No matter what happens in Game 3 tomorrow, the ace of all aces will not pitch on short rest. Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers will stick to original pitching rotation, avoiding the panic move many thought they would resort to if they lose tomorrow. This also eliminates any chance that we will see Verlander starting in Game 7.
Despite Verlander’s arm being bionic, it appears that he has never pitched on three days rest before. Of course, I might be misreading the splits on Baseball-Reference, but it’s quite surprising this never happened. The question that remains, however, is it the smart move to stick with Anibal Sanchez in Game 3 and Max Scherzer in Game 4?
I say yes.
Sanchez and Scherzer have been every bit as good as Verlander down the stretch and into the postseason, so it’s better for the Tigers to stick with the original plan. Also, I don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference, considering how lethal the Tigers are at home.
Nevertheless, if the Tigers lose tomorrow, Jim Leyland might make the switch, figuring he has to go down with his horse. No matter what happens, Verlander will go home to Kate Upton, so his life will be quite okay.
This is why it’s hard to be critical of managers sometimes. No matter what decision they go with, there will always a mass of people criticizing you for your decision.
Eyes are on you, Jim. Good luck.