PREGAME: It was early August. Rick Porcello took the mound for the Tigers on a night when the Tigers pen was depleted. Porcello had struggled in his 2 starts since returning from his midseason sabbatical. But something happened that first night of August.
Rick Porcello took the mound and [dramatization] said to the Indians, “this is my game, you guys are going down.” And the Indians were all like, “oh no it isn’t.” And Porcello was all like, “oh yes it is.” And the Indians were all like, “oh no it isn’t.” And Porcello was all like, “oh yes it is.” The Indians got tired of arguing and just started putting the first or second pitch weakly into play and Porcello pitched 8 strong innings before Fernando Rodney blew his first save of the season.
Justin Masterson pitched in relief that night and allowed 2 hits and a walk while fanning 4 in 3 innings. He looked really good. Since that night he’s been in the rotation and he’s made 8 starts. He’s allowed 72 baserunners in 41.1 innings in those starts and he’s fanned 32. But he hasn’t been hit for a lot of power with only 9 extra base hits allowed over those 8 starts. Did you know he was born in Jamaica?
The Tigers haven’t had a lot of easy wins this year. It’s made for some nice drama, but even the games where the Tigers have gotten a big lead early they have found ways to make things interesting. But tonight they got the pitching, and they got the add on runs that kept this one nice and boring.
Porcello wasn’t particularly effective, and in the 4th inning the chances of him getting the requisite 5 innings for the win didn’t look great. But a quick 5th meant he got the win in under 100 pitches. It also meant that the bullpen got some “tune-up” work.
But the really story was the offense. Everybody got their licks in but the biggest bomber was Carlos Guillen who went deep from both sides of the plate and added a double.