The unveiling of Charlie Furbush as a starting pitcher went fairly well.
Promising enough, at least, for more looks.
Furbush first caught manager Jim Leyland’s eye in spring training, lasting until the final cuts of spring training.
He was brought up May 22 when Detroit needed bullpen help and was impressive in most of his 12 relief appearances with the Tigers.
He got by mainly on his fastball and curveball out of the bullpen but used more changeups in his first start because most starters can’t get by on just two pitches unless one of them is a 99 mph fastball he can maintain deep into games.
Furbush’s fastball tops out at about 92 mph, only rarely getting a tick or two higher.
The Angels scored Monday in the first, third and fifth innings off Furbush, who lasted 4 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and three runs. He walked one and fanned five in Detroit’s 5-1 loss.
“I thought Furbush actually did OK,” Leyland said. “There was that one little freak accident there on the mound where his spike caught (and he balked in a run). I thought he did pretty good.
“I gotta build him up a little bit. He threw about 65 (pitches) or so.”
Furbush got behind the second hitter he faced, Torii Hunter, 2-0, and the veteran ripped the next pitch he saw.
“I fell behind with him, threw a fastball right over the heart of the plate, and he hit it over the fence,” Furbush said.
Leyland removed Furbush after 65 pitches, about 10 shy of the lower limit the manager was looking for. But of those 65 pitches, 45 were strikes.
“He has the assortment of pitches to be a starter, which is a leg up,” Leyland said. “He’s left-handed, which is a leg up. He’s done it, which is a leg up.”
After giving up the home run, Furbush retired the next two batters he faced to end the inning. He never had more than one runner on base at a time.
Furbush will make his next start in Kansas City on Saturday.
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