Detroit 3, Chicago 2 (box)
Rick Porcello took the mound for the Tigers today, but recent history wasn’t on his side. In three previous starts this year, Rick was 0-3 with an 11.66 ERA. On the other side, Edwin Jackson came in to the game with a 2-0 record and a 2.45 ERA in two starts against the Tigers this season. Neither pitcher would factor into the decision tonight, however.
When Porcello’s at his best, he’s getting ground balls, and that’s what happened tonight. He recorded thirteen ground ball outs, and just four fly ball outs. I think we would all like to see his strikeout numbers increase (he had only three tonight), but I’ll take one improvement at a time, and for now it looks like he’s burning worms again. Rick did give up nine hits in his seven innings, but they were all singles, and his defense turned three double plays behind him. That’s what will happen to extreme ground ball pitchers. They’ll give up a fair number of hits, but few will be for extra bases, and double plays will be plentiful. Rick exited after seven innings of two-run ball.
Edwin Jackson continued his brilliant ways against the Tigers. He lasted through seven innings, scattering five hits, and recorded eleven strikeouts. E-Jax’s only blemish was a Carlos Guillen solo blast in the sixth inning.
Robbie Weinhardt and Phil Coke pitched a scoreless eighth inning in relief of Rick Porcello. The Tigers came to bat in the top of the ninth down 2-1. Brandon Inge lead off the inning with a single between short and third, and the Tigers had the tying run on the bases. A Ryan Raburn strikeout brought Alex Avila to the plate. Just yesterday, on this very blog, reader Chris mentioned that he wanted to see Alex hit for more power. Apparently Alex read that comment and decided that he agreed. Acting closer J.J. Putz hung a splitter in the zone, and Avila drove it to the opposite field for a home run.
Phil Coke stayed in the game to pitch the ninth. He finished the game off rather uneventfully. After the game, Jason Beck tweeted that Jose Valverde was not available in the game due to an abdominal injury. I haven’t heard anything as to the seriousness of the injury.
It’s always fun to beat the White Sox (and hate the White Sox), even if the Tigers aren’t quite in the position we hoped they would be in.