Matt Manning's self-critical nature could be driving force in his Tigers' success

Tigers' Matt Manning is staying humble after getting sent back to Triple-A.
Detroit Tigers v New York Mets - Game Two
Detroit Tigers v New York Mets - Game Two / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

A very sparse crowd at Citi Field on April 3 was treated to a show in the first eight innings of Game 2 in a double-header, but certainly not by the home team. Matt Manning was on the bump for the Detroit Tigers, a 27th-man called up for the day after getting sent down to the minors when the season started thanks to a crowded Tigers rotation.

Manning pitched 5-2/3 no-hit innings before being pulled. He walked four batters but the Mets could never make them count. The ball went to Tyler Holton, who preserved the combined no-hit effort into the eighth when Harrison Bader tragically broke things up with a single. The Mets ended up walking it off in the ninth for their first win of the season, and Manning was sent back to Toledo despite his mightily impressive showing.

He reflected on it a few days later, briefly lamenting his minor league status but saying that he was just excited to get any opportunity in the majors. He was also rather self-deprecating about his effort against the Mets, saying "I was like, I don't know how they're [not] getting any hits right now because this is not good stuff."

It's not exactly an easy thing to sit major league hitters down for 5+ innings, even if they're the Mets, but maybe staying humble will be Manning's recipe for success going forward.

Matt Manning is staying humble and keeping his head down ever after no-hit effort for the Tigers

Competition for the last spot in the Tigers' rotation was steep going into Opening Day, with some even wondering if the team would turn to a six-man to accommodate Manning and Reese Olson, who were certainly battling head-to-head for the fifth slot.

The Tigers eventually went with Olson and didn't opt into a six-man, but Manning is nipping at his heels. Manager AJ Hinch announced Manning will return again Saturday as the 27th-man call up in the second game of a double-header against the Twins.

Even though he's stuck in Triple-A for now and has only made that one start, it's reassuring to know that the Tigers have some great depth they can pluck up to the majors at a moment's notice, and depend on to fight hard for a future spot.