HOUSTON — If the previous 5 video games are any sign of what’s to come, the Detroit Tigers — in spite of losses in 3 of those video games — are on their method to getting a much-needed offending increase.
The Houston Astros almost blanked the Tigers in Thursday’s four-game series opener at Minute Maid Park.
Astros better Ryan Pressly had 2 outs and 2 strikes versus Jeimer Candelario with a runner on very first base in the top of the ninth inning. Candelario connected the video game with a two-run crowning achievement, however the Tigers lost, 3-2, on Kyle Tucker’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.
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“This is a tough one,” Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhart stated. “This one stings, maybe more than most. But I’m just proud of our guys for competing and staying with it. … Candy had a great at-bat there in the ninth inning against one of the better closers in the American League. It speaks to the grit this team has.”
The Tigers (8-16) brought their finest players to the plate in the ninth. Pressly retired Javier Báez and Austin Meadows, however Miguel Cabrera, who ended up 3-for-4, kept the inning alive with his 3,008th profession struck to pass Al Kaline on MLB’s all-time leaderboard.
Facing Candelario, Pressly worked ahead with back-to-back curveballs, both fouled, prior to a raised fastball missed out on the strike zone for a 1-2 count.
“With two strikes, you don’t want to look for pitches,” Candelario stated, “you want to look for strikes. Early in the count, you want to look for pitches. I just tried to be short to the ball and see what he’s going to throw.”
Candelario squashed a fourth-pitch curveball.
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Over the previous 5 video games, Candelario is striking .444 (8-for-18) with 2 doubles, 2 crowning achievement, 3 RBIs, no strolls and 2 strikeouts. He struck .136 (9-for-66) without a homer in his very first 18 video games.
“He’s had a nice couple games,” Tigers supervisor A.J. Hinch stated. “It’s important for him to get started.”
Still, Candelario’s crowning achievement wasn’t enough.
The Tigers’ offense continues to scuffle.
Left-hander Tarik Skubal talented the Tigers 6 innings of two-run ball with 9 strikeouts. He boasts a 3.04 age with 3 strolls and 29 strikeouts in 26⅔ innings this season, consisting of a 1.99 age over his previous 4 starts.
“I felt like I threw the ball well, but it didn’t matter — we lost,” Skubal stated. “If I don’t give up those two runs, the two-run bomb that we hit in the ninth is a game-winning home run. All that matters is winning, so it doesn’t really matter what I did.”
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The Tigers have actually scored 11 runs with Skubal on the mound: one run April 10 versus the Chicago White Sox, no runs April 15 versus the Kansas City Royals, 9 runs April 23 versus the Colorado Rockies, one run April 28 versus the Minnesota Twins and no runs Thursday versus the Astros.
The Tigers’ offense ranks 25th in MLB with an 87 wRC+. They’re dead last in MLB with 11 crowning achievement and a .091 separated power, and they’re 27th in MLB with a .620 on-base-plus-slugging portion.
It’s not a surprise the Tigers rank 29th with 3.08 runs per video game.
Candelario was Detroit’s most constant player in 2020 and 2021, striking .278 and getting on base at a .356 clip in 201 video games. His 42 doubles last season connected him for top place in MLB.
Although Candelario appears to be on the best track, the Tigers require a multitude of other gamers — particularly 2nd baseman Jonathan Schoop — to make comparable offending enhancements.
“When you get good ABs, when you hit the ball on the barrel, your confidence starts to grow,” Candelario stated. “It’s difficult with one swing. But what about two swings? I’m a switch hitter. I got to continue working really hard.”
Contact Evan Petzold at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and register for our Tigers newsletter.
This short article initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Jeimer Candelario livening up; Detroit Tigers’ offense still anemic