I often complain about the win/loss statistic for pitchers, partly because it is so dependent on run support which is something a pitcher can not control, especially in the American League. With the Tigers playing in a National League park tonight, Rick Porcello got a chance to provide his own offense and came through with two hits and two Runs Batted. His batting provided the winning margin in a 3-1 win over the Pirates.
Porcello's pitching was pretty good too. He allowed just one run on six hits and one walk in seven innings. He struck out only two but used his hard sinker to induce 13 ground ball outs. It was a typical performance for the 20-year-old right-hander who is third in the league in ground ball percentage at 55.4%. The 99 pitches he threw tonight were the most he has thrown all season.
Rick didn't do it one hundred percent by himself. He got some help from his defense, most notably Miguel Cabrera. The big first baseman made four very good plays including an unassisted double play in the second inning. He also made two diving stops followed by perfect throws and stretched to snag a line drive.
The third Tigers run was supplied by Brandon Inge on a homer to left off reliever John Grabow in the eighth. Although he did not participate in the scoring Placido Polanco had a big night going four for four with a pair of doubles.
It has been a rough week for the bullpen but everything went smoothly tonight. Zach Miner pitched a scoreless eighth and Fernando nailed down his 12th save in the ninth inning.