Detroit Tigers’ Tarik Skubal strikes out six in 2-0 loss to Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Detroit Tigers lost 2-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies at BayCare Ballpark on Wednesday, falling 7-9 in the Grapefruit League game.

What happened

Left-handed Tarik Skubal started and scored three goalless innings. He allowed one hit and three walks – with six spikes – over his 70 pitches (38 strokes). This spring, Skubal has thrown eight scoreless frames with three hits, three walks and 12 strikeouts. Former two-time all-star Julio Tehran threw four goalless innings. He collected seven strikes and only allowed one hit without walks. His fastball averaged 91.7 mph and hit 92 mph several times. The lead-off batsman Robbie Grossman went 2-3, but the Tigers only managed five hits.

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Start up

Skubal struggled with his command at the start of the third round and went with Jeff Mathis and Roman Quinn to start the inning. He responded by pitching a sacrifice from Scott Kingery who allowed both runners to move forward and beating Bryce Harper with a nasty 2-2 slider in the middle of an eight-pitch bat game. He then fought for seven places with Alec Bohm and got him to show up in a lazy area to end the inning unscathed. Skubal got swings and misses with his four-seater (four), alternation (two), slider (four) and curveball (four) and also had strikes with all four offers. His fastball averaged 94.4 mph and hit a top speed of 96.5 mph. Although Skubal struggled with his fastball command, it was encouraging to see success on his off-speed fields.

On the plate

None of the Tiger’s hits were for additional bases. Willi Castro, Renato Nunez and Jonathan Schoop were singles. Thanks to Isaac Paredes and Dustin Garneau, the tigers walked twice compared to eleven strikers.

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On the hill

While Skubal was supposed to throw four innings, he was limited to three because of his number of pitches. Right-handed Joe Jimenez started in the fourth inning, but couldn’t get three outs. He gave up a solo home run against Odubel Herrera and doubled down 2-0 against Darick Hall and Ronald Torreyes. Manager AJ Hinch asked Robbie Ross Jr. to replace Jimenez – he threw 31 pitches (19 strikes) – with two outs. Tehran tossed the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The right-hander effectively hit the strike zone. He recorded seven hits in four goalless innings and allowed only one hit, a double for Hall.


Paredes (second base), Spencer Torkelson (first base), Ryan Kreidler (third base) and Riley Greene (right field) appeared as substitutes for the late game. Greene swung and landed on the floor. Paredes went for a walk and was hit with bad luck. Torkelson swung on three curveballs in the ninth inning.

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Tigers outfielder Robbie Grossman swings on a field during the second innings of their 2-0 loss in spring practice to the Phillies on Wednesday March 17, 2021 in Clearwater, Fla.

Three stars

1. Tehran, 2. Skubal, 3. Grossman.

Next up

Friday versus Toronto Blue Jays at Lakeland.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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