On a hat Sunday afternoon in Detroit, former lefty reliever Blaine Hardy took the mound for just his third major league start in 170 career games. Seven innings and 85 pitches later, he was headed to the dugout for the stretch, and left 14 straight White Sox batters scratching their heads. His final line, one run on just three hits, with one walk and six strikeouts over seven innings, stands out above all else as he continues his incredible and unlikely transformation from a career reliever to a starter at the tender age of 31.
The Tigers’ offense battled White Sox veteran James Shields for three runs on five hits on three walks and 4 strikeouts over seven innings as well. The Tigers struck first as Grayson Greiner doubled in Victor Martinez in the second innings, but what could have been a big inning quickly fizzled when Shields picked John Hicks off third base with one out, and the Tigers settled for just one run. The White Sox would tie the game right away when Yolmer Sanchez tripled to the rightfield corner and scored Tim Anderson. Unphased, and apparently raging with hulk-like anger, Hardy stranded him there and then for good measure set down the next fourteen straight batters.
The Tigers would give Hardy all the support he would need in the fifth inning. JaCoby Jones singled and Greiner walked to put 2 on to start the bottom of the fifth. after an infield fly from Iglesias, a slumping Dixon Machado, recently held out of the lineup to work on his swing punched a groundball RBI single through the middle to give the Tigers the lead. Martin would then hit another inflield flyout but Nicholas Castellanos would double into the left field corner to score Greiner with the eventual game winner.
Solid defense from Jeimer Candelario, and dominant final innings from Joe Jimenez, striking out all 3 batters he faced, would create the save situation for Shane Greene, who decided for whatever reason to make the game more interesting than it should have been. After getting the first two hitters out with ease, Jose Rondon took him deep to left center to cut the lead to one. Daniel Palka would then tapped an infield single against a shifted infield to give Tigers nation more heartburn than their Memorial Day cookouts, before striking out Yoan Moncada to end the game and secure the series win.
Back to burgers and beer.
Tweets of the game
On Nicholas Castellanos' bobblehead day, his father Jorge Castellanos chats with our @JohnnyKaneFSD. What's better than having your pops in the stands? #DreamComeTrue pic.twitter.com/LlSSMosV3c— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) May 27, 2018
Blaine Hardy did not throw a pitch over 90 mph. Joe Jimenez followed him and did not throw a fastball under 95. He struck out White Sox in order in 8th.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) May 27, 2018
A foul ball made its way into the press box. @cmccosky threw it back into the stands at 63.4 m.p.h., according to MLB Statcast.— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) May 27, 2018
Player of the Game - vote
Who was the Player of the game?
This poll is closed
Blaine Hardy - 7IP, 3H, 1R, 1BB, 6K
Hardy, Blaine - 7IP, 3H, 1R, 1BB, 6K