A common theme for detroit tigers manager AJ Hinch this spring was discipline at the batter’s plate
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As the tigers confront the host Kansas City Royals In the clincher of a three-game series on Wednesday, Hinch’s emphasis appears to be producing results.
Detroit’s strikeout rate has dropped significantly. After sniffing more than 10 times per game through the end of April, the rate dropped to 7.7 in May.
“There’s been a concentrated effort from the players,” Hinch said. “At first, as a team, we were a little hesitant to control the strike zone, thinking we had to concede every first pitch. That doesn’t mean you can’t hit the first pitch right down the middle for an extra-base hit or hit damage. I think our group as a whole has accepted when to be on the move and when to be patient.”
tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson drew four walks Monday, the most for a tigers hitter since JD Martinez had four against the Baltimore Orioles on May 16, 2017
“After being the most aggressive hitter in April swinging the first pitch and still hitting the ball hard when he does, that’s a lot of progress,” Hinch said.
The slight downside to the manager’s optimism regarding offensive selectivity is the fact that his batters have struck out 12 times in each of the first two games of the current series, a 10-inning 8-5 victory for Detroit on Monday. and a 4-1 win at Kansas City. victory on Tuesday.
royalty Right-hander Zack Greinke (1-5, 4.82 ERA) will look to add more punches when he faces Detroit on Wednesday. Lefty Matthew Boyd (3-3, 6.21) will start for the tigers
In 32 career games (29 starts) against Detroit, Greinke is 13-8 with a 2.84 ERA. He was winless in two starts against the tigers last year and hasn’t won them since 2012
Miguel Cabrera has enjoyed some success against Greinke, producing a .302 average and one home run in 43 at-bats.
Boyd is 7-11 with a 5.44 ERA in 27 appearances (26 starts) against the royalty, the opponent he has faced more than any other. The last time he started against Kansas City was June 14, 2021 and he hasn’t beaten the royalty since its last start of 2020
Salvador Perez has the most experience against Boyd in the royalty‘ hitters, hitting .239 with two home runs in 46 at-bats
Greinke will try to provide some time to help a tired relief staff that has managed three bullpen games in the last 11 contests.
Kansas City sent its 10th different starting pitcher to the mound Tuesday as Mike Mayers made his 200th career pitching appearance, but only his seventh career start. Among American League teams, only the Tampa Bay Rays have used more starters (11).
The club has only one win by a starter since Brad Keller beat the Chicago White Sox on May 10, helping Kansas City fall 3-8.
royalty relievers have 16 losses by lead missed, tied for second-most in the majors, including eight losses by lead missed this month
Kansas City’s beleaguered staff could soon get some help from lefty Daniel Lynch, who threw 61 pitches in six scoreless innings for Triple-A Omaha against Saint Paul on Tuesday. Lynch, who suffered a left shoulder strain March 23, has made five rehab starts, four with Omaha, going 2-0 with a 3.98 ERA.
“Everything is progressing as expected,” Kansas City coach Matt Quatraro said. “We have to make sure he arrives (Wednesday) and feels good, and then we’ll try to come up with a plan.”
–Field level media
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