How Was The Game? (June 2, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

Another good outing for Porcello, but the bats let him down.

Orioles 4, Tigers 2

The Tigers entered today’s rubber match trying to win the series from the Orioles despite losing a game they absolutely should have won on Friday night. Rick Porcello (2-3, 57 IP, 5.21 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 0.8 WAR) did his part with 6+ innings strong innings in which he allowed 3 runs (all in the 7th inning) and struck out 7 while walking 1. Porcello dominated the Orioles for 6 innings and gave up a homer and a couple quick hits to start the 7th before he was pulled, but the whole of his performance was very strong against one of the league’s better offenses. His progression into a very good major league starter continued as he used all his pitchers effectively and made these graphs look even better after this start:

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Coke allowed two inherited runners to score  in the inning, but holding the Orioles to 4 runs should usually be enough (Downs allowed a run in the 8th). It wasn’t however on this day. Fielder hit a solo homer in the 4th and the Tigers were on pace for a big inning in the 7th before it fell apart. With two on, a run in, and no out, Leyland called for a bunt with Avila at the plate and Martinez as the lead runner. Needless to say, it went poorly and the Tigers ended up with a runner on second and two outs and would end the inning without scoring again. They were up against top prospect Kevin Gausman, who was relatively strong, but they needed to provide more than 2 runs for Porcello. The Tigers end the weekend 1-2 in Baltimore despite the fact that they should have won all three games. They’ll take Monday off and will get back at it Tuesday against the Rays behind Anibal Sanchez (5-5, 71 IP, 2.79 ERA, 1.87 FIP, 3.0 WAR).

The Moment: Hunter makes a leaping catch to rob Hardy in the 2nd.

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One response

  1. All this fretting by Leyland over whether or not he should’ve gotten Porcello before he could pitch to Davis misses the point: The game was lost on Avila’s bunt DP. That was an absolutely debilitating gaffe that just can’t happen. If you’re trying to get Avila’s confidence up, let him swing away against the righty. Don’t make him do something like bunt, that he’s clearly not comfortable doing, especially with one of the slowest runners in all of baseball on 2nd. You can’t expect 2 runs to hold up at Camden so I have trouble blaming the pitching staff.

    At 30-25, this team has greatly underacheived. They’re getting absurdly good production out of their starting rotation and they’re #1 in runs scored per game. While that does suggest some positive regression in the win column down the line, it also makes you worry about whether they just squandered a big opportunity to create some distance from Cleveland afforded to them by their starting pitching.

    Ideally they can get Austin back this weekend for the Indians’ series. While I love Dirks, I’d love him even more if he was batting 7th. Dirks-Avila-Infante is a 7-8-9 to get excited about because I think Avila will turn it around here in June.

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