What Detroit Tigers’ Tarik Skubal learned after his ‘unacceptable’ outing

Tarik Skubal looked stone cold. He sounded upset.

He livened up, just for a minute, when discussing reducer Alex Lange making his MLB launching.

Discussing his efficiency, nevertheless, highlighted some unfavorable feelings. And truly so, thinking about Skubal was bombarded by Cleveland in the Detroit Tigers’ gruesome 11-3 loss Saturday at Progressive Field.

“What happened today is unacceptable,” Skubal stated. “That’s not who I am.”

The 24-year-old gave up 1,261 feet of crowning achievement — on 3 no-doubters — and could not command his revered fastball that got him to the majors last season. While doing so, the Tigers sunk to a 3-5 record and ended up being losers in 5 of their last 6 video games.

“I missed middle a little too much,” Skubal stated. “That’s what happens when you’re not in good counts and miss middle. You pay for it. … I mean, if those fastballs are in those spots, I don’t think the results are what they are. Location dictated those results.”

He likewise enabled 5 hits and 3 strolls, with 3 strikeouts.

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Tarik Skubal of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch in the first inning during a game against Cleveland at Progressive Field on April 10, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Tarik Skubal of the Detroit Tigers provides a pitch in the very first inning throughout a video game versus Cleveland at Progressive Field on April 10, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Skubal enabled his very first crowning achievement in the 2nd inning, an outright rocket by Roberto Perez. The ball took a trip 430 feet with a 107.7 miles per hour exit speed, the third-fastest hit in the video game. His fastball, a simple 92.3 miles per hour, tunneled directly down the heart of the plate.

Perez, an eight-year MLB veteran, didn’t miss on a 1-1 count.

“He couldn’t put his fastball anywhere where he wanted to,” supervisor AJ Hinch stated. “He got burned on it quite a few times in even counts and hitters’ counts. He got beat on some pitches and didn’t have his best stuff.”

Skubal had concerns with his command, walkingJose Ramirez on 4 pitches in the very first, then strolling Yu Chang in the 2nd on 6 pitches, simply prior to Perez’s homer.

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Skubal’s splitter, gained from Casey Mize over the offseason, hung up in the strike zone versus Cesar Hernandez in the 3rd. Hernandez, with 9 MLB seasons under his belt, clobbered the breaking ball for a 399-foot crowning achievement, with a 105.5 miles per hour exit speed.

Jordan Luplow provided the last blow to Skubal’s start with one out in the 4th inning, following a double to Chang and stroll to Perez. The Tigers starter tossed successive fastballs — both at 94 miles per hour — for his only 2 pitches of the at-bat; the 2nd error came off Luplow’s bat at 106.9 miles per hour and was sent out 432 feet to center field for a 6-0 lead.

Skubal didn’t return for the 5th inning.

“He was very frustrated when his night was over,” Hinch stated. “I think he’s going to have a clear understanding of what went wrong and what execution does to him. It makes it very difficult when you can’t execute. … It’s pretty obvious what he struggled with tonight and ultimately what the consequences were.”

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Tarik Skubal of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch in the second inning during a game against Cleveland at Progressive Field on April 10, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Tarik Skubal of the Detroit Tigers provides a pitch in the 2nd inning throughout a video game versus Cleveland at Progressive Field on April 10, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Skubal understands precisely what failed: He didn’t command his fastball, and Cleveland continued its current gush of runs versus the Tigers’ pitching personnel.

However he hasn’t completely absorbed what occurred.

After each trip, Skubal composes in a note pad to highlight what he did right, what he did incorrect, what he discovered and how he can improve. Since about 15 minutes following the video game, he wasn’t sure what he would pen.

“I’m still thinking about it,” Skubal stated. “I’m going to watch film tonight, talk with (pitching coach Chris) Fetter. I guess, off the top of my head, fastball command wasn’t great. If I’m going in, I got to get in. If I’m going away, it needs to be away. Not living in the middle of the plate.

“However I’ll enjoy some movie and take a look at some things to compare and see what I see.”

Skubal threw 75 pitches, 46 of them strikes. He used 36 four-seam fastballs, 21 sliders, 11 splitters and seven curveballs. He got eight swings-and-misses and 11 called strikes, and his ERA more than doubled, from 3.38 to 7.71 through two starts.

On Saturday, his fastball averaged 93.4 mph — down from last year’s average of 94.4 mph — and maxed out at 95.4 mph. Skubal’s average fastball spin rate was down 207 revolutions per minute, from 2,422 rpm in 2020 to 2,215 rpm Saturday night.

He wasn’t sure what to make of the numbers, despite being analytically savvy, and said everything felt normal while pitching. He wasn’t battling any physical troubles.

More so, Skubal believes his struggles were a product of missing his target.

In five days, when the Tigers open a four-game series in Oakland, Skubal will get another chance. And it wouldn’t surprising to see him pitch with a little extra aggression and something new to prove in hopes of getting back on track.

“Simply gaining from it and moving on,” Skubal said. “I can prepare actually well in between once in a while, so that’s type of where I’m at.”

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: What Detroit Tigers’ Tarik Skubal learned after ‘unacceptable’ outing

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.