Tonight, the Detroit Tigers will begin a three game series with the San Diego Padres and the 25-year-old Rick Porcello will be toeing the rubber for just the second time of the young season. Hopefully his second start will go as well as his first.
After posting a 1-2 record with a 7.85 ERA in five starts in Spring Training, some Tigers fans were understandably concerned about Porcello heading into the 2014 season. However, in spite of having a rather shaky first inning, Porcello went 6.2 innings while allowing just three hits and one earned run in his first start of the season last Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles. He also recorded three strikeouts and picked up the win. Therefore, there is reason to believe that he has now worked the Spring Training kinks out of his system.
Porcello will now be carrying his 1-0 record and his 1.35 ERA into Petco Park to take on Chase Headley and the Padres. Porcello, a pitcher who pitches to contact, should feel very comfortable pitching in the Padres’ home ballpark as it is one of the best pitcher’s parks in all of MLB. Furthermore, the Padres are only batting .209 as a team this season, and Headley, who is widely regarded as the Padres’ best player, will be entering play on Friday batting a mere .125. Thus, one would think that the pieces should be in place for Porcello to pick up his second win of the season tonight.
The Tigers hitters, however, will have their work cut out for them as they will be facing the Padres’ No. 1 starter in Andrew Cashner.
Porcello averages a 14-11 record and a 4.48 ERA per 162-game season, and although that is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, many expected Porcello to be a bit better by now. Although there have been skeptics, many believe that 2014 is going to be the year where Porcello finally takes his game to the next level based on the improvements he showed last season. Starting the 2014 campaign 2-0 would certainly be a good sign that he is headed in that direction.