Tigers 8, Mariners 2 (box)
Record: 7-5 (3-way tie for first)
Rick Porcello earned his first major league victory with a very solid performance against Seattle today, while his offense backed up him up with 12 hits for eight runs, and his defense got a nice play by Brandon Inge. Detroit took 2 of 3 from the Mariners to open their nine game, 11-day road trip in style.
- Porcello — The kid allowed just five hits and a solo home run, while striking out three and sending 14 consecutive batters back to the dugout. In seven innings, he faced 24 batters, just three over the minimum, which kept his pitch count to a comfortable 86. His reward was a pie in the face from Justin Verlander when he was interviewed on Tigers Live after the game. I thought we might see this Porcello show up. He wasn’t bad in his debut in Toronto. In fact, he was pretty good. But he looked like a 20-year-old kid making his major league debut. Today, he looked a lot better all-around to me. Got those nerves out of the way. I think we’ll see this Porcello often, but I wouldn’t expect this good of results every time he takes the mound.
- Ramon Santiago — Adam Everett is still battling a cold, so Santiago got a chance to start again. And boy is he making the best out of his chances! He had two hits for five RBIs, even dropping down a sacrifice bunt on a squeeze play. He’s now batting .320 and really looking like a guy who could play every day, though I expect he’ll be relegated to the bench when Everett is healthy. It certainly gives Leyland something to think about, such as, “How do I get this guy in the lineup more often?” Any way you can, Jim!
- Josh Anderson — Not much to really say, but his speed is nice to have. He’s a pretty good ballplayer, and batting .353 in 17 at-bats.
- Jim Leyland – doing some managing! But thanks to the above guys, the Tigers have more options than waiting for the three-run home run. It’s nice to see the Tigers effectively aggressive. Too much aggression and you cost yourself runs. That is a pretty proven fact. But he’s been calling for hit-and-runs and stolen bases well, and now every opponent has to be ready for the squeeze play. It’s good to see.
- Miguel Cabrera — I need a permanent spot for Cabrera’s accomplishments. He went 2-for-4 with three runs today.
- Top of the order — It was good to see Carlos Guillen rap out a pair of hits, but the top five of the batting lineup still leave a bit to be desired. Take away Cabrera, and the other four guys accounted for one run, four hits, two walks and no RBIs.
- Matt Treanor — It’s a good thing he accounts himself well defensively, because he had another 0-for-4 day. That puts him at 0-for-11 with four strikeouts and three double plays grounded into. I find myself relieved when he just strikes out. He looks every bit as bad as his line. You don’t expect much out of your backup catcher at the plate but decreasing the GIDPs would be nice.
- Ryan Perry — He has this way of doing a little bit of bad for every bit of good he does. It must drive Leyland nuts. He threw 13 strikes in 19 pitches, which is a nice improvement. He was still effectively wild, which is fine. He could have gotten out of the inning, but Ichiro beat him to first base on a grounder to Cabrera, and Leyland pulled him. There was really no reason for pulling Perry. But still, I’d like to see him go 1-2-3 like I know he can. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t pitched in a pressure situation recently (though that shouldn’t matter), who knows. So he allowed his first hit and first run of the season. I guess we just have to keep in mind he’s not even reached the 20 inning mark in professional baseball.
- Brandon Lyon — Showed a bit of the Todd Jones today. He got out of the ninth without allowing a run, but it took awhile. It wasn’t real pretty, but no harm done. I thought he had some pretty good stuff on the mound (and strikes 15 of 18 pitches) but mixed results.