Becoming an Ace With No Run Support: Olson’s 2024 Season

Becoming an Ace with No Run Support: Olson's 2024 Season

The Detroit Tigers suffered an agonizing defeat to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, which tied the series, with each team having a win under their belt. It was the biggest pitchers’ duel of the season. Miami starter Ryan Weathers threw a perfect game until Wenceel Pérez broke it up in the 6th inning. Weathers’ opposition, Reese Olson, continued his dominant stretch as he threw a gem. Olson pitched a full eight innings, struck out six, and gave up just three hits while shutting out the Marlins’ offense. Unfortunately, Olson’s lack of run support continued. It’s gotten so bad that it’s to the point where it looks like the Tigers’ offense is holding a grudge against Detroit’s talented right-hander. The Tigers collected just four hits and were scoreless in an extra-inning loss. The 0-4 record on Olson’s stat sheet is one of the most deceiving stats in baseball right now. In his last four starts, Olson has allowed only nine hits, just four earned runs and has struck out 23 batters. The Tigers have not won any of those games. In his eight starts, the Tigers scored a combined eight runs and were shut out in four of his starts, including Tuesday’s loss.

Furthermore, Jack Flaherty has also lacked run support. This season, he is third behind Olson and Ross Strippling in lowest run support. This is an example of how inconsistent the Tigers’ bats have been. It’s also worth noting that despite some brilliant outings, Flaherty is winless with a 0-3 record.

If Olson continues to pitch like this, he, too, will establish himself as an ace. The Tigers could be looking at two top-of-the-rotation aces, with Skubal already leading the AL Cy Young race. With Jack Flaherty also looking phenomenal, if the bats start to click, the Tigers could easily chase down the Guardians and Royals for that top spot in the division. However, those bats just haven’t gotten going yet.

Opinion: Olson would be a Cy Young candidate with some run support

You could say I know ball because I’ve been on the Reese Olson hype train since the beginning. Call me crazy, but I see a potential Justin Verlander type of ceiling for the Tigers’ 24-year-old starter. I’ve believed that since I saw him pitch for the first time, and I knew a big season was in store for him.

Olson’s arsenal features a lot of things to like. A 4-seam fastball that reaches 95 MPH on average, 85 MPH on an average slider, 88 MPH on an average change-up, and 79 MPH on an average curveball… he’s been good with his slider, and his fastball command has been on point. It’s wild to think he’s still developing and can lean on Chris Fetter, one of baseball’s top pitching coaches.

If you don’t watch a lot of Tigers baseball, Olson is a pitcher that can be easily overlooked. Seeing the 0-4 record would eliminate any interest from MLB fans who do not watch Detroit regularly. The fact of the matter is, although he still looks like a little kid, there’s nothing childish about the way Olson pitches on the mound. He is quickly becoming one of the better pitchers in baseball, and not everyone sees it coming, but at this pace, they will all know his name very soon. The Tigers may have two pieces to the long-term puzzle in place for their starting rotation as Skubal, a southpaw who’s already established himself as one of the league’s best, and Reese Olson continue to dominate.

Right now, it’s hard to say that many pitchers in the American League are performing better than Olson. If he were pitching for a team like the Orioles, I guarantee he would be with Skubal at the top of Cy Young voting.

Gage O'Leary

I'm one of the writers for ITD Baseball, I cover the Detroit Tigers and I hope to have a career in sports some day.

Leave a Reply

Boston Red Sox News & Notes 5/15

Some updates for the Red Sox and some interesting stats and more.

Read More
Cincinnati Reds Roster Transactions | Inside The Diamonds

Cincinnati Reds Roster Moves

The Cincinnati Reds have made some moves over the last few days.

Read More
Detroit Tigers Roster Transactions | Inside The Diamonds

Detroit Tigers Roster Moves 5/14

The Detroit Tigers made some roster moves today before the middle game of their series against the Marlins

Read More