ANAHEIM -- Matt Shoemaker grew up roughly half-an-hour from Detroit, Michigan. With a love for baseball, his obvious team of choice as a child was the Tigers.
Fast forward some 20 years, and Shoemaker is now making a mockery of that team he cheered for growing up. On Friday night, the 30-year-old faced his favored childhood team for the fifth time and did what he's done each time - dominate.
"That looks like (Matt Shoemaker) when he's on," said Angels manager, Mike Scioscia. "He was aggressive from the first pitch and that's a good hitting team. If you miss your spot, they're going to let you know and he pitched a great six innings."
Six scoreless innings, with just four base runners and seven strikeouts. That is what the box score will read in the line of history for Matt Shoemaker on Friday, but is it just another solid outing or is there something to facing Detroit that gets Shoemaker fired up?
"Every game is important, but something about playing against your home team, not that it's a little more special but it's special," said Shoemaker. "Playing against your hometown team, it's a little bit different but it's a lot of fun. People at home who are die-hard Tiger fans saying, 'we're rooting for you today.' That's pretty cool."
In five starts against the Tigers, Shoemaker has a 0.83 earned-run-average, the exact same as his WHIP.
The outing on Friday lowered his season ERA from 5.21 to 4.50, giving Shoemaker his second strongest start to a season throughout his five-year career.
In his rookie season, Shoemaker went on a 9-1 stretch over 11 games with a 1.49 ERA, following his first career start against Detroit. He noted a performance like he had on Friday could be a kick start to another long stretch of success.
"(Tonight) overall was more aggressive," Shoemaker said. "There was more intent behind every pitch. The goal is to execute every pitch. In reality, you're not going to execute every pitch you ever throw, but that's the goal is go out there and do that as much as you can. The more you do that the more success you're going to have."
The Angels defeated the Tigers 5-0 on Friday, reaching an 18-4 record against Detroit since 2011.