But after the Monday night game against the Angels, Gardenhire had to stop in the middle of a live media session broadcast live on YouTube and pay tribute to themselves.
"Strengths," he said. "That's a great word."
It was actually the best word for the moment: From trash-talkful playful Miguel Cabrera during his long-awaited journey through the bases to runs and hits and crisp play all the way to Jordan Zimmermann When he greeted his teammates from Detroit Tigers with a big smile, the winner had to feel that again.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Jordan Zimmermann throws at the first innings Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 29, 2019 a throw. (Photo: Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports)
"We needed a win, no matter how you look, no matter how we did it, all we needed was a win," said Gardenhire.
] They got it, returned to their long-standing horror house at the Anaheim Angel Stadium and beat the Angels 7-2 in the series opening game.
"We've had some problems, we know that," said Gardenhire. "But we came out and played a really good ball game."
Cabrera finally made a homecoming return – his first since July 4 – and Zimmerman finally won back – his first of the season – and snatched a winning streak with 17 starts, for which a tie was the longest in the franchise history ,
The Tiger offense, which tended to disappear at any given moment, tore power and ranked and added them. It provided more than enough padding for a strong pitching team performance.
] "As I kept saying," said Zimmermann, "I just wanted to grind until something good happened. Tonight was a good night. "
With his slider in tow, which also acclimated with a sinker on the third start, Zimmermann looked more like him than the whole month before. He attacked Batsman and efficiently launched early, allowing two runs with four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Perhaps most notably, Zimmermann did not go battering.
"I threw strikes," he said. "The place was the biggest. I made a lot of mistakes in the last 10 laps, got on and threw something in the middle and was injured. I was able to drop hits and then expand the plate if necessary. "
However, the biggest blow came from the left-hander Blaine Hardy, who had inherited Zimmermann's Two-On-One-Out-Jam in the sixth inning. After Hardy had run the Anaheim superstar Shohei Ohtani to load the bases, Zimmermann's victory – he was drawn with 61 moves – hung on a thread.
"That's probably the adrenaline I've been feeling for some time," Hardy said. "I will not say that we fought for (Zimmermann) to make his first win of the season, but I'll say I felt more pressure than if it was just a single game.
"It was about preserving his chance of winning, and I was really happy to accomplish that."
Hardy ended the act by defeating former Tiger Justin Upton and then Kole Calhoun to end the inning.
With a lead of just one round, the Tigers scored three in the top spot of eighth place – two in Cabrera's hard hit single by the Angels' retracted infield – to end the game.
Cabrera book-endped the offensive issue: He returned to the Dead Center Field in the first inning for his seventh of the year before Los Angeles Righty Jaime Barria, had buddy Albert Pujols know about it and then tried pinch runner Gordon To convince Beckham to return to him the shelter after his two-part single in the eighth.
"Miguel hit a big home run for us and those are the things we need to do a lot more," said Gardenhire. "He enlivens our crew and our offense when he does that, and it was really cool. To see how he did that, he smiled and hit everything.
"That's good for us, it's good for our baseball team, good for him, and as I said, we had a good ball game today. We played flawlessly. "
The Tigers, however, did not remain intact: Christin Stewart, who scored an RBI double in the third round, suffered a concussion and is placed on the 7-day list of injured on Tuesday, said Gardenhire
But the Bullpen – starting with Hardy's two biggest outs and the scoreless outs of Buck Farmer, Joe Jimenez and Shane Greene in an unsafe situation – helped bring Zimmermann to victory
"It's never a good feeling or a good look "Zimmermann said," to stay without victory for so long. " "It's been a while since I was glad to get out there and keep the game close and give these guys the chance to win and we've done a bunch of runs and that's all that matters we've won. "