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Tigers put their faith in Justin Verlander for Game 5

Oct 8, 2013, 9:16 PM EDT

Division Series - Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics - Game Two Getty Images

With the Tigers burning their likely Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in relief on Tuesday, Justin Verlander will get the nod on four days’ rest in Thursday’s Game 5 against the A’s.

That Verlander was so exceptional in Game 2 against the A’s surely played into Jim Leyland using Scherzer in the seventh and eighth innings today. Verlander struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings in that one, though the Tigers went on to lose 1-0 anyway. Dating back to the regular season, Verlander has pitched 20 scoreless innings with a 33/5 K/BB ratio in his last three starts.

Lifetime, Verlander is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four postseason starts against the A’s. Four of the five runs he allowed came in the first of those starts back in 2006. Overall, Verlander is 6-3 with a 3.84 ERA in the postseason.

Verlander will be facing Bartolo Colon, who is 2-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 10 starts in the postseason. Colon took the loss to Scherzer in Game 1 after giving up three runs (all coming in the first) in his six innings of work.

  1. philliesblow - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Would have liked to have Max starting game 5 with JV available from the pen if needed, but tonight was a must game. If I were the A’s I’d be starting Sonny Gray.

    • Reflex - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      If the A’s are serious about starting Colon I have to say I favor the Tigers in game 5.

  2. dhalb34 - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    A’s can win this. Up until that fifth inning, Detroit’s bats were quiet. They can be silenced again. Just have to manage the bullpen better. Go A’s!

  3. dtownbeatdown - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Detroit has the better pitching on paper and this was the first game there was some real offense between both teams. Even the game Detroit won and the two Oakland won there was not a lot of offense. But Oakland pitching has been really impressive in this series too, so I cant knock that.

    I am assuming it will be Gray vs V again and will be another pitching duel. Whoever makes a mistake first loses. I am just happy to see Tigs live another day.

    • Kevin Gillman - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      On paper? Where is the paper? Oakalnd had a better ERA for the season. I understand, on paper, Detroit has the better pitching staff, and maybe that is what you meant, but Oakland’s overall pitching is better, and they have shown that all season. Having said that though, it should be a fun game to watch.

      • clydeserra - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:41 PM

        ERA? Ok, a little better. But fip and xFip have detroit in a clear lead.

      • Kevin Gillman - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        Detroit has the better rotation, but Oakland has the better bullpen. Either way, it’s been a fun series to watch. Good luck Thursday.

      • dtownbeatdown - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:03 AM

        Oakland had a better era overall but not with their starting rotation. Kansas city had the best era actually. Oaklands relievers are where you kill us. But if our bats show up again and are pitchers do their thing it will be a safe bet to say that tigers take the series… if not we are screwed.

      • Kevin Gillman - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:11 AM

        For the record, I am an Indians fan but also someone that has watched Oakland plenty of times this season. I think it’s been the best series so far. But no doubt, Detroit rotation is better. I just think it’s a matter of who pitches better Thursday will win, because everyone will be in there. Good luck though, either team that wins, I am rooting for them to get in the Series.

  4. sandrafluke2012 - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    By all measures, the tigers have the best 5 man rotation of all time

    • sportsfan18 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      They’re good but YOU are the one who said ALL TIME.

      How about the 1929 Philly Athlethics?

      How about the 2002 Oakland A’s?

      How about the 1927 Yankees?

      How about the Dodgers in the mid 1960’s?

      How about the 1971 Orioles?

      How about the 1948 Cleveland Indians?

      • cohnjusack - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        The 2011 Phillies had a better rotation.
        Various Mid-90s Braves teams

      • clydeserra - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:42 PM

        S/he said 5 person.

        only the 2002 A’s had a fiver person rotation there

    • cohnjusack - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:31 PM


      2013 DET: 24.1 WAR
      2011 PHI: 29.7 WAR

      So…not by that measure. And that was just the first team I checked.

      • Kevin Gillman - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        Check the 1948 Indians if you can, please.

      • mrlee44 - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:56 AM


        2013 Tigers Win% .652 ERA 3.384 Strike Outs 960 WHIP 1.206

        1948 Indians Win% .602 ERA 3.398 Strike Outs 424 WHIP 1.380

        Overall (with the bullpen) the 1948 Indians stats were better, but the statement was 5 man rotation. Don Black was considered the 5th man for the Indians and, quite frankly, he killed it for the stats.

        *Stats taken from

    • butchhuskey - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      If you’re going to say something like “by all measures,” could you please cite those measures?

  5. sandrafluke2012 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    I don’t count any whites-only league rotations. And Smily would make it the best 6 man too

    • Reflex - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      Like was pointed out the 2011 Phils rotation is both better objectively and better subjectively. The Tigers have a great rotation, but no, its not the best all time, even post-integration.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        He’s a troll, not a Tigers fan, FYI.

      • Reflex - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:15 PM

        That makes sense. Hyperbole like that in my opinion diminishes the situation. The Tigers did have probably one of the five best rotations of the past ten years if I had to guess, it was pretty incredible overall.

  6. butchhuskey - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Even though the A’s beat themselves in plenty of ways tonight, some credit certainly has to go to the Tigers. I think the A’s are the better team overall and their 162 game record shows that, but the Tigers are basically genetically engineered to win short series like this. Hopefully there will be another terrific Gray-Verlander showdown in Game 5.

    • sandrafluke2012 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      beat themselves? lol

      • butchhuskey - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:38 PM

        Absolutely, as in this was a winnable game for them. They let Fister off the hook a few times, couldn’t score with the bases loaded and no outs, and had their normally reliable bullpen falter. What I mean by “beat themselves” is basically they wasted opportunities which might have changed the game’s outcome.

      • clydeserra - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:43 PM

        what do you mean? you saw the 8th inning, right?

  7. dhalb34 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Best of all time? I don’t know about that one. They’re a great rotation, but they’re have been better ones, and in pretty sure they’d tell you the same

  8. sandrafluke2012 - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Lots of haters here

    • Reflex - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:18 PM

      Nah, just fans who appreciate facts over hype.

  9. xjokerz - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    hes been the Tigers horse for 5 years….

    Tigers going to open a can of whoop ass

    lol @ balfour talking shit to does that revenge taste
    3/4 with a homer

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