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Pirates 1, Tigers 0: Detroit offense disappears in Game 1 of doubleheader

Michael Fulmer’s promising season debut was wasted by a poor offensive effort.

MLB: Game 1-Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It took the Detroit Tigers seven innings to notch their first hit, in case you were wondering how this game went. The Tigers were no-hit by Pittsburgh Pirates starter Trevor Williams for six innings, wasting a brilliant effort by Michael Fulmer in a 1-0 loss.

The Pirates jumped on Fulmer early, scoring a run on an RBI double from Gregory Polanco in the top of the first inning. It was slow going for the Bucs after that, though. Fulmer limited them to just four hits in eight strong innings, and needed just 90 pitches to record 24 outs.

The Tigers went six full innings before notching their first hit, but weren’t without opportunities. Williams walked five batters in six innings of work. Were it not for three double plays turned behind him in the early innings, the Tigers might have broken through at some point.

Let’s talk about Fulmer more, though

The Tigers’ ace didn’t seem too sharp early on. He walked the first batter he faced, albeit with a fairly tight strike zone, and left a fastball out over the plate to Polanco for Pittsburgh’s lone run. Three of the four hits Fulmer allowed came within the first four innings, and all were sharply-hit doubles (99+ mph exit velocity, per Statcast) by left-handed hitters.

Fulmer settled in after that, though. He only allowed one more hit in his final four frames, and mixed his pitches a little more effectively. Fulmer also improved his fastball command; at one point in the later innings, he threw two inch-perfect fastballs in on Corey Dickerson’s hands, and the 2017 All-Star could only line out softly to first base.

Dixon Machado, early surprise?

Machado had one of the Tigers’ two hits today, and had another fly out with a hit probability of nearly 70 percent (per Statcast). He is currently hitting .333 through two games. More importantly, he looks to have a good approach at the plate. Machado took seven pitches in his first at-bat back in the third inning, eventually striking out on a borderline pitch at his knees.

In his second plate appearance, Machado worked an early 2-0 count before going after a fastball in the zone. He lined it to deep right-center, but Pirates center fielder Starling Marte was able to run it down. Machado’s final plate appearance started in an 0-2 hole, but he used a nice, short swing to golf a low pitch into center field for a single.

Victor Martinez looks bad at the plate

That is all.


Who was the Tigers’ Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Michael Fulmer (8 IP, 1 ER, 3 SO)
    (307 votes)
  • 0%
    Dixon Machado (1-3)
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Nicholas Castellanos (1-2, 2B, 2 BB)
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Miguel Cabrera (defense!)
    (11 votes)
322 votes total Vote Now