By James Nahikian
The Detroit Tigers took two out of three games this weekend against their division rival, the Chicago White Sox. For the second game in a row, starter Rick Porcello looked very solid. He allowed only four hits in over six innings, earning his third win of the season.
His recent success may have something to do with a minor tweak in his delivery. After talking with pitching coach Jeff Jones, the two decided to slow Rick’s approach down. If you look closely, he now is noticeably slower when winding up to throw a pitch. According to Porcello, this new wind up is now almost exactly like his wind up that he had in high school, when he pitched for Seton Hall Prep. The new delivery helps him with keeping pitches out of the top of the strike zone, where hitters typically do all their damage against the righty. Porcello is a ground ball pitcher, who needs to keep his pitches down in order to induce ground balls. And since the change, he has done just that. Throwing over 14 innings in two starts, allowing only four runs, and picking up two straight wins.
With Doug Fister set to return from the disabled list and start tomorrow in Seattle, the Tigers will hope to finally hit their stride. Fans would definitely say that their team has underachieved so far, but it seems that the Tigers may be figuring things out. Rick Porcello may be finally living up to all the hype that came with him when the Tigers drafted him straight out of high school in the first round of the 2007 MLB Draft, and the team now finally appears to have a set 5th starter in Drew Smyly (1-0), who leads the American League in ERA. Not to mention, all the distractions that centered around Brandon Inge are now as Mr. Harwell would say, “Long Gone!” And the team is almost entirely healthy at the moment (Aside from Victor Martinez, who could possibly be back in September).
The start to this season has without a doubt been average at best. But in my opinion, the Tigers are about to get hot. Very hot, look for them to go on an impressive run to finish out the month of May.
James Nahikian blogs about the industry of sports. And specializes in articles about the Detroit Tigers, Major League Baseball and Bowling Green State University Athletics. Email him at email@example.com And follow him on twitter @KingNahikian or facebook where you can find links to his articles and updates about future posts.