Things immediately went off of the rails for the Tigers as Jordan Zimmermann’s day ended in an early, terrifying fashion as he took a 106.5 mph line drive off of the bat of Jason Kipnis to his right jaw in the first inning, causing the crowd at Progressive Field to fall silent. He exited the game under his own power and was later diagnosed with a right jaw contusion.
Daniel Norris was called into an extended relief role as a result of Zimmermann’s injury. While sharp in his first two innings of work with good movement on his slider, Norris was less sharp in the fourth inning and ran into considerable trouble. He was more wild and kept the ball up in the strike zone, losing many lefty-on-lefty matchups on his way to surrendering four runs and six hits on the inning.
The Tigers shaved the Indians’ lead to 4-1, but surrendered another run on a Michael Brantley RBI single. In the end, they were overpowered by yet another dominant outing by Carlos Carrasco, who went the distance while allowing just one run on three hits. He has now allowed just three runs in his last 12 starts against the Tigers.
Leonys Martin was responsible for all three Tigers hits for the night, including a double and his first home run, a no-doubter, of the season. This is a welcomed development for the recently scuffling leadoff man. However, Martin also fell victim to a pickoff in the third inning, misreading Carrasco and getting caught between first and second base, his second time being caught stealing on the young season.
Besides Martin, the other eight batters in the Tigers’ lineup were a combined 0-for-25 while drawing two walks. They were 0-for-4 on the night with men in scoring position, moving to 1-for-15 in such situations the first three games of the series.
Bullpen bright spots
Despite a rough performance for Norris and struggles from Buck Farmer, the bullpen continued to have its bright spots in the form of Drew VerHagen and Daniel Stumpf, with VerHagen delivering 2 1⁄3 innings of no-hit ball, though he was a bit wild at times as he surrendered two walks, while Stumpf twirled a scoreless 8th inning while allowing one hit.
The Tigers will be back in action tomorrow night at 6:10 pm ET for the series finale against the Indians. Michael Fulmer is set off against Trevor Bauer as the Tigers try to avoid the sweep. You can watch on Fox Sports Detroit or listen in on your local affiliate of the Detroit Tigers radio network.
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