Tag Archive: Rick Porcello

Thoughts on game 14 of 162

After struggling to get anything going at the plate for most of Friday’s game, the Tigers bats came alive in the 10th inning. Detroit exploded for seven runs in the inning en route to earning their fourth straight victory and evening their record at 7-7. The win was the 1,500 for Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

Clutch hit: Brennan Boesch, who finished 3 for 5, connects for a two-RBI double in the 10th inning of Fridays 8-4 win over the Athletics. (AP)

W: Brayan Villarreal (1-0); L: Brian Fuentes (0-2)

Heroes: Miguel Cabrera / Brennan Boesch

Cabrera rescued the Tigers and helped force extra innings with his solo home run to ninth off A’s closer Brian Fuentes to lead off the ninth. Boesch drove in the go-ahead runs by roping a two-run double to right field on a two-out pitch. Boesch was 3 for 5 to boost his average to .318.

Key sequence: The top of the 10th when the Tigers hitters showed patience. After a lead off single by Alex Avila, Leyland pinch hit Jhonny Peralta for Will Rhymes. Peralta drew a one-out walk and Ryan Raburn followed with a walk to load the bases for Boesch and set up the go-ahead RBI double. The struggling Victor Martinez, who had two hits, also had a big RBI single after the A’s elected to intentionally walk Cabrera to face him.

Making strides: Rick Porcello turned in his best start of the season, giving up just one earned run and seven hits in six innings. He exhibited better control with just one walk while striking out four. Porcello had given up five earned runs in each of his first two starts this season.

Impressive debut: Al Alburquerque was impressive in his major league debut, pitching two scoreless innings. He took over for Porcello in the seventh and kept the Athletics off the board. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out three while displaying a strong slider.

Oakland bullpen woes: The Tigers were once again unable to solve the Athletics’ starting pitcher but did do their damage against the bullpen for the second straight contest. Brian Fuentes, who is filling in at closer for the injured Andrew Bailey, blew the save in the ninth by giving  up the tying run on Cabrera’s homer. He also stayed on to pitch part of the 10th and wound up taking the loss. Fuentes gave up six runs (three earned) and two hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Up next: At Oakland, 4 p.m. today


Thoughts on Game 9 of 162

Brandon Inge looks down after his throwing error on Sunday. Inge's error is one of four the Tigers had in Sunday's 9-5 loss to the Royals at Comerica Park. (AP)

The Tigers dropped their third straight series as they dropped the rubber match of a three-game set with the Royals to fall to 3-6. The road doesn’t get any easier either as they welcome in the defending AL champion Texas Rangers for a three-game series. The Rangers are off to 8-1 start this season.

Hero: The Kansas City offense

Every Royal had a hit and seven different players drove in runs to lead the balanced Kansas City attack. The Royals scored run in six of the nine innings and never trailed in the contest. Wilson Betemit led the 15-hit attack by going 4 f0r 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Michigan native Chris Getz had two RBIs for the Royals.

Not defensive minded: For a good portion of the game, the Tigers had more errors then hits. Their sloppy play in the field provided the Royal offense with a boost that they didn’t need with as many hits as they got off of Detroit pitching. Ryan Raburn had a throwing error in the third inning that allowed Melky Cabrera to move from second to third. He then scored on a groundout. With one out and runners on the corners in the fifth, Brandon Inge had a throwing error to second base on what could’ve been an inning-ending double play ball. That error allow K.C. to push its lead to 5-1. Daniel Schlereth and Rick Porcello also had throwing errors while trying to pick runners off at first.

Key to success?: Many pundits believe that Rick Porcello would be the key to the Tigers fortunes. As a No. 3 starter behind Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, his success would likely determine how well the Tigers do. So far, not so good on that front. While his defense didn’t do him any justice on Sunday, Porcello allowed nine hits, five earned runs and walked three in five innings.

Jhonny on the spot: While Miguel Cabrera has been a big component in the Tigers offense, Jhonny Peralta has quietly gotten off to a great start for the Tigers. His struggles in spring training have been documented. Since the team has traveled north and the games have counted, Peralta has done nothing but hit. He went 3 for 4 on Sunday with a home run and double. He is batting .379 with three doubles and four RBIs out of the seven spot in the lineup.

Up next: Texas, 1 p.m. Monday

Thoughts on Game 4 of 162

Is it time to break up the Orioles? Baltimore stayed undefeated on the young season, using pitching and a key home run to earn a 5-1 victory over the Tigers in their home opener on Monday afternoon.

Jake Arrieta held the Tigers to just six hits and one run over six innings to lead Baltimore to a 5-1 victory on Monday. (AP)

Heroes: Jake Arrieta / Brian Roberts

These two were the biggest keys to the victory for the Orioles. Arrieta added to Baltimore’s strong pitching this season, giving up just one earned run in six innings. Arrieta gave up six hits, walked two and struck out three. The Tigers had a few early chances, but stranded two runners on base in each the third and fourth innings.

