As part of the SB Nation MLB awards, we are nominating and voting on the Tigers' best pitching performance of 2014. This definition can be left up to interpretation (as you'll see), but with so many great pitchers on the staff it should be a decent competition.
May 22: Danny Worth blanks the Rangers
It wasn't the longest pitching performance of the year, but it was definitely one of the most surprising. Shortstop Danny Worth entered the game with the Tigers down 9-2 in the ninth inning. Four batters later, the score was still 9-2. Worth utilized a dancing knuckleball to stymie the Rangers' lineup, striking out two of the four hitters he faced. His career ERA would remain at 0.00 for two days, when he allowed a run in a second relief performance against the Rangers.
July 1: Rick Porcello throws a Maddux
Pick a shutout, really. Porcello delivered a league-high three of them in 2014, all of which were impressive in their own right. My favorite was his second, a 3-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics. Why was it more impressive than the other two? Porcello blanked the A's in under 100 pitches, a stat now known as a "Maddux." The A's were the best offense that he shut out in 2014 -- the Rangers and Rays were his other victims -- and he did not strike out or walk a batter.
August 3: Anibal Sanchez dominates the Rockies
Sanchez dealt with injuries throughout the 2014 season and took a small step back from 2013's ERA title, but he was at his best against an overmatched Rockies lineup in early August. Sanchez allowed just two hits and no walks in seven innings, striking out 12. The only thing that stopped him from going longer was his pitch count, which reached a season high of 117 after he recorded his 21st out. The win capped off a sweep of the Rockies to open up the month.
August 14th: Max Scherzer blanks the Pirates
Scherzer threw his first career shutout against the Chicago White Sox two months earlier, but his performance against the Pittsburgh Pirates was arguably more impressive. Scherzer struck out 14 hitters while walking two in eight shutout innings, picking up his 14th win of the season. It was his best performance of the season according to Bill James' Game Score.
August 21: David Price one-hits the Rays
In arguably the most embarrassing moment of the Tigers' season, David Price was at his very best. He allowed just one hit in eight innings in his return to Tropicana Field, but took the loss thanks to an unearned run that scored in the first inning. Price struck out nine and didn't walk a batter, but got no help from a Tigers offense that could only muster four hits of their own.
September 28: David Price delivers the Central
Last day of the season, division title on the line...no pressure, right? David Price was brought in for this exact type of moment, and he delivered with a brilliant performance. Price tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering four hits and a pair of walks. He struck out eight and the Tigers coasted to an easy 3-0 victory, locking up their fourth consecutive AL Central title.
What was your favorite performance?