DrewSmylyThe Detroit Tigers’ offense is taking some heat after managing to score only ten runs in the series against the Chicago White Sox (that’s 3.3 runs per game, or nearly half the run scoring pace we expected them to hit to start the year). But I think the disappointment (all though justified) is overshadowing three very good pitching performances from members of the starting rotation.

The Tigers were facing a ‘must win series’ (or as close to must win as you can get in early May) with Drew Smyly (a rookie), Max Scherzer, and Rick Porcello (who had both been plagued with some recent struggles). But the three hurlers pitched more than admirably. Here’s the combined line:

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19.1 innings pitched, 4 runs (all earned), 21 strikeouts, 2 walks, 3 quality starts, a 1.86 ERA, and a 0.88 WHIP. And for those of you that are sabermetrically inclined, a 2.89 FIP.

Those are fantastic numbers, especially coming from the 3-4-5 guys in the rotation. With Fister coming back from injury to pitch on Monday, and Verlander going as strong as ever, the Tigers could have a rock solid rotation. It will obviously take more than one or two good starts in a row to convince anyone that Porcello and Scherzer can pitch with consistency, and the jury is still out on how Smyly will do in the long run (I’m interested to see him face the same team for a second time), but you had to like what was on display at Comerica Park this weekend.

The Tigers are one game above .500, and 1.5 games out of first place in the AL Central Division, and you could argue that they have had none of the batting, the starting pitching, or relief pitching perform up to expectations yet. You could look at that and read “doom”, or you could ask “wow, what are they going to do when they start clicking?”

Matt Snyder is the editor of The Tigers Den. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.