Remember when it seemed like the overwhelming majority of Tigers fans and the media were clamoring for 24-year-old Rick Porcello to get traded, so second-year lefty Drew Smyly could squeeze into the rotation? Can you imagine the added outrage over the Tigers' bullpen if future starter Smyly (2.09 ERA, 39K in 38.2 IP) wasn't in it?
Yeahhhhh, it never made any sense, and now Rick Porcello has been every bit of brilliant as the rest of the Tigers rotation. Thanks to seven shutout innings on Friday night, Porcello's ERA is now 2.84 over his last nine starts (down to 4.37 overall). His last four starts have been much like his dominant spring training, actually even better, striking out 30 in 27 innings with a 1.33 ERA.
This rotation is outrageously contagious:
Over the last 20GS – 4 times thru the rotation – #Tigers starters have allowed more than 3ER once, starters have 2.28ERA, and avg'd 7IP/GS
— Dan Dickerson (@Dan_Dickerson) June 15, 2013
The best cure for a shaky bullpen? A rotation as steadily consistent as the Tigers'.