By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – Detroit Tigers reliever Joakim Soria made an ugly first impression at Comerica Park. He gave up four runs on six hits – including two home runs – in a third of an inning Tuesday night, and the crowd voiced its displeasure.
“Obviously it wasn’t what I want,” Soria said after the game. “It was probably the worst outing of my career. It’s tough, and I don’t want to make excuses. Seems like everything I throw, they were on it, so I just try to shake that from my head and try to come back tomorrow and be better.”
Surely Soria would not have preferred to hear boos in his debut outing for his new team, but after the game he took the criticism in stride.
“That can happen,” Soria said. “It could be claps, it can be boos.”
The Tigers acquired Soria a week ago in a trade with the Texas Rangers. Soria’s ERA through 35 appearances for the Rangers was 2.70. After two outings for Detroit, his ERA is 3.71.
“It’s just baseball,” Soria said. “Obviously the transition is a lot of stuff going through my mind and what things I have to do, but it doesn’t interfere with what I do on the field. Like I said, today is one of those days that is bad.
“This kind of stuff, it doesn’t define my career and who I am,” Soria continued. “I’m going to go back and try to get back on track and try to get back to what I am and go from there. Like I said, I’m not going to make any excuses today. It just seemed like today they were on every single pitch, and that’s all I have to say.”
The Tigers brought in Soria to shore up a bullpen that has remained inconsistent despite offseason additions including Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain.
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said the Tigers still have not seen the real Soria.
“He missed over the middle of the plate, and they took advantage, but this is a very good relief pitcher,” Ausmus said. “He’s a closer and having an outstanding year. Certainly not going to base – I’m not going to make a judgment on Joakim Soria based on one outing.”