Walks hurt Tarik Skubal, comeback fails in Detroit Tigers' 4-3 loss to San Francisco Giants

·4 min read

Walks haunted Tarik Skubal throughout his start, especially at the beginning and the end. He pitched into the fifth inning and struck out five, but his four walks stood out above all else.

The 25-year-old has given up 18 runs over 18⅓ innings in his past four starts, for a 8.84 ERA. He posted a 2.33 ERA in his first 11 starts and was the frontrunner to represent the Detroit Tigers at the All-Star Game in July.

Skubal survived a two-walk third inning, but the San Francisco Giants scored on walks in the first and fifth innings. The Tigers rallied late but lost, 4-3, in Tuesday's two-game series opener at Oracle Park.

Tigers pitcher Tarik Skubal pitches during the first inning on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.
Tigers pitcher Tarik Skubal pitches during the first inning on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.

After seven of eight games on the road trip, the Tigers (28-44) have five losses despite winning two of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. They were swept by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park before traveling to Phoenix.

The Tigers scored those runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The offense produced three runs on 10 hits, four walks and seven strikeouts. Detroit finished 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

SUBHEAD

In the sixth inning, Robbie Grossman doubled off Giants left-hander Carlos Rodon, who carved up the Tigers last season in three starts for the Chicago White Sox: 2.25 ERA with five walks and 27 strikeouts.

A wild pitch advanced Grossman to third base.

Miguel Cabrera bounced the ball into right field for his 3,056th career hit and an RBI single for the Tigers' first run, cutting the Giants lead to 4-1. With that single, Cabrera passed Rickey Henderson for 26th on MLB's all-time hits list.

Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera hits a single against the Giants during the first inning on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.
Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera hits a single against the Giants during the first inning on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.

Cabrera went 2-for-4 and is hitting .300 in 62 games this season. Rookie center fielder Riley Greene finished 2-for-3 with a single, double and walk. The fourth-inning double marked first extra-base hit of his career.

After Greene's double, fellow rookie Spencer Torkelson stranded him on a flyout to center field. In the sixth, Greene followed up Cabrera's single with a single of his own. Once again, Torkelson stranded him. This time, he struck out swinging on Rodon's fourth-pitch slider.

Rodon allowed one run on seven hits in six innings, without a walk.

Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson stops the ball during the first inning against the Giants on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.
Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson stops the ball during the first inning against the Giants on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.

He struck out four batters and threw 56 of 86 pitches for strikes. Rodon cruised past the Tigers with only seven swings and misses — four four-seam fastballs and three siders — but 19 called strikes.

The Tigers faced right-handed reliever John Brebbia in the seventh inning. Willi Castro and Jeimer Candelario drilled back-to-back doubles, with Candelario driving in Castro to make the deficit 4-2.

The next three batters, including pinch-hitter Harold Castro (for Tucker Barnhart), were retired, stranding Candelario at second base. Grossman struck out swinging and squandered the Tigers' chance for another run.

A seven-pitch walk, the Tigers' first free pass of the game, put Greene on base with two outs in the eighth inning. A four-pitch walk added Torkelson to the bases for Willi Castro. He drilled an RBI single — trimming the Giants' lead to 4-3 — against righty reliever Dominic Leone. Candelario chipped in another walk to load the bases for Jonathan Schoop.

The Giants countered with righty Camilo Doval.

Schoop struck out swinging on a slider.

In the ninth, Robbie Grossman drew a one-out walk, but Javier Báez grounded into a game-ending double play. Báez finished 1-for-5 with one strikeout. He hit a single off the right-field wall in the fourth inning but was thrown out on his way to second base.

Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario hits a single during the fifth inning against the Giants on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.
Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario hits a single during the fifth inning against the Giants on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.

SUBHEAD

The Giants capitalized on walks to beat Skubal and the Tigers.

Skubal allowed three runs on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 4⅔ innings, throwing 66 of 108 pitches for strikes. He posted 13 swings and misses and 22 called strikes.

For the 13 whiffs, Skubal earned them on eight four-seam fastballs, three sliders, one two-seam fastball and one changeup. He got seven called strikes on both his four-seamer and slider.

Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson tags Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski along the first base line in the bottom of the first inning on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.
Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson tags Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski along the first base line in the bottom of the first inning on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in San Francisco.

Wilmer Flores, the second batter of the game, drew a six pitch walk and moved into scoring position on Joc Pederson's ensuing double. Evan Longoria singled to score both Flores and Pederson. He put the Giants ahead 2-0.

The Giants drove in two more runs in the fifth. Only one of them was charged to Skubal, but he surely felt responsible for both. With two outs, he walked Darin Ruf on five pitches.

Right-handed reliever Wily Peralta replaced Skubal.

Peralta got ahead 1-2 in the count to Longoria, who kept the inning alive with a single. A wild pitch pushed Ruf to third base and Longoria to second base. Mike Yastrzemski plated both with a single to center field for a 4-0 advantage.

For his 86 pitches, Skubal fired 36 four-seam fastballs (33%), 32 sliders (30%), 21 two-seamers (19%), 10 changeups (9%) and curveballs (8%). The Giants averaged an 88.3 mph exit velocity.

Left-hander Andrew Chafin and righty Joe Jimenez tossed scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Jimenez had one strikeout, ending his streak of striking out multiple batters at eight appearances in a row.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Walks hurt Tarik Skubal in Detroit Tigers' 4-3 loss at SF Giants