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 GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET

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PostSubject: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:02 am

GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET



19th Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game

--- VS ---

Detroit Tigers VS Atlanta Braves
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Comerica Park, Detroit, MI
Game Time - 1:05 p.m. EDT



______________________________________



Pitching matchup

Tigers: RHP Rick Porcello (0-2, 11.08 ERA)

A tough afternoon against the Angels made Porcello the second Tigers pitcher since 1916 to give up nine earned runs without getting out of the opening inning. Three infield singles and three grounders up the middle helped.




Braves: RHP Kris Medlen (1-2, 2.16 ERA)

Most of the damage Medlen incurred in Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh came via three consecutive hits to begin the second inning. He has allowed two multi-run innings this year after surrendering just one in 12 starts last year.









______________________________________
Porcello aims to bounce back facing Medlen, Braves

By Paul Casella / MLB.com | 4/26/2013 11:15 PM ET

Though the Tigers were on the winning end of Friday's 10-0 series opener against the Braves, seeing those numbers on the scoreboard may have brought back some bad memories for Detroit's Saturday starter, Rick Porcello.

That was the exact score by which the Tigers lost in Porcello's last outing, which lasted less than one full inning. Last Saturday, Porcello was tagged for nine runs on nine hits while lasting just two-thirds of an inning in his start against the Angels.

"A little rusty, a little wild, a little unlucky," manager Jim Leyland said in characterizing Porcello's disastrous start. "And that pretty much sums it up."

The unlucky part stemmed from the fact that all but one of the nine hits allowed by Porcello were singles, with three not leaving the infield and three more finding their way up the middle on the ground. The only extra-base hit against Porcello was a Mike Trout grand slam that ended the right-hander's day after 47 pitches and just two outs.

"I think we've all had games where guys are hitting the ball hard just right at [defenders]," Porcello said after the game, "and you cruise through seven innings or whatever and you walk away feeling pretty good about it, but you didn't throw the ball that well. Today, I felt like I threw the ball fine. It just wasn't in the cards for me."

The Braves, meanwhile, will counter with right-hander Kris Medlen, who -- in spite of a 2.16 ERA -- has already recorded more losses (two) in four starts this season than he did all of last year. That, however, is more of a testament to his dominant 2012 campaign than anything else.

Following his 10-1 record and 1.57 ERA in 50 appearances (12 starts) a season ago, Medlen has experienced little drop-off this season, regardless of the two losses.

Medlen allowed just two runs over five innings, but he received zero runs of support in taking his first loss of the season in his season debut. Then after allowing just one combined earned run in a pair of seven-inning performances in his previous two outings, Medlen was saddled with his other defeat Sunday after conceding three runs over six innings of work.

Braves: McCann homers twice in first rehab game
Catcher Brian McCann homered in each of his first two at-bats Friday with Class A Rome in his first game action since offseason shoulder surgery. He finished the game 2-for-3 with a pair of walks to go with his two homers.

The current plan is to have McCann, who would be permitted to play up to 20 games in his rehab stint, play five games with Rome, then approximately another five with Triple-A Gwinnett before making his return.

Though he's been able to swing without any issues for more than a month, McCann has been focused on regaining his arm strength following the surgery.

"The reports on him are that he is up to 180 feet throwing and it was really, really good," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Tigers: Coke dealing with groin strain

Reliever Phil Coke was unavailable Friday night due to a left groin strain, and his status for the rest of the weekend is up in the air.

Coke initially felt the strain while throwing a pitch in Thursday's outing, during which he took the loss after allowing four runs on one hit and four walks over 1 1/3 innings of work.

"He's better today and so he's kind of a day-to-day guy at this point in time," head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Friday afternoon, "but it'll probably be a couple days."

Worth noting
Tigers infielder Jhonny Peralta has reached base safely in each of his last 14 games. Peralta is hitting .364 (20-for-55) with three doubles, a home run and nine RBIs over the 14 games.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.








______________________________________



Tiger's MLB Game Notes



INJURY UPDATE:

RF Avisail Garcia (Right heel contusion, 15-day DL retroactive to March 22, 2013).

