Rick Porcello certainly has his ups and down and his last three starts he has definitely been up. Porcello is the first Detroit Tigers pitcher since Jack Morris in 1986 to throw back to back complete game shutouts as he shutout the Oaklnad A’s 3-0 in one of the best start of the year. Porcello was 24 of 31 on first pitch strikes, he induced 17 ground balls, and got the shutout on 95 pitches (also known as pitching a Maddux).
Porcello mostly went with his fastball and changeup with the occasional curveball, and there were not many hard hit balls. Three of the four hits Porcello allowed were singles and only Jed Lowrie had multiple hits for the A’s. The A’s never had multiple runners on at the same time which goes to show how good Porcello was, even though he did not rack up a single strikeout. Rick Porcello is now 11-4 (tied for the AL lead) with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He may find himself pitching in Minnesota in the All-Star game in a couple of weeks after his last three starts where he has not allowed a start.
What should also be noted is Brian Holaday was behind the plate again for a shutout. He was also behind the plate for Max Scherzer‘s shutout of the Chicago White Sox. Alex Avila caught Porcello’s last start which was also a shutout so its Holaday: 2, Avila: 1 for shutouts caught.
The Tigers offense produced three runs which was more than enough for Porcello. The first came in the fourth inning with a Miguel Cabrera walk, J.D. Martinez double, and a Torii Hunter groundout to shortstop. The second came in the 6th inning the next time through the order. Ian Kinsler singled to center and Martinez continued to sizzle with a deep home run to left field off of the A’s starter, Brad Mills.
Mills had a quality start as he went 6 innings surrendering 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. Mills went to his changeup as his go to pitch throughout the game and that is the ball Martinez hit for his home run.
The Tigers will look for a sweep against the A’s on Wednesday as Justin Verlander takes the mound looking to continue his stretch of good starts after making a mechanical fix to his delivery. He will be opposed by Jesse Chavez who is 6-4 with a 2.94 ERA.