Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Anibal Sanchez is Detroit Tigers’ Real Ace – Gregory Philson, Rant Sports
“Anibal Sanchez has been the team’s best starting pitcher and it is not even close. Sanchez proved that point again when dominating American League Central rival Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park Thursday. Sanchez allowed one run on five hits and a walk. He picked up his fourth win of the season in the Tigers’ 2-1 victory. Miguel Cabrera drove in Detroit’s first run with a double in the fourth and J.D. Martinez soon followed with a solo shot.”
These things seem to be cyclical. Sanchez was inconsistent early in the year before his stint on the DL, but has been lights out since returning on May 18. Rick Porcello, Justin Verlander, and Max Scherzer were all cruising along while Anibal struggled. Now it’s the reverse. Having all five starters firing on all cylinders will go a long way toward the Tigers turning things around.
“Royals designated hitter Billy Butler, who struck out to start the ninth, was impressed.
“That looked like the Joe Nathan I’ve faced for years, all those times with the Twins and then with Texas,” Butler said. “The one with a few hundred saves and all those All-Star games. He’s had some tough moments in his career, but that looked like the same guy.””
Nathan struggled early this season and has struggled over the last month, but there was a stretch in there of about three weeks where he was lights out and looked like the Joe Nathan we all expected. Let’s hope yesterday was a sign of things to come.
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Heart of a Tiger: John Hiller did it all on the mound in Detroit – GregEno, Bless You Boys
They called guys like Hiller “firemen” in those days, and they didn’t just pitch the ninth inning. It wasn’t unusual for a fireman to enter the game as early as the sixth inning and take it home. Hiller, to show you, pitched 125 innings in 1973, saving games for the Tigers. Hiller was credited with 38 saves in 1973, and while some of those 38 wouldn’t be saves under today’s rules, it didn’t matter; Hiller proved that 1972 was no fluke. From 1974 to 1980, when he retired mid-season, Hiller saved 71 games and again pitched whenever he was called upon, no matter the situation. He was hardly a LOOGY; usually when Hiller entered the game, he stuck around for a while.
Boy, could the Tigers use a John Hiller today.