RHP Octavio Dotel (Right elbow inflammation, 15-day DL retroactive to April 20, 2013).








______________________________________



BROADCAST SCHEDULE:


To track MLB play-by-play: http://m.mlb.com/scores/

On the Internet

MLB.TV
Gameday Audio
• SCOREBOARD
Official Press Pass game notes


On television

FOX
• Direct TV Extra Innings Schedule


On radio

AND/OR
• XM Channel Schedule








______________________________________



Up next (Probable Pitchers)

SUN, April 28:
TIGERS: (RHP Doug Fister (3-0, 2.00 ERA)) VS
BRAVES: (LHP Mike Minor (3-1, 1.80 ERA))
8:08 p.m. ET (ESPN / AM 1270 & 97.1 FM)


MON, April 29:
TIGERS: (RHP Max Scherzer (2-0, 4.13 ERA)) VS
TWINS: (RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-2, 7.94 ERA))
7:08 p.m. ET (FSD / AM 1270 & 97.1 FM)


TUE, April 30:
TIGERS: (RHP Justin Verlander (2-2, 1.95 ERA)) VS
TWINS: (RHP Vance Worley (0-3, 6.38 ERA))
7:08 p.m. ET (FSD / AM 1270 & 97.1 FM)


WED, May 1:
TIGERS: (RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-1, 1.34 ERA)) VS
TWINS: (LHP Scott Diamond (1-2, 4.32 ERA))
1:08 p.m. ET (FSD / AM 1270 & 97.1 FM)







______________________________________


Last edited by GoGetEmTigers on Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:55 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:08 am

Tigers Press Release

4/25/2013 6:01 P.M. ET
Tigers host Eleventh Annual Negro Leagues Weekend
19th Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game this Saturday

The Detroit Tigers host the franchise's eleventh annual Negro Leagues Weekend April 26-28 as the Tigers host the Atlanta Braves at Comerica Park. On Saturday April 27 the Tigers will suit up wearing throwback uniforms of the Detroit Stars and the Braves will suit up as the Atlanta Black Crackers during the 19th Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game. The Annual Negro Leagues Weekend marks the first - and longest running - three-day celebration of its kind in Major League Baseball.

The Detroit Tigers will pay tribute to several former Negro Leagues players as current and former Tigers players, as well as special guests, all come together for a weekend full of events celebrating the contributions of Negro Leagues players to the game of baseball.

...

Saturday, April 27- Atlanta Braves (Probables: Porcello vs. Medlen) @ 1:05 p.m. (Gates open at 11:00 a.m.)

· The first 10,000 fans to enter Comerica Park will receive a Prince Fielder Detroit Stars Fathead, courtesy of Comerica Bank.

· The Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves will suit up wearing the throwback uniforms of the Detroit Stars and Atlanta Black Crackers.

· Several former Negro Leagues players will participate in a special Q&A Roundtable on the Main Concourse, near the Big Cat Court, from 2:20-3:30 p.m.

· The Tigers will pay tribute to 12 former Negro Leagues players during a special pregame ceremony which includes Frank Crosson, Charlie Davis, Melvin "Buck" Duncan, Minnie Forbes, Bill Hall, Gene Johnson, Walt Owens, Jake Sanders, Henry Saverson, Pedro Sierra, Ron "Schoolboy" Teasley and Johnny Walker. The ceremony will be hosted by famed radio announcer John Mason of WCHB AM 1200.

· Comerica Bank Representative Larry Bryant, District Manager of Comerica's East Oakland Region and Co-Chair of Comerica's African American Initiative Team will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

· The Tigers will honor former Negro Leagues players Joe Douse and Elton King with a moment of silence.

