Things didn’t start out to well for Anibal Sanchez. But it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish and Sanchez completely dismantled the Kansas City Royals Thursday night. After a 30-pitch first inning and allowing an early run, Sanchez pitched an additional 6 1/3 without allowing another run as the Detroit Tigers cruised to a crucial victory in the series opener setting the Tigers up to gain even more distance on the rest of the AL Central.
Today’s results were nothing new for Anibal Sanchez who has now won four of his last five decisions with the Tigers winning all five of those games in which he has started. Sanchez has quietly been the Tigers second best starter in what is arguably the best rotation in all of baseball and is finally getting his wins to match up with the rest of his outstanding numbers.
The other key part to Anibal’s start was that he preserved a bullpen that had been used a lot recently and heading into a doubleheader Friday, desperately needed to be spared. After the first inning, it looked like it would be taxed again but Sanchez settled in masterfully mixing all four of his premier pitches and it seemed that the Royals had no clue how to attack it.
Victories like tonight is why the Tigers are such a dangerous team because they don’t need a lot of offense to be able to grab wins. With the starting staff on the roll, it’s on. With Anibal Sanchez on the roll, it only takes just a few runs before moving out of the way to let the best starting staff in the league take care of the rest.
Brent Smith is a Detroit Tigers writer for RantSports.com.