The Detroit Tigers earned a series victory over the Boston Red Sox this afternoon, enjoying an 8-1 triumph thanks to the 1st scoreless start for pitcher Tarik Skubal since late May. His strong performance enabled Detroit to improve to 44-34 since May 8 and 13-7 since the All-Star break.
For Skubal, it wasn’t about putting pressure on himself, but simply doing whatever was needed to help his team win.
“I didn’t put any more pressure (on myself),” Skubal said. “There was no more emphasis on this one as opposed to another win. I’m just glad that our team won and we won the series against a really good team. That’s where I’m at. I just did my part to help our team win today, and that’s what I try to do every time I take the ball.”
Four of the most dangerous hitters in Boston’s lineup, Enrique Hernandez, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts, went a combined 1-for-10 against Skubal this afternoon.
“I wanted to attack these guys up in the zone with the fastball but then kept them off-balance with everything else,” Skubal said. “They’re a really good fastball hitting team, especially in fastball counts. They do a really good job of hitting those pitches. Being able to throw off-speed in those counts and attack up in the zone with my four-seam fastball was big for me.”
Skipper AJ Hinch attested to Skubal’s mental fortitude, which he said was the key to today’s win.
“He doesn’t waver,” Hinch said. “Mentally, he’s very strong and has a plan. He incorporated a wide array of pitches that he needed. He went to a slow curveball. He went to a couple changeups. I saw him throw a 3-2 changeup to Devers. He fouled it off, left-on-left. Obviously the good fastball today really set a good tone. He came up with big strikeouts when he was dealing with traffic.”
– – Quotes via The Detroit Free Press Link – –