Roberts put Baltimore in control as his three-run homer with no outs in the fifth inning broke a 1-1 tie.

Key points: Roberts three-run blast was obviously a turning point in the contest, but the other key sequence came in the third inning. The Tigers already had scored one run in the third and had a chance for more with Austin Jackson on third and Will Rhymes on second with two outs and reigning American League RBI champion Miguel Cabrera at the plate. Cabrera, who it was later revealed had been throwing up between innings during the contest, flied out to left to end the threat.

Stuck on one: Baltimore has allowed just one run in each of its games this season and has gotten quality starts from each of its starters so far this season. Arrieta continued that trend with his outing, following in the steps of Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman and rookie Zach Britton.

In the air: While one pitch doomed Tigers starter Rick Porcello on Monday, he struggled to get many ground ball outs like he is accustomed to. In fact he only got one ground ball out in his 5 inning outing. He gave up nine hits and five earned runs.

Not quality: With the Tigers completing their first turn through their rotation (No. 5 starter Phil Coke won’t be joining until next week) they got just one quality start from their starting pitching. A 25 percent ratio isn’t good if the Tigers hope to compete for the AL Central crown. Justin Verlander had the lone quality start through the first turn in the rotation.  Tigers starters have also given up seven homers this season – three of those being three-run shots.

Looking at the positive: Sunday’s day off benefited Will Rhymes, who went 2 for 3 in Monday’s loss. He was the only Tiger with multiple hits, had his first career stolen base and drove in the team’s lone run.

Up next: At Baltimore, 7 p.m. Wednesday

Porcello has been great

Detroit Tigers rookie Rick Porcello prepares to fire a pitch during an interleague contest against the Chicago Cubs in June.

Detroit Tigers rookie Rick Porcello prepares to fire a pitch during an interleague contest against the Chicago Cubs in June.

Rick Porcello has had an excellent rookie season for the Detroit Tigers. He leads all American League (and MLB) rookie pitchers with 13 victories after outdueling Toronto rookie Ricky Romero and helping the Tigers earn a badly needed victory on Sunday. Detroit ended a five-game slide with their win over the Blue Jays.

His contributions have been invaluable this season and without him, the Tigers likely wouldn’t be leading the AL Central and in position to make the playoffs this late in the year. Porcello has made the kind of impact that Justin Verlander made for the Tigers in 2006 during his rookie season. Verlander was a valuable arm that helped the Tigers get the AL Wild Card and reach the World Series that year.

Looking around the Tigers rotation this season, Porcello has been one of three reliable arms. The other two spots in the rotation haven’t been great which is why Porcello has meant so much.  Armando Galarraga hasn’t been great, Dontrelle Willis couldn’t find the strike zone again when he had his opportunity. Luke French was decent before being traded to Seattle, but his replacement Jarrod Washburn hasn’t been great at all since being acquired by the Tigers in that deal.

Detroit rookie Rick Porcello is 13-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 27 starts this season for the Tigers. He leads all MLB rookie pitchers in victories. (Associated Press)

Detroit rookie Rick Porcello is 13-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 27 starts this season for the Tigers. He leads all MLB rookie pitchers in victories. (Associated Press)

All of that just highlights Porcello’s value. Other than a couple of bad starts in July, and a couple of short/rough outings against Boston and the New York Yankees earlier in the season, the rookie has been great.

Will all of his success equate to him being like Verlander and earning Rookie of the Year honors in the AL? That seems very iffy. Looking at numbers, Tampa Bay’s Jeff Niemann has the better figures. Romero’s numbers are very similar to Porcello, but there also have been some great rookie hitters in Texas’ Elvis Andrus and Chicago’s Gordon Beckham.

Here are the numbers of who I believe  are the leading candidates for AL Rookie of the Year

PORCELLO –  13-8, 4.21 ERA,  78 Ks, 45 BBs in 147 2/3 IP, 151 hits allowed

NIEMANN –  12-5, 3.57 ERA, 106 Ks, 50 BBs in 161 1/3 IP, 157 hits allowed

ROMERO – 12-8 , 4.22 ERA, 119 Ks, 68 BBs in 153 2/3 IP, 164 hits allowed

ANDRUS – .277 batting avg, 26 SBs, 33 RBIs, 14 2Bs, 8 3Bs, 6 HRs

BECKHAM – .279 batting avg., 53 RBIs, 25 2Bs, 1 3B, 11 HRs

There have been other solid rookies like Chicago’s Chris Getz, Baltimore’s Nolan Reimold and Tampa Bay’s David Price, but I think Porcello has probably been the most important to his team. Niemann has been valuable as well as Tampa Bay has been in the hunt for the wild card but is fading and Andrus has been up for Texas all year and has them still in contention for the postseason. Romero and Toronto aren’t going to the postseason, while Beckham and the Chi Sox still could theoretically catch the Tigers too.

It will be interesting to see who gets the nod in the AL for this award and my guess would probably be Niemann or Andrus get this award. But Porcello’s value to his team has been just as important if not more despite him not having the stats.