With a personal three-game losing streak entering a rematch with Detroit, Grimm joked with Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux before Saturday's game that he was going to get back at the Tigers for what they did to him last June in his second major league start. Riding the high of a brilliant debut against the Houston Astros, the Tigers pounded Grimm for six runs in an inning.
In Round 2 of Grimm versus the Tigers, it was the Rangers who won 7-2 before a sellout crowd. Grimm led the way, giving up two runs in 6⅔ innings as the rookie right-hander was able to battle through innings in which he allowed baserunners.
How sweet revenge is.
"It wasn't necessarily remembering what happened last year," Grimm said. "Outings like that, you're young. Mistakes happen. These hitters are going to capitalize on those mistakes."
Grimm fought himself in the second and third innings. He had a leadoff walk in the second to Victor Martinez, which is almost always a recipe for giving up runs. But after a one-out single by Jhonny Peralta put two runners on, Grimm was able to get Omar Infante to ground into a double play.
The third inning featured a second run-in with the heart of the Tigers' batting order with the Rangers leading 4-0. Another leadoff baserunner, this time after a single by Avisail Garcia, led to Detroit's first run on a double by Torii Hunter. That forced Grimm to deal with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder with a runner in scoring position.
Grimm got a split in the deal, which was good enough. Cabrera lined out to center for the second out. Fielder followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2, but Grimm got out of the inning when Martinez grounded out. Grimm, who had struggled with damage control in his past two starts, kept the Rangers in front.
"When you go against a tough lineup, you can't think about the big hitters," Grimm said. "The 2-3-4 hitters coming up. You have to be in the moment. You have to forget about that last pitch, whether it was good or bad."
Grimm received a pep talk from manager Ron Washington before the fourth inning, and it seemed to work. Grimm worked a perfect fourth and made it two outs into the top of the seventh with the Rangers leading 7-2 before the manager came out to get him.
What was Washington's message?
"He said, 'Hey, trust what you're doing. It's good enough,'" Grimm said. "'There's no sense in you getting behind people. Your stuff is good enough.' And then [he] tapped me on the face to wake up. From there, him showing confidence in me, it was a different mindset."
The manager liked what he saw from his rookie from the fourth inning on.
"He started attacking the zone," Washington said. "He got us to the seventh inning."