Game 2: Rick Porcello (0-0) vs R.A. Dickey (1-0. 5.40 ERA)
Porcello is another who has had some success that is countered by some unsightly seasons. His arm is as good as it gets and the Tigers rode with his potential for a few years. Unfortunately he was never able to put together two successive good seasons and he was traded to the Red Sox who then signed him t0 a 4-year/$82.5 Million dollar extension.
The result? a 4.92 ERA….fourth worst amongst qualifying starters. He was awful. After coming back from a tricep injury he did post a 3.14 ERA which he attributes to a different approach, relying more on his sinker to get weak contact. Maybe he has grown from thrower to pitcher. Perhaps that was the turnaround needed. I say wait and see. This year truly is pivotal for him.
Dickey is as Dickey does. Leads this pitching staff quietly. Tosses soft and hard knucklers to the opposition. Tries as best he can with the arm he has and perhaps is pitching in his final year. His ERA will never be amazing but he will give you 200 innings and veteran guile.
He started out OK in Tampa and certainly hopes to build on his season from there. He may not start the season well but he is almost a sure bet to close it well. With the Dome closed, look for that knuckler to really be moving. Can he tame a truly deadly Boston lineup? Perhaps….
Next: Game 3: Another knuckler on the mound, this time for Boston