Posted April 12, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox
When Drew Smyly imagined what his major league debut would be like, he never pictured anything as strange as the real thing.
Just a few days after struggling in his only Triple-A start, the 22-year-old looked far from ready for the big leagues when Tampa Bay immediately loaded the bases on two walks and a single.
''It's been an exciting week, but I was struggling,'' Smyly said after Detroit's 7-2 win Thursday. ''I couldn't get into a groove, but once I got the bases loaded, I told myself that I had to settle down and get out of it.''
Smyly did just that, getting Jeff Keppinger to pop out, and then striking out Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez to escape the inning.
''We had the game right there for the taking in the first inning, and we chose not to take it,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ''The kid was obviously nervous, so I felt good with Kepp up there.
''But he gets the pop-up and then two punch-outs, and we get nothing, Maddon said. ''It's tough to not get anything out of the inning, because the kid looked comfortable after that.''
Smyly ended up allowing one run on four hits in four-plus innings. He walked three and struck out four.
''I had an awesome time out there,'' he said. ''Obviously, only going four innings isn't good. You want to go deep into the game, but I threw too many pitches. With everything going on, though, I feel pretty good about it.''
Brennan Boesch provided more than enough offense for the Tigers, driving in four runs on his 27th birthday as the Tigers improved to 5-1.
''Today was a lot of fun,'' Boesch said. ''It's my birthday, and we're going to have a fun flight to Chicago.''
Collin Balester (1-0) allowed one run in two innings of relief. Despite having the American League's best record, the Tigers do not have a win from their starting rotation. Against the Rays, five Tigers relievers combined to allow one run on three hits in five innings.
''They did an excellent job out there,'' said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. ''When you have a young starter out there, you know you are probably going to be into your bullpen. You might as well just accept that.''
The Tigers trailed 1-0 until scoring three runs off Jeff Niemann (0-1) in the fifth. Alex Avila walked and score on Andy Dirks' one-out triple. Ryan Raburn struck out, but Austin Jackson walked and stole second before Boesch's two-run single.
The Rays got a run back on Evan Longoria's RBI single in the seventh, but Keppinger lined into a double play and Phil Coke retired Ben Zobrist to end the inning.
''That's just one of those plays,'' Maddon said. ''We had plenty of chances to get runs today, but we didn't take them. Detroit was relentless today, and we weren't.''
Boesch hit another two-run single, this one off Jake McGee, in the bottom of the inning. Avila hit an RBI triple in the eighth, then scored Detroit's seventh run on a wild pitch.
Carlos Pena opened the scoring with a homer in the third. Smyly hit Pena with a pitch to lead off the fifth and was taken out for Balester.
Notes: Jeremy Hellickson, who was taken to a hospital after being hit in the head during batting practice Wednesday, passed a battery of tests and is expected to make his scheduled start on Saturday in Boston. ... The Tigers are starting the season with nine straight day games, the longest streak by an American League team since the White Sox in 2004. ... Rays catcher Jose Lobato left the game with shoulder soreness, but Maddon didn't think it was a serious.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
I knew it would be fun to surf around the headlines after Drew Smyly’s first major league start yesterday. His final line of 4 IP, 4 K, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 1 ER was sure to cause a divide amongst writers and fans.
If you look at the final ERA line, 2.25, then you’ve got to be pleased with what he did. We even have James Schmehl of MLive saying that Smyly impressed, and that...
Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
1. Brief Previews for Select Games
2. Three Scouting Reports on Drew Smyly
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Los Angeles (AL) Radio
Brief Previews for Select Games
Here are brief previews for three of today’s games — each including the preferred television feed of FanGraphs readers, per the results...
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Handing the ball to Justin Verlander gives them a great chance to extend it.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and MVP looks to dominate his second start of the season just as he did his first when the Tigers host the Tampa...
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The sender: Miguel Cabrera.
The message: Welcome.
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It's all a matter of how you choose to view it.
If the Tampa Bay Rays had known that they'd leave the chilly and challenging confines of Comerica Park Thursday with a 4-2 record, tied for the AL East lead six games into the season, they'd have no doubt been thrilled.
If the Rays had known that one of those wins would come against Detroit's 2012 AL Cy Young Award...
The Rays and Jeremy Hellickson got quite a scare on Wednesday morning. The prized young pitcher was hit on the head with a ball during batting practice in Detroit, and he was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Fortunately, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon told reporters that Hellickson was not bleeding and never lost conciousness while being tended to. According...
DETROIT (AP) -- Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has been taken to a hospital as a precaution after being hit in the head by a ball during batting practice before Wednesday's game at Detroit.
Manager Joe Maddon says the 25-year-old Hellickson was not bleeding and did not lose consciousness.
Hellickson is scheduled to start Saturday at Boston. He was throwing a...
Tampa Bay Rays right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was struck in the side of the head by a ball during the team's batting practice Wednesday morning, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.Hellickson had to be carted out of the stadium by paramedics and was taken to a local hospital to get checked out.The 25-year-old wasn't bleeding and didn't lose consciousness...
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True to form, they saved their best for last Wednesday on a chilly Detroit afternoon in which nothing had gone right.
For eight innings against one of the best pitchers in baseball, Tigers ace Justin Verlander, the Kings of the Comeback looked utterly helpless.
They didnt get their first hit off the 2011 AL Cy...
Over the weekend the Detroit Tigers welcomed in the Tampa Bay Rays, who were coming off a sweep of the New York Yankees, to Comerica Park. With plenty of strong pitching, this series was bound to be good.
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First Pitch: Friday 2:05, Saturday 4:05, Sunday 1:35
Arms: Friday: David Price, LHP (1-0, 2.84 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett, RHP (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
Saturday: Jeremy Hellickson, RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz, RHP (0-0, 15.75 ERA)
Sunday: Matt Moore, LHP (0-0, 2.70 ERA) vs. Felix Doubront, LHP (0-0, 3.60 ERA)
Yard: Fenway Park ...