Anytime a pitching staff allows just four runs in an entire three-game series, they are going to give their team a really good shot at winning the series.
Max Scherzer out-dueled Matt Harvey in game two of the series, allowing just three hits and no runs in six innings pitched. Rick Porcello notched yet another quality start Sunday by going seven innings and allowing just three runs on just four hits against the team he rooted for as a kid. He now has 15 quality starts in 23 total starts.
The Tigers’ starters have hit their groove, and it’s a pretty scary proposition seeing as their “ace” has been their worst starter since the All-Star break.
Justin Verlander has the highest ERA of all the Tigers’ starters since the break at 4.15. Porcello has posted a 3.77 ERA and a 4-1 record. Fister has posted the same record as Porcello but an impressive 2.31 ERA. Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer have been on another level though. Sanchez has posted a 1.51 ERA and Scherzer’s 1.48 ERA and 6-0 record since the break leaves little doubt as to who the Tigers should start if they had to pick one guy to start a do or die game.
No one would have guessed Verlander would fall to the bottom of the rotation, but he’s a pretty good fifth starter. People always talk about the Tigers’ potent offense, but they’re in the position they’re in thanks in large part to their starting pitching.
Sure, it doesn’t hurt to have Miguel Cabrera swinging the bat, but the pitchers have a ton to do with it. The Tigers’ starters rank third in MLB with a 3.41 collective ERA. Anytime you can hold opponents from doing excessive amounts of damage against you it’s going to be a lot easier to win games. The Tigers are getting to the point where they can count on every starter to go at least six innings and give up no more than a few runs. If that trend continues, it’s going to be extremely difficult for the Cleveland Indians to overcome the six game gap they’re trailing Detroit by.