Before this season started, a lot of Tiger followers predicted that this year’s Tigers would win more one-run games than last year (20-26). I don’t think yesterday was what they had in mind.
There was a lot to like about yesterday’s game (how about that Donkey!), but almost blowing a 6-run lead conjures up the spectre of the dreaded blowpen. Evan Reed had a 2nd good outing, but Phil Coke…is Phil Coke. The real worry is Joe Nathan. The season is still in its infancy, but Nathan has now had two bad, almost disastrously bad, outings in a row, and has a very un-closer-like WHIP of 1.875. History says Nathan will be fine. Until then, fingernails will be bitten.
Rick Porcello though, that is a different kind of surprise. Some people predicted this would be a breakout year for him (while others wished Detroit would have dealt him instead of Fister), and he sure looked like it yesterday. Porcello overcame a rough start and his own history (he has typically pitched poorly early in the season and in cold weather) to toss a gem, getting 11 outs on groundouts.
Is there a broom in the house? The Tigers are MLB’s last undefeated team.
“Hopefully we go 162-0.” –Torii Hunter
Today’s Leylandesque Sunday Lineup:
DET P: Justin Verlander (RHP)
BAL P: Chris Tillman (RHP)