Fourth year starting pitcher Max Scherzer will take the mound in Game 4 of the ALCS against C.C. Sabathia. The Detroit Tigers look to finish off the New York Yankees with a sweep over the legendary baseball team.
Scherzer is looking to build on his 2012 season that saw career highs in strikeouts and wins. The Tigers number two pitcher pitched in 32 regular season games this season, posting a 16-7 record. Scherzer’s 231 strikeouts placed him second in the American League behind teammate Justin Verlander.
Depending on the Yankees lineup in Game 4, Scherzer could have some favorable matchups. Alex Rodriguez, who has struggled this postseason was 1 for 12 against Scherzer this season. Jayson Nix, a replacement for Derek Jeter, is 0 for 9 against Scherzer. Scherzer did have his struggles against the Yankees team this year though, posting an ERA of 5.79. The home venue of Comerica Park gives Scherzer a better chance. When pitching at the Tigers home venue, Scherzer put up a 7-3 record. Over 82 innings pitched at Comerica, Scherzer struck out 106 batters.
Scherzer pitched one game in the ALDS against the Oakland Athletics. Game Four saw Scherzer pitch only 5.1 innings in a game that Tigers fans likely are trying to forget. Scherzer gave up no earned runs and only three hits, before closer Jose Valverde had the first of two epic collapses this postseason. Valverde gave up three earned runs in fourteen short pitches in the ninth inning. The loss by Valverde ruined the great start by Scherzer and also forced a Game 5 against the Athletics.
Scherzer had a 1-1 record in the 2011 postseason for the Tigers. He pitched in four games a total of 15.2 innings. The now number two pitcher in the rotation threw fourteen strikeouts over fifteen innings pitched with an ERA of 5.74.
Prior to the postseason, Scherzer has become a bit of an injury concern for the Tigers. On September 18th, Scherzer left a game early due to soreness in his shoulder. Scherzer remained sidelined as the Tigers worked on clinching the American League Central. On October 1st, the Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins to take the AL Central. Scherzer was once again injured, when a teammate stepped on his ankle during the postgame celebration.
The Tigers acquired Max Scherzer in a three team trade that involved in the Yankees. In 2009, the Yankees traded Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, and Daniel Schlereth to the Tigers in exchange for Curtis Granderson. The Diamondbacks received Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson in the trade that saw them give up Scherzer to the Tigers. A 2009 trade that appeared to benefit the Yankees is now shaping up to be the building block to help the Tigers beat the Yankees and move on to the World Series.