Hey, we said it could work. Mike Fiers delivered six shutout innings in his Detroit Tigers debut, and the Tigers bullpen combined for three more scoreless frames in a 1-0 Detroit win over the Chicago White Sox. The win clinched a series sweep for the Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field, their first on the South Side since 2011.
The Tigers scored the lone run of the game in the top of the first inning. Leonys Martin led off the game with a single, then stole second base, the Tigers’ fifth swipe off of White Sox catcher Welington Castillo this weekend. Miguel Cabrera scored Martin on a sacrifice fly to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
And that was it. Fiers worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first, but only allowed two more baserunners in his next five innings of work. He finished with six strikeouts, one walk, and one hit batter on 90 pitches. Neither team recorded a hit after the third inning — though Avisail Garcia’s rocket to third in the ninth inning might be changed to one in hindsight — and the two clubs combined for just five at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Mike was :Fiers emoji:
After a rough spring, expectations for Fiers heading into this season could not have been lower. Most Tigers fans don’t even want him in the rotation right now, considering Daniel Norris is the odd man out. But to his credit, Fiers looked sharp on Sunday. He recorded strikes on 61 of his 90 pitches, and threw first-pitch strikes to 13 of 22 batters faced. He also generated 15 whiffs, a healthy 16.7 percent swinging strike rate.
Will this continue? Probably not. Though the weather was clear, the temperature was once again in the 30s — not ideal conditions for hitting. Both teams looked uncomfortable at the plate, and the result was the Tigers’ third 1-0 game of the season. Give credit to Fiers for taking advantage and pitching well, though. Hopefully he continues to pound the strike zone like this all season long.
Where was that, Bruce Rondon?
Old friend Bruce Rondon made his first appearance for the White Sox in the eighth inning. He started Cabrera out with fastballs at 99 and 100 miles per hour, then eventually struck him out on a strikeout down and away. Rondon also worked a scoreless ninth, and struck out all four batters he faced.
We know Rondon had the raw stuff he showed in this game, but his location was sorely lacking for long stretches. It’s early, but it would be nice to see him find his command and succeed at the MLB level. It stinks that it may happen for a division rival, but sometimes a new voice and atmosphere is all a player needs.
...even if he did try his best to come back to the Tigers today.
Bruce Rondón said he walked into the wrong clubhouse today out of habit. Miguel Cabrera was kind enough to redirect him— James Fegan (@JRFegan) April 8, 2018
The Niko Goodrum fan club is in session
Goodrum went 0-for-2 with a strikeout on the day, but also drew a pair of walks and stole his third base of the season. He leads the Tigers in both steals (3) and home runs (1), and is currently hitting .250/.333/.500 in 16 at-bats.
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
This poll is closed
Mike Fiers (6 IP, 0 ER)
Miguel Cabrera (GW RBI)
Niko Goodrum (2 BB, SB)
Leonys Martin (2-3, GW R)