· A $10,000 donation check will be presented to Don Bosco Hall by Comerica Bank during a special pregame ceremony.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:09 am

STARTING LINEUPS:

TIGERS

Austin Jackson, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 3B (2-for-3 against Kris Medlen)
Prince Fielder, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Matt Tuiasosopo, LF
Alex Avila, C (1-for-3, K against Medlen)
Omar Infante, 2B

P: Rick Porcello


BRAVES

Andrelton Simmons, SS
Dan Uggla, 2B
Justin Upton, LF (1-for-3, K off Porcello)
Freddie Freeman, 1B
Chris Johnson, 3B
Evan Gattis, C
B.J. Upton, CF (0-for-4, walk off Porcello)
Juan Francisco, DH
Jordan Schafer, RF

P: Kris Medlen


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:35 pm

ATL - Top 1st
B:1 S:2 O:1
Andrelton Simmons grounds out, shortstop Jhonny Peralta to first baseman Victor Martinez.

B:1 S:1 O:2
Dan Uggla grounds out softly, first baseman Victor Martinez to pitcher Rick Porcello.

B:2 S:3 O:3
Justin Upton called out on strikes.


DET - Bot 1st
B:4 S:0 O:0
Austin Jackson walks.

With Torii Hunter batting, Kris Medlen picks off Austin Jackson at 1st on throw to Freddie Freeman.

B:2 S:0 O:2
Torii Hunter grounds out, shortstop Andrelton Simmons to first baseman Freddie Freeman.

B:1 S:2 O:3
Miguel Cabrera flies out to right fielder Jordan Schafer.

0-0 AFTER 1 INNING


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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:42 pm

ATL - Top 2nd
B:1 S:2 O:1
Freddie Freeman flies out to left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo.

B:1 S:2 O:2
Chris Johnson grounds out, shortstop Jhonny Peralta to first baseman Victor Martinez.

B:0 S:1 O:3
Evan Gattis grounds out, third baseman Miguel Cabrera to first baseman Victor Martinez.


DET - Bot 2nd
B:1 S:3 O:1
Prince Fielder strikes out on a foul tip.

B:3 S:2 O:1
Victor Martinez singles on a line drive to left fielder Justin Upton.

B:0 S:1 O:1
Jhonny Peralta homers (2) on a fly ball to left field. Victor Martinez scores.
2 - 0

B:2 S:2 O:2
Matt Tuiasosopo flies out to right fielder Jordan Schafer.

B:2 S:3 O:3
Alex Avila called out on strikes.

2 - 0 AFTER 2 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:31 pm

ATL - Top 3rd
B:1 S:2 O:0
B. J. Upton singles on a soft ground ball to third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

With Juan Francisco batting, B. Upton caught stealing 2nd base, catcher Alex Avila to shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

B:4 S:1 O:1
Juan Francisco walks.

B:0 S:0 O:1
Jordan Schafer singles on a ground ball to left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo, deflected by shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Juan Francisco to 2nd.

B:0 S:2 O:1
Andrelton Simmons singles on a fly ball to right fielder Torii Hunter. Juan Francisco to 3rd. Jordan Schafer to 2nd.

B:4 S:0 O:1
Dan Uggla walks. Juan Francisco scores. Jordan Schafer to 3rd. Andrelton Simmons to 2nd.
2 - 1

Coaching visit to mound.

B:0 S:0 O:2
Justin Upton grounds into a force out, shortstop Jhonny Peralta to second baseman Omar Infante. Jordan Schafer scores. Andrelton Simmons to 3rd. Dan Uggla out at 2nd. Justin Upton to 1st.
TIED 2 - 2

B:1 S:0 O:2
Freddie Freeman singles on a fly ball to center fielder Austin Jackson. Andrelton Simmons scores. Justin Upton to 2nd.
ATL 3 - 2

B:0 S:0 O:3
Chris Johnson lines out to shortstop Jhonny Peralta.


DET - Bot 3rd
B:0 S:0 O:1
Omar Infante flies out sharply to center fielder B. J. Upton.

B:1 S:1 O:1
Austin Jackson singles on a line drive to center fielder B. Upton.

B:1 S:2 O:1
Torii Hunter singles on a soft line drive to right fielder Jordan Schafer. Austin Jackson to 3rd.

B:0 S:2 O:1
Miguel Cabrera singles on a ground ball to shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Austin Jackson scores. Torii Hunter to 2nd.
TIED 3 - 3

B:2 S:1 O:2
Prince Fielder pops out to catcher Evan Gattis in foul territory.

