Detroit Tigers‘ Rick Porcello pitched eight innings tonight in one of the best games of his young career while the offense was held to nothing. The Pittsburgh Pirates won a one-run affair against the Tigers with a 10th-inning home run by Neil Walker against Jose Ortega.
Porcello had his best game of the season and dropped his ERA from 6.23 to 5.29 after an eight-inning gem that was sprinkled with strikeouts. Before the game, Porcello had 29 strikeouts in his first eight starts, but finished with 11 in his ninth start against the Pirates.
Opposing batters were also batting .298 against the fourth-year player, but tonight only saw three Pittsburgh hits against him.
Porcello’s first three starts of the seasons resulted in 16 earned runs and an elevated 11.08 ERA. His last six starts have had a combined 14 earned runs and have seen his ERA drop nearly six runs and has seen his strikeout total go from three to 40.
Is this a sign of things to come for Porcello or is this just a strong stretch from an otherwise inconsistent pitcher?
Well, the way things have been going lately, it looks as if his pitches are being thrown with a bit more confidence. He has seen his breaking balls move with more of a bite and his fastball has had more of a bark.
He finally looks like he has finally grown into an MLB starter and he may have just pitched his way into a permanent spot in the Tigers’ rotation. Porcello is finally showing what all of the potential looks like when it has been reached.