DETROIT -- Thad Weber wasn't one of the prospects considered for the fifth rotation spot in Spring Training. He wasn't even one of the first pitchers to be called up this season. Yet, Sunday he found himself making his Major League debut in the top of the 11th inning against the best-hitting lineup in the big leagues.
Weber, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo about 24 hours prior, took the mound with the game deadlocked at 2 in the top of the 11th against the Rangers. He loaded the bases with no outs before Alberto Gonzalez laid down a disputed suicide squeeze to make it 3-2, which proved to be the game-winning run. The replay showed the ball clearly hit off the back of Gonzalez's leg and it should have been ruled a foul ball.
"I really didn't [see it]," Weber said. "Brandon [Inge] was coming in, and he was yelling. It really was just kind of a weird play. Brandon was coming in yelling something, and Alex [Avila] was coming in yelling something, and it was just kind of all over the place."
After letting up the run, Weber got a double play and a groundout to end the inning. He ended up being charged with the loss.
"A little bit of a crazy play right there, but bottom line is I got to make better pitches," Weber said. "That's a big ballgame for us, and to lose it like that's a little disappointing."
The 27-year-old has been in the Tigers' farm system since 2008, and has only pitched in relief twice. Weber has been a solid starter, with a 2-0 record and 0.75 ERA in two starts with Triple-A Toledo this season, striking out 15 in 12 innings.
He doesn't have the bullpen experience, but he believes the adrenaline of warming up in front of the fans will be enough to carry him. Although he said it rattled him a bit early.
"I came out a little over-anxious," he said. "I kind of expected it, but once I got into it, I calmed down and made some good pitches. Left a few breaking balls up, but I was glad once everything happened I was able to settle down."