Which Rick Porcello is going to show up?
That’s the question Detroit Tigers’ fans have been asking themselves for the last three seasons. It’s been like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or, for my not as well-read readers, Professor Klump and Buddy Love—namely, Porcello’s inconsistency has made him an incredibly frustrating player to watch.
Friday, in two innings against the Atlanta Braves, Porcello was perfect; he did not allow a base runner and in the process was able to strikeout Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman, two Braves’ starters who are career .253 and .269 hitters respectively.
Despite the pressure of competing for the fifth spot in the Tigers’ rotation with Drew Smyly, Porcello was unruffled Friday. However, concluding that he’ll be an effective pitcher throughout 2012 based on two preseason innings is the equivalent of concluding that America’s favorite TV shows are JAG and NCIS after only interviewing your grandparents. Yet, two strong innings is still a promising omen for Porcello.
This could be the start of a trend, or it could be just the beginning of another chapter where Porcello is consistently inconsistent. Knock on Elijah Wood that Porcello can string together a few more performances like this and contribute to an already-feared rotation.
We’ll keep you posted, but Porcello has answered the call in round one. Smyly will have his chance to state his case tomorrow when he steps onto the bump to face the Philadelphia Phillies. Look for Smyly to respond now that Porcello has a strong outing under his belt.
Justin Gawel is a cereal enthusiast who mainly writes for Rant Sports about the Detroit Tigers. Follow him on Google+ for all of his article postings.