CLEVELAND -- Rick Porcello's 75 pitches through 6 1/3 innings on Tuesday were a pretty good sign that he had his sinker working, as were his 13 ground-ball outs. The pitch data from MLB.com Gameday and brooksbaseball.net reinforced it.
Thirty-eight of Porcello's 75 pitches were sinkers, according to the data. Another 17 were four-seam fastballs. It was an uptick over Porcello's last meeting with the Indians on Aug. 21, when he threw sinkers for a little less than half his pitches while mixing in a decent number of sliders.
"I think my last couple times out, I tried to commit more to my sinker, especially against lefties, and get back to locating that thing down and away and make them try to hit that," Porcello said. "That's my pitch, and that was pretty much the key to the game, just trying to locate that thing. It was sinking pretty good and we were able to get some quick outs, a lot of ground balls."
That was a message relayed by Tigers coaches, including manager Jim Leyland.
"He's got to throw it to left-handed hitters," Leyland said. "He's got to sink the ball down and away from them. It was a nice sinker. It was right at the right time and it was late."