B:0 S:1 O:3
Victor Martinez flies out to left fielder Justin Upton.

TIED 3 - 3 AFTER 3 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:35 pm

ATL - Top 4th
B:1 S:2 O:1
Evan Gattis flies out to left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo.

B:2 S:3 O:2
B. J. Upton called out on strikes.

B:2 S:0 O:2
Juan Francisco singles on a ground ball to right fielder Torii Hunter.

B:0 S:0 O:3
Jordan Schafer grounds out sharply to first baseman Victor Martinez.


DET - Bot 4th
B:0 S:0 O:1
Jhonny Peralta pops out to second baseman Dan Uggla.

B:2 S:1 O:2
Matt Tuiasosopo grounds out, shortstop Andrelton Simmons to first baseman Freddie Freeman.

B:4 S:2 O:2
Alex Avila walks.

B:0 S:2 O:2
Omar Infante homers (1) on a line drive to left field. Alex Avila scores.
5 - 3

B:0 S:0 O:2
Austin Jackson singles on a line drive to center fielder B. Upton.

B:0 S:1 O:2
Torii Hunter hit by pitch. Austin Jackson to 2nd.

Coaching visit to mound.

B:0 S:2 O:3
Miguel Cabrera grounds into a force out, third baseman Chris Johnson to second baseman Dan Uggla. Torii Hunter out at 2nd.

5 - 3 AFTER 4 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:57 pm

ATL - Top 5th
B:3 S:2 O:1
Andrelton Simmons grounds out, shortstop Jhonny Peralta to first baseman Victor Martinez.

B:2 S:3 O:2
Dan Uggla strikes out swinging.

B:2 S:2 O:3
Justin Upton flies out to center fielder Austin Jackson.


DET - Bot 5th
B:2 S:1 O:0
Prince Fielder singles on a ground ball to right fielder Jordan Schafer.

B:1 S:1 O:1
Victor Martinez flies out to center fielder B. J. Upton.

B:1 S:1 O:2
Jhonny Peralta flies out to right fielder Jordan Schafer.

B:1 S:2 O:2
Matt Tuiasosopo singles on a ground ball to right fielder Jordan Schafer. Prince Fielder to 2nd.

B:2 S:3 O:3
Alex Avila strikes out on a foul tip.

5 - 3 AFTER 5 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:23 pm

ATL - Top 6th
B:1 S:0 O:1
Freddie Freeman grounds out, second baseman Omar Infante to first baseman Victor Martinez.

B:1 S:3 O:2
Chris Johnson strikes out swinging.

B:3 S:3 O:3
Evan Gattis strikes out swinging.


DET - Bot 6th
B:2 S:2 O:0
Omar Infante singles on a line drive to left fielder Justin Upton.

B:0 S:1 O:1
Austin Jackson out on a sacrifice bunt, third baseman Chris Johnson to first baseman Freddie Freeman. Omar Infante to 2nd.

Coaching visit to mound.

Pitching Change: Jordan Walden replaces Kris Medlen.


B:1 S:3 O:2
Torii Hunter strikes out swinging.

B:0 S:1 O:3
Miguel Cabrera grounds out softly, shortstop Andrelton Simmons to first baseman Freddie Freeman.

5 - 3 AFTER 6 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:26 pm

ATL - Top 7th
B:0 S:0 O:1
B. J. Upton grounds out, shortstop Jhonny Peralta to first baseman Victor Martinez.

Coaching visit to mound.

Pitching Change: Drew Smyly replaces Rick Porcello.


B:1 S:3 O:2
Juan Francisco strikes out swinging.

B:2 S:3 O:3
Jordan Schafer strikes out swinging.


DET - Bot 7th
B:2 S:3 O:1
Prince Fielder strikes out swinging.

B:1 S:0 O:2
Victor Martinez flies out to right fielder Jordan Schafer.

B:1 S:1 O:3
Jhonny Peralta pops out to shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

5 - 3 AFTER 7 INNINGS


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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:57 pm

ATL - Top 8th
Defensive Substitution: Don Kelly replaces left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo, batting 7th, playing left field.

