer for Peacock in this game.

Not bad for a spot starter.

ROARS:

  • Michael Fulmer: One couldn’t ask for much more from the Tigers’ starter in this game. Fulmer didn’t have his best command, but battled his way through seven strong innings. He only struck out four, but was able to generate plenty of weak contact when it mattered most.
  • Shane Greene: Greene had to work out of his own jam in this game, but he struck out the side in his lone inning of work.

HISSES:

  • The offense: Late arrival or not, one hit against a spot starter is no way to pick up a much-needed win. Fourteen of their 29 plate appearances ended in strikeouts. Things only get more difficult on Tuesday when Lance McCullers Jr. takes the mound for the Astros.