If you spent your evening watching the NFL Draft to see which player(s) the Detroit Lions would select to help bolster their roster for the future, you chose wisely. Detroit’s professional baseball team played an actual game, and it was, predictably, less enjoyable than staring at Roger Goodell’s face for three hours. The Tigers were blown out by Gerrit Cole and the Yankees, 10-0.
This one was over early. Giancarlo Stanton doubled with one out in the first, moved to third base on a wild pitch from Tigers starter Tarik Skubal, then scored on a Gio Urshela single. Clint Frazier doubled the lead with a solo home run in the second, and a pair of solo shots from Aarons Judge and Hicks doubled it again in the third, ending Skubal’s night. Buck Farmer gave up a walk, two singles, and a Judge grand slam before departing with two outs in the fourth. Bryan Garcia gave up another run after that, making it 9-0 before the game was even official.
Meanwhile, all the Tigers offense really did was end any suspense of a no-hitter, with three singles sprinkled in between nine Cole strikeouts in the first four frames. He added two more in the fifth, and the only real suspense remaining came in the form of three questions.
- Would Cole pitch long enough to threaten the 20-strikeout threshold?
- Would the Tigers score a run and force me to tediously edit various parts of this recap?
- Would the Lions draft a quarterback?
The answer to all three was no, to little surprise.
If you’re looking for a positive to take away from this game (aside from any desired roster moves that take place after this is published), Skubal posted his highest fastball spin rate of the young season. After averaging 2,422 rpm with his four-seamer last year, he entered this game at just 2,214 rpm, slightly below MLB average per Baseball Savant. In this game, Skubal averaged 2,325 rpm, and got as high as 2,643 rpm, his second-highest mark of the year (and I’m not sure I trust the Statcast figures on the 3,000 rpm outlier he managed against the A’s earlier this month). Brandon took a closer look at what was ailing Skubal earlier this year; while this was a night to forget, hopefully the underlying numbers mean he’s on his way back to form.