The Detroit Tigers came into the weekend series with the Atlanta Braves struggling, losing five out of their last six. Luckily for the Tigers, the hot bats of the Braves decided to cool off when they came to Detroit–not to mention that the Tigers decided to start hitting again.
In the three game series the Braves only managed 18 hits, scoring only seven runs against the defending American League champions. On top of that, they were striking out at an incredible rate. Over the three games they struck out 39 times, 17 of them being in one game where Anibal Sanchez went to town. He set a franchise record with that mark for strikeouts in a nine inning game.
On the other side, the Tigers had their way with Atlanta pitching, scoring 25 runs on 37 hits. The top three in the lineup, being Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, and Miguel Cabrera batted an amazing .416 with 10 RBIs in the series. They were a huge reason for the success in this series, but the pitching staff might deserve the most credit.
As you can imagine the pitching for Detroit was solid, striking out the Braves hitters in large sums. Sanchez pitched his best game as a Tiger, and Rick Porcello bounced back from a rough outing where he failed to go even one full inning by going seven innings in a win on Saturday.
Probably the biggest surprise so far for the Tigers has been Doug Fister who now as four wins in his first four starts. He carved up the Braves on Sunday going seven innings and only giving up three runs. Considering that he was a big question mark coming out of Spring Training because of his lack of control he has impressed to say the least so far this year.
The Tigers have come within a half game of the Kansas City Royals in the American League Central with the win on Sunday, and they hope the momentum continues in the coming weeks and months so that they don’t have the worries of last year when they fell behind and had to struggle to get back on top. Although I see them having a nice finish to the month, I think this race will be tight for most of the summer.