Reese Olson got back on track for Tigers, but another gem was frustratingly wasted

The Tigers yet again pitched a gem with nothing to show for it.
Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Reese Olson added another gem to his 2024 resume on Monday, despite another "L" being added to his slate for the year.

With a fastball sitting near 96 mph and a seemingly unhittable changeup to go with it, Olson struck out eight Texas Rangers and allowed just one run in 6-1/3 innings. He allowed six hits and a walk while throwing 95 pitches.

Though he had help from his defense, unfortunately, he got no help from his batting order, a common theme this season. The Tigers stranded eight, due in part to three rally-ending GIDPs, while adding another seven strikeouts to their total. The result: the team's first 1-0 loss of the year. In 2023 the Tigers posted four of those.

Reese Olson got back on track for Tigers

Olson was up-and-down in his first two starts of the season. He kept a shutout into the sixth inning in the opener before the bullpen brought the rest of the game home for him. The Pirates got to him for six runs in his second appearance.

Olson's fastball averaged 94.3 mph, and he threw 14 of the fastest 16 pitches seen by batters of either team.

Olson's changeup was the most successful pitch of the game. He threw it 28 times with Rangers players offering at it 16 times. They whiffed 10 times (63% of swings, 36% of times thrown). Early on Olson seemed to mostly use his slider or sinker to set up the changeup, but the second time through the lineup he went to the pitch after his fastball more frequently.

Three of Olson's strikeouts came on changeups.

The slider was also a useful pitch for Olson, with five whiffs on 21 times thrown, per Baseball Savant. Rangers Batters missed 42% of the time they offered at it and struck out on the pitch several times as well.

It's a game Olson can continue to build on but in the end feels like another frustratingly missed opportunity for the Tigers.