Pitching Change: Joaquin Benoit replaces Drew Smyly.


B:0 S:0 O:1
Andrelton Simmons flies out to left fielder Don Kelly.

B:2 S:3 O:2
Dan Uggla called out on strikes.

B:0 S:1 O:2
Justin Upton homers (12) on a fly ball to left center field.
5 - 4

B:0 S:1 O:2
Freddie Freeman singles on a ground ball to center fielder Austin Jackson.

B:1 S:0 O:3
Chris Johnson flies out to center fielder Austin Jackson.


DET - Bot 8th
Pitching Change: Luis Avilan replaces Jordan Walden.

B:2 S:2 O:0
Don Kelly doubles (1) on a line drive to right fielder Jordan Schafer.

B:1 S:1 O:1
Alex Avila bunt pops out to third baseman Chris Johnson in foul territory.

B:2 S:2 O:1
Omar Infante doubles (2) on a line drive to left fielder Justin Upton. Don Kelly scores.
6 - 4

With Austin Jackson batting, Omar Infante steals (1) 3rd base.

B:4 S:1 O:1
Austin Jackson walks.

Coaching visit to mound.

Pitching Change: Cory Gearrin replaces Luis Avilan.


B:1 S:1 O:2
Torii Hunter pops out to second baseman Dan Uggla.

B:1 S:2 O:2
Miguel Cabrera singles on a fly ball to center fielder B. J. Upton. Omar Infante scores. Austin Jackson to 3rd.
7 - 4

B:0 S:1 O:3
Prince Fielder grounds out to first baseman Freddie Freeman.

7 - 4 AFTER 8 INNINGS


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:12 pm

ATL - Top 9th
Pitching Change: Jose Valverde replaces Joaquin Benoit.

B:1 S:2 O:1
Evan Gattis flies out to right fielder Torii Hunter.

B:0 S:3 O:2
B. J. Upton strikes out swinging.

B:1 S:3 O:3
Juan Francisco strikes out swinging.


TIGERS WIN 7-4

CLICK HERE FOR BOX SCORE



  • W: Porcello (1-2)
  • L: Medlen (1-3)
  • SV: Valverde (2)


Game Info


HBP: Hunter, To (by Medlen).
Pitches-strikes: Medlen 108-73, Walden 19-14, Avilan 20-11, Gearrin 9-7, Porcello 90-57, Smyly 9-6, Benoit 12-9, Valverde 14-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Medlen 4-6, Walden 1-1, Avilan 0-0, Gearrin 1-0, Porcello 9-3, Smyly 0-0, Benoit 0-2, Valverde 0-1.
Batters faced: Medlen 28, Walden 5, Avilan 4, Gearrin 3, Porcello 25, Smyly 2, Benoit 5, Valverde 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Walden 1-0, Gearrin 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Brian Knight. 1B: Dan Iassogna. 2B: Mark Carlson. 3B: Mike Muchlinski.
Weather: 63 degrees, sunny.
Wind: 7 mph, R to L.
T: 2:55.
Att: 42,881.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:16 am

Game 22: Delving into Rick Porcello’s stats
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on April 28, 2013 at 1:36 am

Is it possible that Rick Porcello could get more ground balls than last year and still fare worse?

In a small sample size, yes, it is.

Including Saturday’s win over the Braves, Porcello has a 1.94 groundout-to-flyout ratio, according to statistics on MLB.com. Other sites might have different numbers. Whatever the total, what seems consistent is that this year’s ratio is higher so far than he has had in a season. It’s significantly higher than the 1.74 groundout/flyout ratio he posted last year, when errors led to 11 unearned runs.

He has not taken any unearned runs this year, but the .337 batting average he has allowed so far is also higher than any season in his career. Again, it’s a small sample size, so such factors as those ground balls that got through the middle of the infield at Angel Stadium would have an effect, as would the infield singles there, or the two bloop singles in the three-run third inning Saturday against the Braves. After all, we’re only talking 19 1/3 innings so far this season, even though he has made four starts and one relief appearance.

