Don’t worry, if you weren’t able to keep track of all the great pitching performances of the past week, we’ve taken the liberty of doing it for you. We’ve decided who the very best pitcher of the last seven days was, but before we get to him, let’s give the honorable mentions the credit they deserve.
Steven Matz, New York Mets
The black sheep of the Mets’ usually impressive pitching staff, this week Steven Matz looked like a stud. He faced the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday and held them to two runs over six innings while racking up nine strikeouts. He didn’t come away with the win, but it was a solid start nonetheless and it was succeeded by his Sunday start against the San Diego Padres which was even better. Matz took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before finally giving up a single to Alexei Ramirez. Overall he put together a line of 7.1 innings, no earned runs, eight strikeouts, a victory, and of course just the one hit. Those two quality starts over the week including a near no-hitter put him firmly in the conversation of one of the best pitchers of the past week.
Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox
Rick Porcello has been a very up-and-down player throughout his career. But after a season where he posted a gaudy 4.92 ERA, the Red Sox starter is bouncing back impressively this season, and he continued the rebound over the last week. He went eight innings on Tuesday against the New York Yankees, allowing two earned runs with six strikeouts and picking up the win. He then went out on Sunday and put together another dominant performance, owning the D-Backs to the tune of seven innings, one earned, four strikeouts, and his second victory of the week. With 15 total innings logged in the last seven days and just three earned runs across them, Porcello pitched like a bona fide ace and will certainly be looking to build on it.
Winner: Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers
Needless to say, Michael Fulmer is not pitching like a rookie this season. But lucky for him, he is a rookie, and unless something catastrophic occurs in the last month and a half of the season, he’ll be taking home Rookie of the Year honors by a wide margin. Fulmer added to his resume this week with two more stellar outings. He faced the Seattle Mariners on Monday, going seven innings with two earned runs and six strikeouts, albeit while picking up a tough-luck loss. But Fulmer obviously didn’t dwell on the loss for too long as he finished Sunday with a complete game shutout and nine strikeouts in a win against the Texas Rangers. The Tigers have been fortunate to have this semi-unexpected rookie revelation join them this season, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down anytime soon. His 2.43 ERA suggests more success is on the way for the bearded wonder.