The one thing the Tigers need more than anything if they are going to remain in contention all year is for Rick Porcello to turn his season around. He was sent down to the minors in June after posting a 6.14 ERA in 13 starts. After four starts in Toledo, the hope is that he'll respond to his triple-A stint anywhere close to as well as Max Scherzer has. Scherzer has a 2.86 ERA and 11 strikeouts per nine innings since returning from a two-game trip to Toledo.
Porcello returned to the Tigers rotation with a bang tonight. He threw eight innings of six-hit one-run ball versus the Indians in the second game of a doubleheader. His control was outstanding as he threw 71 of his 99 pitches for balls and walked nobody.
He had his sinker working well enough to put up an 11/6 gound out fly out ratio. prior to his demotion, he had a 28/38 GO/FO ratio which isn't going to work for a sinker ball pitcher. In addition to the ground balls, he also had a season high six strikeouts.
Some will say that it's only game against a weak hitting Cleveland Indians club and they are correct. However, this is the same team against which Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander have struggled the last two days. The important thing is that Porcello was throwing strikes and inducing grounders, two things he wasn't doing so much earlier in the year.