Game 85: Porcello’s sinker takes flight

Rick Porcello compiled his 25-inning scoreless streak over the course of four different starts and three weeks. It took just five pitches and two batters for the Rays to end it. One batter later, Porcello had a three-run deficit before he had his first out. With David Price pitching on the other side, that was essentially the ballgame.

It took six batters for Porcello to get a ground-ball out, one of 10 he ended up earning on the night.

It took just five-plus innings for the Rays to get Porcello, owner of back-to-back shutouts, out of the game.

All in all, it was a rough night. And Final Vote or no, it was not a good spotlight for him on national television.

“I was falling behind guys,” he said. “I didn’t stay down in the zone well tonight at all.”

After three outings that made him look like he could pound hitters into the ground with his sharp-moving sinker, Sunday was a reminder that even sinkerballers like Porcello need secondary pitches to work.The numbers off the sinker were startling: He threw 27 out of 37 for strikes, the Rays swung at 22 of them, and missed on just two. They put 13 in play and got base hits on six.

“We’ve said all along that the key for him is being down with his sinker,” Ausmus said. “When it gets up, it gets flat. You see more fly balls. He made the adjustment. He actually started getting the ball down in the zone. He got some ground balls. A couple of them found holes. He was getting the ground balls he was trying to get. That’s going to happen sometimes with ground ball pitchers. Some will find holes.”

Porcello gave up three other hits off the four-seam fastball, two on the changeup, and one off the slider (which is really more of a cutter at this point). The one pitch that seemed to avoid heavy damage for him was the curveball, and even that drew eight swings out of 11 strikes.

To state the obvious, the Rays swung early and often, and they didn’t miss much.

“I think it’s important to get on him early like that,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said, “because if you don’t he settles in and it’s really difficult. We worked good at-bats, obviously, we have the last couple of nights.”

27 Comments

“A couple of them found holes. He was getting the ground balls he was trying to get. That’s going to happen sometimes with ground ball pitchers. Some will find holes.”

Twice, the bell seemed to hit in the border of the grass. That could explain the hoop and the speed won by the ball. Or the grass is thick and short on design

I learned two things from this series. a) the Rays have really good pitching and are now playing the way they were expected to. b) we really miss Victor Martinez.

Will be so glad when the All-Star non-sense is over. The best 2nd baseman in baseball isn’t going. Last night’s game made me want to gag.

And what on earth is going on with Andy Dirks? (Not to mention Joel Hanrahan.)

who?

Why did Clark send Suarez to home ?

He’s safe if doesn’t trip over the foul line.

Beck:”David Price has allowed 2 runs in each of last 4 meetings with #Tigers. Suarez fall keeps tonight’s damage at two. Might’ve been out anyway.”
Play safe 5 runs down

Amazing …….you can score runs against Tampa and you can keep them from getting 19 hits! Guess it’s just the Tigers stink!

What about Ezekiel down in Toledo? Might be time to give another kid a chance with Ajax’s high K rate and his downgrade on D!

i didn’t notice the D downgrade – you talking about Torii? 😉

thoughts about acquiring Troy Tulowitzki? just for fun…

The Mudhens wont be enough for him.
At Coors Field 323 .398 .563 .961.
At normal altitude:275.349.470.820
I guess they turned the humidifier off
Not worth it.
Martin Prado would be a better option. Or Alexis Rios. Even Soriano. No place for the latter of course.
If you want a trade for a meg contact, Headley the San Diego 3B would be better, he is having a bad season so time to buy low. And the Tigers need a long term 3B than can play average defense and they dont have that currently. That wont happen, they will cling to Casteallanos for years like they did with Raburn.

What happened to the new look Tigers and the stolen base percentages? I kinda remember Rajai being tied for the league lead at 19 or 20. Kinsler never tries to steal (well hardly ever) and AJ, well, we all all know about AJ and the stolen base issues.

The Tigers are fifth in SB and fourth to last in SB%. But they are also first in2B. So no point in stealing bases when they are regularly in Scoring position.( even if third to last in extra base taken and second most outs on base)
The problem is not contact, or slugging, or going on bases or stealing. The problem is taking the runners home. they numbers are put by Kinsler, Miguel and the Martinez. After and before that, a void, nil production.

in scoring position, even if
the numbers are

Tampa bays leaves Detroit and gets instantly cooled off

Tiger fans NEED Justin Verlander to re-inspire them. Will this be the day?
Isn’t it about time we officially hear something about Andy Dirks and Hanrahan?

Just google it. Andy had a set back and is still working out, just slowed down a little and Hanrahan still isn’t throwing off a mound.

said it a hundred times….don’t think Hanrahan is going to be an improvement of a bad phil coke. Dirks has in the past came back strong from injuries.

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