Drew Smyly showed quite a few good things for the Tigers tonight. He showed how great his stuff is and how well he can control it as well as his toughness, both physically and mentally (after taking a line drive in the back and a 14 pitch at bat against Brayan Pena). He clearly showed why he beat out Duane Below for the last spot in the starting rotation out of spring training. If this is the quality of the 5th starter for the Tigers then perhaps all of these claims of going to the World Series aren’t very exaggerated if at all. Bruce Chen put in the kind of start that continues to amaze opponents and please fans. He’s the left hand Greg Maddux (without the Gold Gloves, Cy Young’s, World Series rings, and all knowing cocky smirk) and he proved it again tonight. However, Smyly was able to match him pitch for pitch long enough for Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder could knock in Andy Dirks and Brennan Boesch off of a struggling Royals bullpen. This is also great news for the Tigers because it means that Cabrera snapped an 0 for 22 streak (in the same inning that Ryan Raburn also snapped an 0 for 22) and got another RBI to boot ,not that there was really all that much doubt that he wouldn’t correct himself soon. He’s just too good of a hitter to struggle for very long. All in all this was a well played game by the Tigers and an impressive outing by an increasingly impressive rookie pitcher. The only criticisms I might have are that this powerful lineup is still struggling to get runs against starting pitchers, and that the win came against the Roylas. Yes they’re getting better and showing promise, but until they actually prove how good by winning a lot they’re still the Royals and a team this Tigers squad should beat regularly.
About the Author
Written by Brett Decker
I'm a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University with a degree in Social and Political Science. I love talking sports and welcome sports related tweets @decker_brett.