The opening start of Beau Brieske’s big-league career came the same day Miguel Cabrera achieved 3,000 hits in Detroit. There were a massive crowd, pageantry, and a sense of history all in the air. Seven days later, the second start of his big-league career will be comparatively easy, right? Not quite.
On Saturday night, Beau Brieske will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw in the presence of over 50,000 spectators at Dodger Stadium. Future Hall-of-Famer, Kershaw will most likely break the side’s all-time strikeout mark. He requires only three more to attain Don Sutton’s 2,696 strikeouts in the Dodger color.
If that pressure isn’t enough, consider that the Dodgers are undoubtedly the best team in the sport, while the Tigers’ desperately require to snap a six-game back-to-back loss that has brought back memories of last campaign’s dismal opening.
That’s a lot of pressure on the shoulders of a 24-year-old who had made just 10 starts above the Class A level when he opened his account a week ago. No one can accuse the Tigers of coddling the starlet. And he’s very much cool with it.
Brieske said, “I feel like that’s the best opportunity for you to grow, get better and really meet that challenge, you get to see where you’re at. It gives you the best idea of where you stand and what you need to improve on.”
Tigers boss A.J. Hinch disclosed it’s a process that any youngsters must experience.
He said, “He can handle it, they have to get their firsts out of the way. Some of it is going to be on the field, and some of it is going to be psychological when you’re sharing the same mound with a future Hall-of-Famer.
“There’s no other way to do it. You can’t soft-sell your way into the big leagues.”
Beau Brieske is hardly a grizzled legend after a week in the clubhouse of a big league, but he has overcome a lot of the early anxieties and will be available for the MLB parlays going forward. He’s had a complete seven days to mentally and physically get ready for the start as a member of the Tigers team without having to get worried about the transition from Triple-A to the big-league ball.
He said, “Now I have a foundation for what I need to improve on this week, I had a better plan going into this week of work, my bullpens, little things I needed to iron out a little bit. I think I definitely have a better idea of what I need to do.”
Brieske didn’t desire to give away his game plan, but he did discuss his mantra for the week: “I need to be great at what I’m good at. Take what I’m good at and go be great at it.”
Hinch said he believes strongly in rookie, Brieske. Even against the best team in Sport.
Hinch said, “For Beau, his stuff plays against anybody, he can get swing-and-miss against anybody. He can generate soft contact. He can command the strike zone. He hasn’t seen (the Dodgers), but they haven’t seen him, either. And that can be an advantage for the pitcher if he can get into leverage counts.”
A Friday evening at Dodger Stadium is not the best place to end a losing streak.
The Los Angeles Dodgers homered in each of the first two innings versus Detroit Tigers starter Tyler Alexander on their way to a series-opening 5-1 win in front of 49,394 raucous spectators.
The Tigers (6-13) have suffered six consecutive defeats and nine of their last eleven encounters. They have two more against the Dodgers (13-6) this weekend in Los Angeles.
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