Niko Goodrum is so hot right now.
For... a few days now, the Detroit Tigers’ utility man has been swinging the hot stick. He had it going again Monday as the Tigers took their series opener against the Cleveland Indians, 6-3.
First we must praise the fine work of Mike Fiers. When Jose Ramirez launched a solo shot in the first inning, you could be forgiven for thinking it was just a matter of time before Fiers broke. Instead, he baffled the Indians with a mix of high fastballs and changeups, and had them off balance all night. Fiers allowed just three hits and struck out five, giving the Tigers a much needed six innings of work.
In the meantime, the Niko Goodrum Show, for both good and bad, took center stage. The Tigers pushed a run across in the second inning, but it was Goodrum providing the big blow. John Hicks doubled to lead off the fourth inning, and Goodrum followed a batter later with a towering home run over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field to make it 3-1. You can’t hope for a lot more off of Carlos Carrasco; true to form, the Indians ace shut the Tigers down through the rest of his 6 2⁄3 innings.
The Tigers’ relief work was a bit shaky, but Warwick Saupold pitched out of a jam in the seventh, punching out Brandon Guyer to escape unscathed. Joe Jimenez got the first two outs of the eighth, as Ron Gardenhire’s quest to burn out Jimenez’s arm continues, but a pair of ugly errors by Dixon Machado and Goodrum allowed an uearned run across to tighten things at 3-2. Pitching for the third straight day, Jimenez was fine except for one pitch to Edwin Encarncacion. Fortunately, Goodrum’s night wasn’t over.
Indians reliever Evan Marshall walked James McCann and Hicks to lead off the eighth. After JaCoby Jones struck out swinging, Goodrum stepped to the dish again and promptly bombed another moonshot about 15 feet further than his first. That’s right: two home runs and five RBI for Niko Goodrum... against the Indians. Baseball is weird af.
Shane Greene was a bit shaky in the ninth, but closed out the Indians after allowing a run.
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
This poll is closed
Niko Goodrum: 2-4, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR
Mike Fiers: 6.0 IP, ER, 3 H, BB, 5 SO