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Rookie Matt Manning shows why Detroit Tigers are ‘really high on him’

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Detroit Tigers rookie Matt Manning is learning how to pitch in the big leagues.

After an overabundance of fastballs in his MLB debut June 17 in Anaheim, it wasn’t surprising that 11 of his 14 pitches in the first inning Wednesday went for fastballs.

But Manning, the team’s top pitching prospect, needs to mix all his pitches to succeed.

“One of the best pitches in baseball is the well-located fastball,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said before the game. “I love the fact that Matt Manning trusts his fastball. It’s carried him all the way to this level. But this level is going to have to show him that he can’t pitch the way he’s always pitched.”

In the second inning of Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, the 23-year-old put his willingness to adapt on display. The way Manning responded to adversity showed Hinch that his development in the majors is possible. He finished with two runs allowed on five hits and two walks, with one strikeout, over 5⅔ innings to get his first MLB win in his Comerica Park debut.

“I’m happy to call this ballpark my home,” Manning said.

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Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Manning throws against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Wednesday, June 23, 2021.

The key moment in the second inning started with back-to-back fastballs to five-time All-Star Nolan Arenado, before Manning’s curveball was hammered for a home run to left field.

“After going inside with two fastballs, I left a curveball down, but it was right in his bat path,” Manning said. “That’s kind of what he looks for. Next time, I got to get it about six inches over, and I think I’ll be all right.” 

Read More: Rookie Matt Manning shows why Detroit Tigers are ‘really high on him’

2021-06-24 10:02:05

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