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Tigers’ playoff rotation has last year’s Cy Young runner-up in Game 2 and this year’s ERA champ in Game 3

Oct 1, 2013, 2:51 PM EDT

Max Scherzer AP

Detroit has four pitchers who could potentially get a Game 1 assignment for a lot of playoff teams and the Tigers just announced their postseason rotation with Max Scherzer getting the first assignment.

Scherzer will start Game 1 against the A’s, followed by Justin Verlander in Game 2, Anibal Sanchez in Game 3, and Doug Fister in Game 4. You know it’s a good rotation when last year’s Cy Young runner-up is starting Game 2 and this year’s ERA leader is starting Game 3.

Rick Porcello, who was more or less a league-average pitcher this season as the Tigers’ fifth starter, will work strictly out of the bullpen in the playoffs and if the series with Oakland goes the maximum five games Scherzer will take the mound twice.

  1. historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:06 PM


  2. franklb - Oct 1, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    The last time the A’s played the Tigers was August 26-29 in Detroit. All four members of the Tigers ALDS rotation started. Here’s what happened:

    8/26 Anibal Sanchez, 5 IP, 4 ER, 4 R. A’s win 8-6.
    8/27 Justin Verlander, 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 R (game called after 6). A’s win 6-3.
    8/28 Doug Fister, 5 IP, 7 ER, 7 R. A’s win 14-4.
    8/29 Max Scherzer, 5 IP, 5 ER, 6 R. Tigers win 7-6.

    The A’s took three out of four, losing the fourth game because Balfour blew up. A’s outscored the Tigers 34-20. Tiger starters gave up 22 of those runs, 19 earned.

    Past performance is no guarantee of future success, but I think an awful lot of people are looking past this A’s team and focusing on the Tiger rotation. If the Tigers get past the ALDS, I like their chances with that rotation, but they have to beat the A’s first, and I don’t think that’s a forgone conclusion.

    • Detroit Michael - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:02 PM

      Nobody should be looking past any team that is good enough to be in the playoffs. The Athletics are a fine team.

      What happened in four particular games in August doesn’t matter very much at all though. When one shrinks the sample size to make it more relevant, the main effect is a much smaller sample size.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        And, he left off the series in April when the Tigers took 2 of 3 (7-3, 10-1). It’s a good match-up for the ALDS and I don’t know where he gets anyone discounting the A’s. Maybe he’s got a chip on his shoulder?

  3. papacrick - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I’m a diehard Tiger fan and I can assure you nobody is looking past the A’s. I was at the last series and have no faith that we can even win one game in this series and I know a lot of other fans who feel the same way. Most have already jumped on the Lions bandwagon for now. Both teams are much different than last years that met in the ALDS

    • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      Yes, we are a better team this year.

  4. yahmule - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    All that pitching plus the staunchly, almost angrily supported, MVP and MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera. I think it would be very unseemly to lose to a team that plays their home games in an oversized Andy Gump. No pressure.

  5. 50milessouthofdetroit - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    It doesn’t matter who is pitching for the Tigers if they don’t start scoring some runs….

  6. bender4700 - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Die hard fans for Detroit know:

    Head to Head:
    Det 3- Oak 4 with 40-42 run comparison.
    (one game was rain shortened)

    Runs: 2nd
    BA: 1st
    OBP: 2nd
    ERA: 9th

    Runs: 4th
    BA: 14th
    OBP: 8th
    ERA: 8th

    Head to head Oakland only has a 1 game edge, plus the fact a game ended early. Runs only by 2. And even that’s a little inflated considering how the 14 run game was pretty much a stat boost after Det stopped trying.

    Oakland gets to face two legit Cy Young candidates, a Cy Young/AL MVP winner in 3 games. Plus, Detroit has 2 guys in the bullpen which both could be at least day 2 or 3 starters on several teams.

    Numbers never lie, and Detroit has the edge.

    Nobody is looking past the A’s, but nobody is thinking the series is already over. Far from it.


  7. jimeejohnson - Oct 1, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Not partisan but good pitching tends to stymie good hitting.

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