The Detroit Tigers may just want to play all their remaining games in Houston this year. After a convincing 6-2 win last night, they continued their offensive onslaught and dominant pitching to take their second game in a row from the Houston Astros. Matthew Boyd was at the top of his game and Akil Baddoo hit another homer to kick off a five home run outburst from the Tigers as they won 8-2.
Jake Odorizzi and Boyd traded scoreless first innings, Boyd needing only 9 pitches, in what would become a theme for him tonight. Nomar Mazara got the Tigers first hit off Odorizzi. The first two batters in the second reached against Boyd, both on well placed hits that the Tigers defense could not do anything with. The Astros scored first on a Myles Straw RBI single to centerfield. Boyd was not fazed by it and struck out the next two batters to end the inning. Baddoo picked up his pitcher to leadoff the third as he drilled a full count changeup over the tall left field wall for an opposite field home run, his fourth homer of the year. Boyd followed that up with a ten-pitch shutdown inning.
Jeimer Candelario led off the fourth inning with a leadoff double that was a few feet from being a home run. Mazara brought him home with a two-run towering opposite field home run, which gave the Tigers the lead. With Odorizzi’s pitch count climbing, he battled Renado Nuñez hard for an inning ending double play ball, clearly aware of the looming Rule 5 shaped shadow standing on deck. It would not go his way though as Nuñez hit another two-run home run after a ten pitch at bat. Baddoo then would end Odorizzi’s night on a bloop single to center field.
Akil Baddoo has become the first Tigers player to drive in a run in six-or-more of his first eight career games since Don Ross in 1931 (also six games).
Only four players in Major League history have had more than six such games, most recently Jorge Soler with seven in 2014.
— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) April 14, 2021
Bryan Abreu got the call for the Astros and promptly picked off Baddoo on a play that was initially ruled safe. However, after review, while it was close, the umpires ruled him out. Abreu then struck out Robbie Grossman to end the inning.
After sitting for nearly a half hour Boyd came out and got a 1-2-3 inning on nine pitches, though the first two outs were hard line outs to Baddoo in center field. Candelario reached again on a one out single in the top of the fifth and then Wilson Ramos followed him with the third two-run home run of the game for the Tigers. Boyd followed that up with just a lone single in a fourteen-pitch fifth inning.
Baddoo led off to start the sixth and fell behind 0-2 to the new pitcher, Blake Taylor, before working the count full. He was called out on a pitch painted at the top corner of the zone and was not happy, visibly reacting in front of the umpire. This caused A.J. Hinch to fly out of the dugout to protect his young charge and calm things down. Afterwards Baddoo could be seen with both Hinch and bench coach George Lombard in a heart-to-heart teaching moment about the fine line of playing with emotion and showing up the umpire. Reyes followed with a double but for the first time in three innings, the Astros were able to keep the Tigers off the board. Boyd did not seem to care; he still retired the Astros allowing just another harmless single.
I imagine Baddoo was upset because the previous elevated fastball was called a ball, but it looks like the ump was correct (on that one, at least). Nice pitch from Taylor. pic.twitter.com/SBuNcHaekt
— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) April 14, 2021
Dusty Baker had clearly seen enough to this point that he emptied his bench to start the seventh inning. The Tigers went quietly in the seventh inning, while Boyd came ever so close to finishing his night with seven full innings, but a couple close pitches couldn’t temp Jason Castro to swing and thus Boyd’s first walk of the night was his last batter. He pitched a brilliant game, constantly attacking the zone with all his pitches, which he had great command of. His final line: 6.2 IP, 1 R, 6H, 1 BB, 4K.
Matthew Boyd has now gone 19.1 IP without giving up a HR.
The last time he made three consecutive starts without giving up a HR was April 10th, 2019.
— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) April 14, 2021
Wilson Ramos added a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning, his second home run of the ninth. Derek Holland came in to close out the game and allowed only a single run to wrap things up and give the Tigers a chance to sweep a series in Houston for the first time since 2013, which is also the last time they won a series in Houston. That is, until tonight.
- As of the time of publication of this article, Wilson Ramos and his six home runs leads all of MLB.
- While Baddoo doesn’t quite have enough batted ball events to qualify for the Statcast leaderboard in 2021, if he did, his barrels/PA % (17.4%) would trail only Shohei Otani, and be just ahead of old friend J.D. Martinez among all qualified MLB hitters.
The complete list of Detroit Tigers with 4 home runs in the first 8 games of their career:
— Motor City Bengals (@MCB_Tigers) April 14, 2021