Similar to how Akil Baddoo started the 2021 season off, water always finds its level. Many of us anticipated Baddoo wouldn’t be able to maintain the hot start, yet he’s become an everyday player for the Detroit Tigers. It’s the same story with Eric Haase. He’s in the midst of a tremendous, highly productive stretch, but it’s one that won’t continue for the duration of the season.
The same can be said about Tarik Skubal, just in a different way.
Skubal scuffled to begin the 2021 MLB season totaling just nine and a third innings over his first two starts allowing a whopping eight earned runs. Quite often, young strikeout pitchers struggle to pitch deep into games because they are regularly on a pitch count and short leash. This is exactly what has been limiting Skubal throughout the 2021 season.
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The 24-year old southpaw is fanning hitters at an incredible 11.3 strikeouts per nine rate, which is driving up his pitch count, in turn limiting his innings.
Despite leading the league with seven losses, Tarik Skubal is finding his way at the MLB level with the Detroit Tigers.
Wins and losses for a starting pitcher in today’s MLB is a stat that really doesn’t matter. The game has evolved so much over the years that starting pitchers pitch less than in years past, leaving the high leverage situations to the bullpen. It used to be 300 wins that got a starting pitcher into the Hall Of Fame, but I don’t expect that achievement to be the key to the Hall moving forward when you look at some of the current numbers.
Former Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander is the active wins leader with 226. Will the 38-year old be able to win 74 more games during his career? Likely not. Is he a Hall Of Fame pitcher? He certainly is.
Zack Greinke (37) sits at 214, Clayton Kershaw is at 182, Max Scherzer, at 36-years old, is currently at 180.
As Motor City Bengals site expert Roger Castillo points out in a recent article, Skubal posted less than desirable numbers this past April going 0-4 with a 6.14 ERA 22IP 23H 16R 8HR 14BB 18SO WHIP 1.68.
Skubal has followed that up with a stellar May and beginning to June. Over his last six starts, the young left-hander has fanned 50 batters, walking just 12 in 32 innings of work. During this time, he’s maintained an ERA of 3.09 producing a 3-3 record for the Detroit Tigers.
Skubal struck out a career-high 11 Chicago White Sox hitters in his last start through just five innings of work. He’d only allow one run en route to earning his third win of the season. Skubal is set to toe the rubber against the White Sox again in his next scheduled start this coming Friday in a rematch, this time at Comerica Park.
With Casey Mize pitching like an ace and Tarik Skubal looking to be Robin to his Batman is a tremendous asset to the organization for years to come.