Again, this was kind of a strange game, but the Tigers pulled out a win in the end, which is the important part. Rick Porcello was on cruise control for the first four innings. It looked like he would have no trouble whatsoever. Then all of sudden, he gave up six straight hits to lead off the fifth inning. The first four were all hit very hard. The rest of the hits in the inning were bleeders and infield singles that happened to be bunched together. Jim Leyland said that Porcello was having trouble keeping his pitches down. I’ve heard that can happen with a sinkerballer on extra rest because he feels too strong (although the pitch that Yuniesky Betancourt hit out of the ballpark was a hanging slider). We’ll have to see what Porcello does in his next start (which won’t come on regular rest, either, but it’ll be closer than the long layoff he had this time). After some serious struggles in that last game in
Scoring six runs off Zack Greinke is no easy feat (unless you’re the Minnesota Twins, in which case, it’s quite simple). I thought the four runs they got off him early would have to be enough, but they were able to fight back. In addition to his circus catch, Alex Avila had a terrific day at the plate. He had a two-run single early to pad the Tigers’ lead (a padding that they would end up needing). He also had two other hits, including a home run (opposite field shot into the bullpen that Phil Coke caught barehanded). Meanwhile, Will Rhymes became the first player in history to have his first major league home run called via instant replay. Congratulations to him. Not only that, it put the Tigers in the lead for good. And I don’t think Miguel Cabrera has broken out of his slump, but he did have an RBI single.
The series continues tonight, and the Tigers will be facing Bruce Chen yet again. It feels like they’ve faced him fifty times this season. Actually, it’s just three, and he has a win, a loss, and a no-decision. The no-decision came the last time he faced the Tigers, which was at Kaufmann Stadium. He went 4.2 innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks (the Tigers probably should have scored more against him). He is coming off a win against