Detroit Tigers Didn’t Lose Today Against the Mets Even With Sanchez Pitching

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Mar 9, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) delivers a pitch against the New York Mets during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) delivers a pitch against the New York Mets during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Detroit Tigers finally put an end to the embarrassing losses they’ve recently suffered. Although they did not win the game against the New York Mets, they didn’t lose either.

The Detroit Tigers did show some signs of life against the Mets. While the bats actually made some contact, the pitching still did have problems.

Again, good at-bats came from unlikely sources, but the bad pitching did not.

Good Hitting from Young Players

Let’s start with the good. Dominic Ficociello continued to show that he means business this spring. He earned his third home run of the season. The young infielder now leads the team in home runs. Justin Upton is sitting behind him with two. Several other players have just one.

One of those players, JaCoby Jones, got his first home run of the season today against the Mets. Jones’s home run gave the Tigers the lead in the ninth inning. Unfortunately, the game was called in the ninth as the teams were tied at five.

Vets Getting the Job Done

Detroit Tigers
Mar 7, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) hits a single to left field during the first inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Nick Castellanos and Andrew Romine also performed well at the plate today. Castellanos hit a double in the sixth inning to score Andrew Romine who had two hits in this game. Casty’s work put the Tigers on the board after the Mets scored four runs off of a pair of home runs in the third inning. The Tigers did outhit the Mets 12 to 10, but they could not convert those hits to runs.

The Tigers did outhit the Mets 12 to 10, but they could not convert those hits to runs. But, after putting up a handful of goose eggs through March, 12 hits is a sign that the yesterday’s day off was useful.

Problematic Pitching, Still

Unfortunately, the Tigers pitching was flawed. Anibal Sanchez continues to show that his arm just won’t do what his mind wants it to do. He pitched in three innings. He gave up two hits in the first inning. The second inning showed signs of hope as Sanchez struck out one and took care of the side with a pop up and a line out.

In the third inning, Sanchez got into a nasty rhythm that became a depressing song and dance: single, home run, ground out, single, home run, fly out. He ended the inning with a strikeout, but not before the Mets had a 4-0 lead when all was said and done. Sanchez did not return for an encore.

Looking like 2016

This was Sanchez’s first start and it was reminiscent of several of his 2016 starts. But instead of giving up the home runs in the first inning, he did it in the third when batters started to see him for the second time. For a pitcher trying to get into the starting rotation, this is problematic. His stuff just isn’t there.

In an article from Steve Dorsey from MLB.com, Brad Ausmus said about Sanchez:

"“He has the ability to pitch up with the fastball. He gets some swings and misses up there. The fine line is if you miss, it’s potentially a home run.”More from Detroit Tigers NewsDetroit Tigers: Victor Reyes finding ways to get the job doneThe Detroit Tigers must cut their losses and release Jonathan SchoopDetroit Tigers: Garrett Hill’s new role and changed delivery are excellentDetroit Tigers: Joe Jiménez has rebounded in 2022Detroit Tigers: Is it finally time to move the fences in at Comerica Park?"

Sanchez is competing against Mike Pelfrey and Matt Boyd for a spot in the rotation. While Pelfrey did not pitch today (thank you), Boyd did. He pitched in the final three innings where he gave up three hits and one earned run. On a positive note, Boyd did strike out four batters. Boyd received praise from Ausmus for his work on the mound.

Good Work on the Mound

The best work came from the three innings in the middle of the game. Mark Lowe in the fourth, Alex Wilson in the fifth, and Shane Greene in the sixth had one hit and one strikeout between them. After previous outings from Lowe and Greene, this was a welcome outcome. Wilson continued his consistent performance as he struck out Asdrubal Cabrera.

Next: WBC Games to Watch for Tigers' Fans

Sanchez just does not have what it takes to be in the starting rotation. Batters can read his pitches too easily – thus the plethora of hits and dingers. His future with the team continues to be questionable.

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