We’re also talking about two starts in cold enough weather that it could affect how well he could grip his breaking ball. He threw 17 of them against the Braves, according to MLB.com Gameday data through brooksbaseball.net, and he drew two swings and misses and four other strikes not put in play.

That said, the thought has always been — and it was again on Saturday — that if he can keep the ball on the ground, things will work out. It took a difficult inning, and two third-inning walks didn’t help his cause, but against a Braves lineup that has punished opponents for leaving pitchers up, Porcello did more than survive.

Nine of his 19 outs came on ground balls, and his five strikeouts dwarfed his season total of three that he carried into this game. His ability to change speeds effectively left some Atlanta hitters fooled.

“I think at some point we got a little aggressive on him and didn’t get our pitches to hit,” Justin Upton said afterwards. “Sometimes that happens. We feel like we’re about to break through and put some runs on the board. Sometimes, you get aggressive. It didn’t work out in our favor.”

Against an aggressive lineup, ironically, Porcello was at his most effective. And he did it through the ground ball. If he keeps with the game plan, keeps pounding the lower part of the strike zone while changing speeds and eye level every once a while, he has to believe it’ll work out. He has to believe the defense will make plays behind him. Jhonny Peralta made an outstanding throw in the hole at shortstop to get an out.

The one miscue Saturday, though it wasn’t an error, was the missed chance at a double play in the third. That cost two runs, the one that scored on the play and the next one that scored on Freddie Freeman’s bloop single because the inning continued.

Add those two runs to the add-on runs that chased Porcello from the first inning last Saturday after early ground balls got through, though four of them scored on his own mistake pitch to Mike Trout for a grand slam, and Porcello has some damage that, while still earned, was also arguably avoidable.

That obviously can’t continue, and one would think it would not. The way Infante has stood out defensively, the way the rest of the infield has otherwise held its own, there’s reason to believe this infield is capable of making plays behind Porcello. Time will tell, and Porcello is likely to keep getting time in the rotation.

If he keeps up anywhere close to that ground ball ratio, there’s a good chance that .337 average will keep dropping. If it doesn’t, he’ll have a beef with somebody if they come for his rotation spot.

Play of the game: Omar Infante’s two-run home run was vitally important, not just because it put the Tigers back in front before the Braves could get to their bullpen, but because it showed the bottom of the Tigers order can make an opposing pitcher pay for a mistake pitch. It was two-strike fastball rising up and over the plate, and Infante lined it. It was not a cheapie.

Out of the game: I just spent almost 500 words talking about the importance of ground-ball outs, but the first-pitch out Porcello induced from Chris Johnson immediately after Freddie Freeman’s RBI single kept the inning from getting away like last Saturday’s first inning. More impressive, it was an out produced off a first-pitch curveball.

Strategy: With Andy Dirks feeling better but still iffy with his sore right knee, enough that Jim Leyland wanted to be cautious about it, Leyland went to the hot hitter and played Matt Tuiasosopo against a right-hander over Don Kelly. Tuiasosopo went 1-for-3 before giving way to Kelly as a defensive replacement. Kelly added a double and an insurance run in the eighth that widened the lead about Justin Upton’s homer drew Atlanta within one.

Line of the game: Porcello induced nine ground-ball outs, five strikeouts and just three fly outs during his 6 1/3 innings.

Stat of the game: 2 — Splitters thrown by Jose Valverde during his inning of relief for his second save of the week. The first splitter hit close to where Denard Robinson’s ceremonial first pitch bounced in the dirt earlier this month. The next was a nasty pitch that Evan Gattis barely fouled off. Valverde went with all fastballs, sinkers and cutters from there and managed to strike out B.J. Upton and Juan Francisco to end the game.

Print it:
“He’s the silverware.” — Torii Hunter on Infante, sticking to his analogy about setting the table for the guys in the middle of the order to eat. Leadoff man Austin Jackson is the table-setter. Hunter is the server. Cabrera, Fielder and Martinez eat. Once the lineup comes back around, ninth hitter Infante is the silverware.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: GDT22: 4/27/13 - DET (11-10) VS ATL (15-7) - 1:05 p.m. ET    

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