Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer has been enjoying an excellent season. Just one season removed from winning the American League Rookie of the Year, Fulmer could arguably be described as Detroit’s best starter. Maybe his sophomore season success can be credited to his Detroit-like and blue collar offseason digging sewage lines.
However, Fulmer ran into some adversity yesterday against the Los Angeles Angels. Things were off to a terrific start with Detroit building a 4-1 lead entering the 5th inning. Fulmer had been in the zone all day up until that point. Then, the tide turned with the Angels connecting on several hits and taking the lead.
The right-hander was puzzled by the string of hits and was looking for answers:
“Whatever I threw just got hit. I felt like I made some good pitches, I felt like I made some bad pitches and they hit both of them,” said Fulmer, after allowing five runs on nine hits in an 11-4 loss to the Angels on Thursday. “Sometimes you gotta tip your cap to ’em. I don’t know if I was tipping.”
Fulmer took responsibility for giving up the lead, but, was definitely concerned by the sudden outburst of offense:
“I don’t mean to say this in a cocky way, by any means, but I’ve just never been hit that hard collectively together like that,” Fulmer said. “So I don’t know, I’m gonna have to go back and watch video tomorrow and see if (I was tipping.)”
Was Fulmer tipping his pitches? Did the Angels know what was coming before he threw the ball? Manager Brad Ausmus didn’t mention anything:
“They were making contact on him, even early. He wasn’t getting a lot of swings and misses,” said Brad Ausmus. “I just don’t think he had his best changeup and slider, because when he does you see a lot more swings and misses. Even the best pitchers in the game have off days.”
While the Angels certainly got a lot of hits all of a sudden, this Tigers blogger is ready to chalk it up to a combination of a bad day for Fulmer and a great day for the Angels. Let’s be honest, it’s not like the hit parade stopped when the Tigers relievers toed the rubber.
In this instance, I’m inclined to completely agree with Ausmus:
“This is a blip on the radar. I’m not even remotely concerned about it.”