Michael Fulmer looked rather rusty in his return from the disabled list. He got knocked around a bit early, compounding it with unforced errors and his team couldn’t pick him up, falling 6-2 to the Texas Rangers on Monday.
The game started off well, but with a harbinger of things to come. Ian Kinsler received a brutal strike call on a ball low and well off the plate from umpire Angel Hernandez in the first at bat of the game. Forced to protect a strike zone that, against him particularly, suddenly grew a foot wider, Kinsler bounced out on another outside pitch.
Mikie Mahtook, fresh off his first hitless game in over a week, singled out of the two-spot, and Justin Upton mashed a titanic home run to straightaway centerfield to put the Tigers up two in the first. Unfortunately, Fulmer gave it right back.
The Tigers’ right-hander walked the first two batters of the inning, and without a hard hit ball, the Rangers tied things at two. Fulmer settled down, but continued to battle his command, giving up a solo shot to Joey Gallo, and leaking a run here and a run there, ultimately giving up five in five innings of work.
The Tigers’ offense, however, couldn’t keep pace, growing increasingly frustrated with a horrible day behind the plate from Hernandez. Kinsler watched another pitch 10 inches off the plate go for a strike and was again forced to swing at anything and everything he could reach. In his third at bat, the exact same pitch was for the third time called a strike and Kinsler quite understandably lost it. He and Brad Ausmus were both ejected, with Dixon Machado coming in to finish the at bat.
Ultimately, this was the most exciting point in the game for Tigers’ fans. Jeff Ferrell allowed a run, while Drew VerHagen quieted the Rangers for two innings. The Tigers just couldn’t cash in their baserunners. In the top of the ninth, down four, John Hicks, James McCann and Jose Iglesias singled to load the bases with two outs, but Dixon Machado was unable to come through with a big hit.
Mikie Mahtook: A three-hit game for Mahtook as he continues to impress.
Justin Upton: A two-run shot and a walk as he continues to be the engine keeping the Tigers’ offense rolling.
Angel Hernandez: Just one of worst called games I’ve seen in a while, probably since the last one I watched Hernandez call.
Stats and Info
There were too many of these to tweet, so I’ll just go with this example of Angel Hernandez’ incompetence.
Call hurts #Tigers— Tigers Strike Zone (@TigersUmp) August 15, 2017
Strike 1 should be ball 2
Top 3 Perez vs Kinsler
4% call same
4.1in from edge pic.twitter.com/R4VFy36fr1
“Do your $%^#%^ job!!!”-Ian Kinsler, probably.
#NewProfilePic pic.twitter.com/qb6ZdmILtW— Jed (@TigersJUK) August 15, 2017