The Detroit Tigers came into Friday’s game ranked last in the majors by scoring 2.76 runs per game.
Things didn’t improve on Friday when the Tigers managed just three hits in their 6-1 loss to the host Cleveland Guardians. Detroit will look for a better performance on Saturday when it continues its three-game series.
“We’re trying,” Tigers shortstop Javier Baez said recently. “Everything’s got to click. It’s early in the year, and we’re trying to build. Everybody needs to play. They’re going to have ups and downs, and we will see how they come out of it.
“It’s a process, and we got to go down to come up. There’s no pressure here. We just gotta go out there and play.”
Baez was signed to a six-year, $140 million contract in December to add some punch to the lineup. However, that has not been the case. He’s batting .205 with two home runs and 11 RBIs.
He’s far from being the only players in a batting slump on manager A.J. Hinch’s club. Spencer Torkelson (.179) and Jonathan Schoop (.157) are batting under .200, while Robbie Grossman is at .200 and Jeimer Candelario is at .201.
Things might not get any easier on Saturday when Detroit faces Cleveland ace Shane Bieber (1-2, 3.72 ERA). He’ll be opposed by rookie right-hander Alex Faedo (0-1, 2.87).
The right-handed Bieber is 6-2 with a 2.28 ERA in eight career starts against the Tigers.
This will be Faedo’s first start vs. the Guardians.
The top three batters in the Cleveland order were a combined 7-for-12 with five RBIs and five runs scored on Friday. Leadoff batter Myles Straw was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs, while Amed Rosario was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs. No. 3 hitter Jose Ramirez was 2-for-4 with a triple and three-run homer. He leads the majors with 37 RBIs.
Many wondered if Ramirez would even play on Friday. He had X-rays taken after he fouled a pitch off his left shin on Thursday against Cincinnati.
“I was concerned because there was a lot of pain,” Ramirez said through an interpreter.
DeMarlo Hale was the acting manager on Friday with Terry Francona undergoing a medical procedure. Hale asked Ramirez if he could play and he was given the thumb’s up.
“You trust his word,” Hale said. “When he said he’s good to go, he’s good to go. He’s earned that.”
Both starting pitchers came out of Friday’s game with injuries. Detroit ace Tarik Skubal was hit by a line drive off his left leg and was taken out of the game.
Winning pitcher Aaron Civale came out after a left glute cramp.
“He had a cramp when he fell,” Hale said. “We weren’t going to take any chances. He was already at 90-some pitches.”
–Field Level Media