Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Rick Porcello's Outing Sunday Is A Good Sign

There are two ways of looking at Rick Porcello’s performance for the Tigers Sunday night.
One is he fell behind in the first inning, to a large degree because of his own doing. He didn’t have good command of the ball in the opening inning, and didn’t get over to cover first base in time on a potential first-to-short-to-pitcher covering first double play ball.
It wasn’t good, but he has pitched better in his last two outings than his pitching lines indicate. The Mariners didn’t hit the ball hard off him initially in his previous start vs. Seattle, but had three bloopers just fall in. His outing Sunday started with an infield single that was essentially just a tapper. Then the home runs came in both outings.
A lot of veteran pitchers would have been done after that first inning Sunday, especially in a pennant race on national television. Porcello, although he is just 20, didn’t come unglued, pitching into the sixth inning.
His two-seam fastball is a really effective pitch. You can see a little bit of Brandon Webb in Porcello. If he keeps that two-seamer, with its sinking action, in the low 90s like that, he is going to be very effective.
People are probably panning Porcello and thinking he isn’t all that good, nor is going to be all that good in the future. I think Sunday’s outing is why he not only has a bright future, but will perform reasonably well the remainder of the season - despite his youth.

Random Thoughts

- My best educated guess is that if the Tigers are sending out signals they need a backup catcher, they feel Carlos Guillen’s return is enough to cure their offensive woes. If that is, indeed, their line of thinking, I think it’s wrong. They need another left-handed bat and bullpen help to give themselves the optimum chance of securing the American League Central title.

- I wasn’t surprised by the news this is the last Buick Open, but disappointed nonetheless. Michigan is one of the great states for golf in this nation. It’s stunning, really, how many truly outstanding courses there are in this state. It’s one of our treasures. From that standpoint, and the sheer size of this state, it makes no sense whatsoever we will no longer have a regular stop on the PGA Tour. Hopefully it is just a temporary thing.



Blogger Fred Brill said...

No doubt about Porcello, Pat. I agree. The only thing I might disagree with is that Porcello is an issue today. Everyone I talked to called it a bad outing but not one of them expressed concern about Porcello as a starter in play off conditions. But you do talk to and listen to a lot more people than me.

I don't get out much.

The bats went to sleep again last night with RISP.It's almost like they are putting more pressure on themselves when the at bat counts more.

And the errors didn't help.

We won 3 out of 4 and came out of that game with a 2 game lead when some were scared we would be down 4 on Monday morning.

It was a great series for our boys.

As far as a backup catcher - I agree with you - we probably do need one, but we need a left handed bat that won't go to sleep with RISP - and we need another Saay. I don't see either on the side of the road trying to hitch a ride with the Tigers.

7:18 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I tell you what book. Before I get onto Porcello.. A lot of folks are talking about this lineup. But other then blasting guys like Ordonez, and saying Inge is done.. To me what has to be overly concerned is the whole entire top of the lineup. Yeah Granderson has had some homeruns this year, but he has not had a good year getting on base like years past. Polanco has shown life lately, but he has struggled. And Cabrera how many times with runners in scoring position has he struck out or dribbled to a middle infielder. If you get a bat at the deadline it won't matter.. those guys have to step it up a notch.. in addition to adding a bat if this team is going to compete.. Know what I am saying here..

I am not trying to say what they have done this far for granted cause they all have had ok seasons but they could be much better...and are playing much to this slump as the bottom half that folks want to right off..

As far as porcello I think he showed a ton last night. If he'd convered first base things could of been different.. but the kid is 20 pitching on sunday night baseball. I am sure he was overly amped up. It wouldn't of mattered though if he pitched a 2 run game.. they still would of lost cause the tigers o-stunk..

9:25 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, is there any player out there that has good left-handed stick that is not defensive hazard. Halladay would solidify your rotation this year and next and get you the division this year and next. Halladay trade is like the Cabrera trade, how many of those prospects will make an impact on the Marlins like the Cabrera did for the Tigers. Two of the prospects are no longer with the Marlins and one is nearly out of baseball. Maybin is doing great at AAA but where is the power. So far the Marlin have gotten two average pitchers out of the deal. Matt Capp might be available,but he is getting hit this year. What is with that?

8:49 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I don't think Porcello would do poorly in the playoffs. Seems like he has great poise for being so young.

12:44 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Granderson needs to hit left-handed pitching a lot better and get more extra base hits that aren't home runs. That is his strength.

12:45 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

John Grabow might fits Tigers better than Capps. Freddy Sanchez, Cody Ross, Chad Tracy, Garrett Atkins, Josh Willingham are all possibilites. So is David Weathers.

12:52 AM 

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