Detroit Tigers: The Rise of Michael Fulmer
Detroit Tigers rookie pitcher Michael Fulmer was the only starting pitcher to get two wins during the California road trip. His outstanding starts have led many to compare him to Tigers greats like Mickey Lolich and Justin Verlander.
Michael Fulmer came to the Detroit Tigers during the trade at the deadline in 2015. The New York Mets exchanged him for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Along with Fulmer, the Tigers received Luis Cessa – who has since been traded to the New York Yankees.
At the time of the trade at the end of July 2015, fans were disappointed that Cespedes was sent away. But now, it is quite clear that the Tigers clearly won the swap. The rookie pitcher has been a pleasant surprise.
Fulmer was called up from the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens to fill in for Shane Greene who was placed on the DL for a blister on his throwing hand. Originally, Fulmer was supposed to only fill in for a few starts because he still needed more “seasoning” at the minor league level. With his 3.24 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, Fulmer has been nothing shy of dominant on the mound and even more so in the last three starts.
Last night against the Angels, Fulmer pitched a no-hitter through 20 batters. He was the talk of Twitter with his name trending at the top of the list once fans realized what was happening in the 5th and 6th innings.
The shocking thing about Fulmer is that he is only 23-years-old. The right handed pitcher looked like a veteran facing and striking out MVP batters like Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
Brad Ausmus, in an article by Aaron McMann with MLive, said about Fulmer’s demeanor and performance on the mound: “I don’t know that I would have thought it would have gone this smoothly, especially the last three starts.”
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Jarrod Saltalamacchia commented about Fulmer’s veteran demeanor on the mound: “Even on the side watching, it’s a guy that really trusts his stuff. Even if a guy hits him hard, he still comes with it again. It’s tough – once you give up a hit, or a homer, you want to shy away from contact, but he just comes right at you.”
In his last three starts, Fulmer has numbers that harken back to the days of the 1968 star Mickey Lolich. In fact, Fulmer is only the second pitcher in the Old English D to have two starts in a row with seven+ shut-out innings. Lolich was the first. Fulmer currently has a streak of 16.1 scoreless innings. And, he is also one of only four Tigers pitchers to get five wins out of his first seven rookie games.
With the debate about who the Tigers ace pitcher is this season, Michael Fulmer is quickly making his way towards earning the coveted title.