Never mind more complicated examinations of the Tigers' record. This one is simple. They are 1-0 when Anibal Sanchez sets a Tigers' team record for most strikeouts in a game — as he did with 17 on Friday night against the Atlanta Braves. That's the most ever by Tigers' right-hander. By a Tigers' left-hander. By anyone who has ever pitched for them. The previous Tigers' record was 16 by Mickey Lolich, which he accomplished twice: May 23 and June 9, 1969. No Tigers' right-hander had ever struck out more than 15 in a game. As for the outcome, having some fun in the relatively tropical comfort of Comerica Park — relative to freezing their butts off, that is — the Tigers crushed the Braves, 10-0. The best-record-in-the-majors Braves, if you please. Or at least that's what the Braves arrived in Detroit with — the best record. But they didn't pitch like it. And Sanchez, with a marvelous array of pitches, didn't give them a chance to hit like it, either. The only thing the Braves really accomplished at the plate was to avoid a 15th strikeout as early as the seventh inning. That would have been Sanchez's career best. But there was something far better than that ahead for him. Sent back out for the eighth because of the truly special game he had in the works, Sanchez struck out the side in the eighth, including Dan Uggla for the fourth time, to earn his spot of honor in the Tigers' record book. As far as winning easily, this was one of those games the Tigers appear to be capable of when they aren't, as manager Jim Leyland said they were before the game, "floundering." What's floundering? Other than "the act of floundering." One online definition read: "To move or act clumsily and in confusion." The Tigers hadn't looked all that clumsy or confused in their 20 games, yet it's hard to disagree with Leyland's choice of words.
Anibal Sanchez sets Tigers record with 17 strikeouts in rout of Braves
Detroit News | Apr 27