The Detroit Tigers are 2-3 through their first five games of 2019, with the starting pitching being somewhat of a bright spot to start the season.
Without Michael Fulmer for the foreseeable future, not many Tigers fans expected the team’s starting rotation to be this solid, at least not this soon. With each pitcher now having a start under his belt in the new season, let’s break down each man in the rotation’s first outing.
Jordan Zimmermann put on a show in his Opening Day start, taking over as the team’s top man in the rotation with Fulmer out. He may not have gotten the win, but Zimmermann looked nearly unstoppable allowing no runs and giving up just one hit in seven innings. Not only did Zimmermann not give up a single walk, he never even found himself in a 3-0 count. Without Michael Fulmer to start Opening Day, Jordan Zimmermann showed Tigers fans they should hardly worry with him as the number one starter.
Matt Boyd had a tough task on his hands following up Zimmermann’s outstanding Opening Day. Despite giving up four runs on five hits and having to take the loss, Boyd had a fairly solid night on the mound. His ten Ks in just five innings could be a very promising point to build upon, and it seemed like the largest thing hampering Boyd’s first start of 2019 was a total lack of run support from the Tigers’ offense.
Like Boyd, Spencer Turnbull’s first start of the year may have yielded better results with some help from Detroit’s bats. Turnbull surrendered three runs on four hits in five innings in the Tigers’ second consecutive shutout loss of the opening series to Toronto. Turnbull looked on fire out of the gate, not allowing a single hit through the first three innings, but things unraveled in the fourth, where the only three runs of the game were scored. The righty struck out five batters in the start but looked at his best by getting hitters to put the ball in play creating easy plays for the defense behind him.
On Sunday’s win to close out the Toronto series, Detroit got another impressive start on the mound, this time from 2013 all-star Matt Moore. Moore gave up only two hits and no runs to the Blue Jays’ hitters but failed to get a decision as after he left the game Detroit blew its 3-0 lead. Moore did a solid job at stifling Toronto’s hitters, with all six of his Ks on the day coming with batters swinging on strike three.
After splitting last season between San Diego and St. Louis, Tyson Ross made his Tigers debut on Monday night in New York against the Yankees. Ross allowed three runs, two coming on solo homers, on four hits in the loss. Though Ross didn’t look awful in the start, there are definitely areas to improve upon, such as not leaving hanging fastballs right in the sweet spot for proven sluggers like Gary Sanchez.
What did you like or dislike from the Tigers starters after their first starts of 2019? Feel free to let us know in the comments section down below.