Detroit Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez struck out 17 batters Friday night and shut out the Atlanta Braves, the best team in baseball, 10-0.
Sanchez shut out the Braves for eight innings and gave up only five hits. He struck out 17 batters, passing the Tigers’ record by Mickey Lolich on May 23, 1969. No one in the majors has struck out 17 since Brandon Morrow on August 8, 2010, and he was the first to do it in eight or fewer innings since Johan Santana in 2007.
When Sanchez was a Marlin, the Braves had his number. He lost five straight to Atlanta and could never strike out more than seven. His old teammate Dan Uggla talked to Braves backup catcher Gerald Laird, who caught with the Tigers when they signed Sanchez last summer. Laird told him he was a new and different pitcher in Detroit.
This year, he has been one of Detroit’s best pitchers. He is 3-1 with an 1.34 ERA and still has not given up a home run. Breitbart Sports mentioned Sanchez in the week two power rankings, pointing out he was underrated and needed to be talked about as much as Justin Verlander and Doug Fister.
Of course Sanchez could not have won without the powerful offense. Matt Tuiasosopo drove in five runs, including a three run home run in the bottom of the fourth. Victor Martinez, who has been in a slump, drove in Torii Hunter in the third and brought home Miguel Cabrera on a double in the fourth.
The Braves and Tigers play at 1:05PM ET on FOX on Saturday. John Porcello of the Tigers will look to redeem himself from last Saturday’s performance against the Angels. The Braves will start Kris Medlen who is suffering a rocky start.