Aug 1, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (48) comes out of a game against the Boston Red Sox during the sixth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Rick Porcello Gets No Run Support From Tigers Offense


 

Rick Porcello exited Tuesday’s Tigers-Indians contest with two outs in the sixth inning with his team trailing 3-0. There was nothing terribly remarkable about his outing to either the positive or the negative. In fact it was a perfect example what has become the classic Rick Porcello start: relatively few strikeouts (two), a negligible number of walks and home runs (two and zero respectively), a good number of ground balls (over 50% of batted balls), more balls falling for hits than you would expect (a .350 BABIP), and the recent phenomenon of zero runs of support from his offense.

This most recent outing represented the fourth consecutive start in which the Tigers’ offense failed to provide even a single run of support while Porcello remained in the game. Here’s his total line from the “streak”:

IP

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

FIP

22.2

10

6

18

2

3.97

3.69

As you can probably tell from the numbers, his actual pitching over these four games has been strong (to quite strong) – certainly better than this year’s MLB average ERA of 4.04 – but the result in his win-loss column has been a less-than-desirable 0-4.

This is, of course, another example (in the long line of examples) of why pitcher wins are such a silly statistic to record and report, but it’s also an example of why the Tigers could be a dangerous team down the stretch. The duo of Rick Porcello and Anibal Sanchez haven’t earned positive results with consistency with the Tigers this season, but both players are almost certainly better than their sub-.500 records suggest. If the Tigers, who have been one of the American League’s better offenses in the second half, can find more game-to-game consistency with their run scoring, there’s no reason why they couldn’t make up the one-game deficit in the AL Central.

Then again, if the club had simply given him a run or two of offensive support in even two of these last four games, they would already have the division lead.

Matt  Snyder can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.

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