The Detroit Tigers, behind all-around strong pitching performances, earned a tie in their latest Grapefruit League action against the New York Yankees. The two teams played to a 2-2 deadlock on Tuesday.
Turning in his best performance of the spring, Zimm looked very comfortable over five shutout innings, allowing only two hits while striking out four. His fourth inning, which saw him relying more on his slider and less of his fastball while recording back-to-back strikeouts of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, followed by a Gary Sanchez groundout, was possibly the most encouraging spot of today’s outing.
Zimmermann said in February that he was working with Chris Bosio in establishing an increased pace and credited the pitching coach while speaking of today’s performance:
Zimmermann said Chris Bosio's emphasis on pace has gotten him back to the rhythm he felt w/ Washington Nats. "I rarely had a game over three hours when I was in DC. Last year they were always over four, it seemed. I knew I was doing something wrong."— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) March 13, 2018
Even though it’s mid-March, a performance like today’s is an encouraging sign from Zimmermann, who the Tigers will look to for some serious innings this season.
From The Pen
Daniel Stumpf and Drew VerHagen each recorded perfect innings, including the latter striking out Judge, Stanton, and Sanchez, in order, for a swift seventh inning. However, VerHagen’s fortunes took a turn as he served up a first-pitch home run to Didi Gregorius to begin the 8th and further surrendered another base hit and a walk. Louis Coleman allowed one of the inherited runners to score on a groundout but otherwise limited the damage.
Buck Farmer, with all of his glorious beard game, shined despite surrendering two walks. His highlight of the day came as he struck out two and forced a weak groundout to preserve the 2-2 tie, escaping a no-out, man on third jam caused by an errant throw from Derek Norris.
JaCoby Jones was the star of today’s contest, reaching base four times on three hits while working deep into at-bats and exhibiting a more patient eye at the plate. This carried over to the basepaths, exhibiting aggressive baserunning while stealing a base and taking second on a ninth inning wild pitch, setting up the eventual tying run off of the bat of Victor Reyes.
Leonys Martin, lobbying to be the team’s new leadoff hitter, delivered his second home run of the spring, a solo shot, to open the scoring in the third inning.
The Tigers will find their way to the Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee on Thursday to take on the Atlanta Braves.
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