The Tigers are finding ways to win in the young season. This time, they were trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the 7th, when Austin Jackson crushed one over the left field wall, tying up the game. The next inning, after falling behind in the count 0-2 and hurting his wrist on a foul ball, Miguel Cabrera stung a double into the right center field gap. Rays manager Joel Maddon, instead of walking Prince Fielder, decided to go after him. The Tigers’ new 214MM man made Jake McGee and the Rays pay, hitting a single to center, scoring Cabrera. Subsequent hits for Delmon Young and Gerald Laird, and a sac fly by Jhonny Peralta stretched the score to 5-2. Valverde closed out Tampa, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
The first few innings of the game were a back and forth pitching duel between uber-prospect Matt Moore and former super prospect Rick Porcello. Moore’s final line of 6.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 5 walks, and 4 K’s don’t quite do him justice, Tiger hitters had a very difficult time squaring the ball up against him. It didn’t seem like he had command issues, and the five walks are definitely out of the ordinary for Moore. Let’s take a look at his pitch F/X:
Moore was just missing by a little bit, but was mostly around the plate, throwing 59 strikes in 106* pitches, a pretty low percentage for him. His stuff was no doubt electric, generating 7 swings and misses on 83 fastballs. He only threw 20 off speed pitches, or roughly 19% off speed, and 81% fastballs. Needless to say, those are a lot of fastballs.
*Side note, I don’t know why, but Pitch F/X for some reason only has Moore throwing 104 pitches, while mlb.com, espn.com and sportsline.com have him throwing 106.
Here is Porcello’s pitch F/X:
As usual, Porcello’s velocity fades near the end of games. It’s still early in the season, but he had massive trouble with that last year. Rick got 10 swinging strikes though, including 5 on the slider, which is a lot for him. Besides his lapse in the third inning, he threw well today, and put up a pitching line of 7 IP, 7 hits, 2 earned, 1 walk, and 4 K’s.
All in all, the Tigers had a very nice win today against a tough pitcher. The club is now 4-0 on the season, and have a very good chance to go 5-0 with the MVP Justin Verlander on the mound tomorrow.