But since that hot start, Skubal has hit a wall and he has looked much more like a bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher than an ace.
On Tuesday night, the Tigers took on the San Francisco Giants and the hope was that Skubal would get back on track with a solid performance.
Unfortunately, that was not the case at all.
A.J. Hinch explains what’s holding Tarik Skubal back as Tigers fall to Giants
During the game, in which the Tigers lost 4-3, Tarik Skubal gave up four hits and three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings of work. But what really hurt Skubal on Tuesday night was his control.
Skubal walked four Giants batters while having to throw 108 pitches in less than five innings.
Following the game, Tigers’ manager A.J. Hinch spoke to reporters and explained that Skubal is “carrying one pitch to the next pitch.”
“He’s carrying one pitch to the next pitch, and that’s not his M.O. usually,” manager A.J. Hinch told reporters in San Francisco. “He getting frustrated with himself when he doesn’t execute. The at-bats that are getting longer and longer, he’s got to collect himself a little bit better and stay in grind mode until he can figure some things out.”
After starting out the season with a 2.33 ERA over his first 11 starts, Skubal has now posted an 8.84 ERA over his past four starts.
Overall, Skubal, who is still just 25, is 5-6 with a 3.75 ERA.
If the Tigers are going to turn things around, they are going to need Tarik Skubal to pitch like an ace. Even if it is not quite fair to give him that title at this point of his career.