April 8th, 2010

Thursday: Tigers at Royals

Well, if Brandon Inge held out any hope of playing in all 162 games this season, his dreams are in serious jeopardy. Don Kelly gets the start at third base today, while Ryan Raburn starts at second. Carlos Guillen is the left fielder, with Johnny Damon getting a day at DH.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, DH
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, LF
  6. Raburn, 2B
  7. Kelly, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

P: Willis

Scherzer impresses in Tigers debut

That regular-season intensity of Max Scherzer was on display in a regular-season game Wednesday, and Scherzer showed how he can channel it to his advantage.

Scherzer was visibly fired up when he got the call on the inside corner for strike three on David DeJesus to end the fifth inning with the bases loaded. His no-hit bid was gone, but he kept the game scoreless. Even more encouraging for him, he did it by pounding a fastball inside, a big point of his during Spring Training. He had fallen behind on a 2-0 count to DeJesus to put himself in serious trouble, but worked out of it.

“It wasn’t the strikeout; I really worked hard on locating the fastball in,” Scherzer said. “And on that pitch, when I needed it most, I located my fastball in. That’s where I can walk away from this outing knowing that in that situation I did something right.

Scherzer felt like Wednesday was a good starting point for him. His slider was off and on, but his changeup was generally solid. His fastball, obviously, was encouraging, and he changed speeds on it according to the situation, ranging from the low to mid-90s. He didn’t rack up a lot of strikeouts, just three, but walked just two while induced some quicker outs. He would’ve liked to have gotten into the seventh inning, but with 91 pitches through six — an average of just about 15 pitches per inning — he had to be encouraged. His manager sure was.

“Scherzer was terrific,” Jim Leyland said. “Used all his pitches, changed the speeds on his fastball, good changeup, slider.”

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