I can just imagine, after yesterday’s game, the Tigers’ clubhouse crew waiting until the team’s bats had stopped smoking to put them away before coming home for this weekend’s four-game series against the Orioles.
“Is the lumber still smouldering over there?”
“Yeah, give it a few more minutes before you pack ‘em up.”
Tonight’s game, the first in a four-game weekend set at home against the Orioles, saw the Tigers continue their winning ways, with a 6-2 victory. Casey Mize worked seven excellent innings, and Miguel Cabrera hit a pair of home runs on his march to number 500.
Taking the hill for the Birds tonight was Alexander Wells, a young Australian making his second major-league start. His only other start was on July 21 against the Rays; he did generally alright, allowing three runs in 5 2⁄3 innings, striking out seven, but walks have been a problem for him so far. They haven’t been a problem in the minors in his career, though, so that should probably straighten itself out in time.
The Felines started Mize, whose season innings-pitched total before tonight’s game was 104. It didn’t look today as if he was on an inning limit; his previous four July starts have all been 4 2⁄3 innings or fewer, so perhaps that has earned him some breathing room. Of note are his walk totals: sure, it’s fewer innings, but in July he’s only walked only two batters in 15 2⁄3 innings; by contrast, in 26 2⁄3 innings in April, he walked 10.
The Tigers picked up right where they left off Wednesday in the bottom of the first. Akil Baddoo drew a leadoff walk; Wells tried to pick him off first but airmailed a throw to Hamtramck instead, with Baddoo ending up on third. Jonathan Schoop singled him in, opening the scoring. Miguel Cabrera singled, pushing Schoop to third; an Eric Haase sacrifice fly plated the Swingin’ Curaçaoan for a 2-0 score.
In the third, Schoop hit a one-out double, advanced to third on a Grossman groundout, and Haase struck again with a single, driving in Schoop and making it 3-0. Jeimer Candelario hit an infield single to load the bases, and Willi Castro crushed a 401-foot fly ball that was caught on the warning track for the third out. Ah well.
Through four innings, Mize’s day was pretty easy: two hits, two walks, 45 pitches, and all the outs in the field were via the ground ball. His fifth inning saw his first flyball out, but only took 10 more pitches... and the dark clouds looming not far beyond the left-field stands somehow didn’t produce any storms directly over the ballpark. Mize’s fielding prowess was also on display:
In the bottom of the fifth, Cabrera continued his march towards 500 home runs with a solo shot.
Baltimore put runners on the corners in the seventh with a line-drive single by Ryan McKenna and a bloop single by Maikel Franco with one out. Domingo Leyba hit a fly ball to Baddoo in left, and Baddoo’s throw home was exceedingly wild, allowing McKenna to score an unearned run.
That was the end of Mize’s evening, and his final line was a great one: 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 unearned run, two walks, two strikeouts.
In the seventh, Miggy struck again for #497:
Haase hit yet another single, and Candelario scored him with a triple, making the score 6-1.
José Cisnero came on in the eighth and had a pretty uncharacteristic inning for him: walk, walk, double play, walk, wild pitch to score a run, groundout. He’s allowed runs in two of his last three appearances. I’m not saying the world is caving-in on Cisnero these days, but... let’s just keep an eye on it, shall we?
Michael Fulmer pitched the ninth for his second appearance since coming off the Injured List, and he struck out the side. All the strikeouts were on sliders, which were looking maaaahvelous tonight.
Will Miggy hit #500 this weekend? Stay tuned to find out!
See You Soon, Mr. Krol
LHP Ian Krol has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple A Toledo.— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) July 29, 2021
I mean, I hope we see him again soon. Did I miss something? (I’ve been away for a few days.) Aside from his rough debut outing against the Twins, Krol has been mostly lights-out in his other four outings for the Tigers.
Notes and Numbers
- This upcoming series features the annual Negro Leagues tribute weekend. It’s important to know your baseball history, of course. But, I must say... that Detroit Stars uniform is just absolutely one of the best in history, of any league. (They wore grey versions in May in Kansas City, which are great, but the white or cream-coloured ones they wear at home are just beautiful.)
- Coming into tonight’s game, since taking over the leadoff spot on June 26, Akil Baddoo has batted .265/.306/.480 for a .786 OPS. Concerningly, he only had 6 walks in 108 plate appeareances in those games. For the month of May, when he was mostly near the bottom of the order, he had 14 walks in 58 plate appearances.
- Old friend Max Scherzer’s going to the Dodgers, so it appears.
- Welcome to the Pistons, Cade Cunningham.
- Tough news about Terry Francona, stepping away from his managerial position in Cleveland, for the rest of the season. He’s been having a lot of trouble with his hip and foot, and has been in a walking-cast boot sort of thing for the entire season. Get well soon, Terry!
- Today would’ve been the 123rd birthday of Isidor Isaac Rabi. He won the 1944 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance. If you, or an athlete you know, has ever had an MRI — which uses the magnetic properties of individual atoms to track where substances like water are in the body — you should thank Dr. Rabi.