Strasburg-Verlander? It’s possible next year

If you’ve been wondering what a Justin Verlander pitching duel with Stephen Strasburg would look like, next season might be your year.

You probably weren’t wondering the same thing about a season-ending showdown in Miami, but you’re getting that, too.

Welcome to the new era of Interleague Play, unveiled Wednesday with the release of Major League Baseball’s 2013 schedule. With two 15-team leagues, there will be an Interleague series going on somewhere in baseball at any point in the season. For the Tigers, it starts at the end of April with the Braves coming to town, and it’ll go down to the final series of the season against the Marlins.

The schedule begins in Minnesota for three games against the Twins beginning on Monday, April 1 and continuing April 3-4. It’ll be the first time that the Twins open a season at Target Field, and it could be an interesting test of early spring weather in the upper Midwest. April 2 is slated as an off-day just in case Opening Day gets postponed.

From there, the Tigers return to Detroit for their home opener against the Yankees on Friday, April 5, beginning a six-game homestand that includes three games each against the Bronx Bombers and Toronto Blue Jays before Detroit embarks on its lone West Coast Trip of the year, playing nine games against the A’s, Mariners and Angels.

This year’s Interleague slate pits the Tigers against the National League East as well as the Pirates, their new designated NL rival. The highlight, however, might be a pair of two-game series against the Washington Nationals — May 7-8 at Nationals Park, July 30-31 at Comerica Park.

Washington is one of two National League teams the Tigers fill face for four games. They’ll have a home-and-home set of two-game series against Pittsburgh starting Memorial Day — May 27-28 at Comerica Park, May 29-30 at PNC Park. The rest of the Tigers’ Interleague slate consists of three-game series, including a visit from the Phillies July 26-28 and a trip to Citi Field to face the Mets August 23-25.

The twist, however, comes with three games in Miami Sept. 27-29, part of a season-ending road trip that begins in Minnesota.

Add up the Mets and Marlins series, and the Tigers will have two three-game series in the heart of a potential division chase which they’ll have to have their pitchers bat. It’ll be vastly different than past seasons, when they could get most of their pitchers batting practice out of the way in one June stretch with maybe a stray three-game series in May.

The Tigers won’t face the AL Central rival White Sox until July 9-11 in Detroit, but they’ll play each other 12 teams in August and September, including the Tigers’ home finale Sept. 20-22.

12 Comments

Unbelievable! Yes…the games in spring count the same as games in the fall…but if the Tigers happen to be in a pennant race the last week of the season they are at
huge disadvantage with their pitchers batting. They’re probably less likely to shorten the rotation plus risk a pitcher injuring himself while at bat…swinging, HBPB, running…possibly going on the DL and missing post season play…RIDICULOUS!

Good points, illustrates why we need to get rid of the DH and play real baseball. Then it really won’t matter much with interleague. That, or make the DH happen in the NL.

Or illustrates why we we should have the dh in both leagues.

Why not a ten man lineup in both leagues?? All pitchers bat. DH or would it be an EH?? Better check with Canada first!!!

We might be more interested in seeing either Fister or Scherzer against Strasburg.
Verlander is not the pitcher he was last year and we have two more fine starters – one of which is just entering his prime – other potentially as good as Verlander’s past 100 starts, if Doug could remain healthy.

That is crazy talk. Verlander has not had the luck/ run support he had last year, that is the difference. He has had 2 bad starts recently…… he has just set the bar so high that you think Fister/Scherzer are in his league (they are not).

Ah, a tough year for Justin. Where will he finish?? Fifth, sixth, seventh in the Cy Young voting. It could be higher if he wins his next four. Has he ever missed a start?? Also it would be great if Max received a few votes for the award especially if he wins his next four. Isn’t it great to have two starters who very well could go 4-0 between now and the end of the season?? Not that Mr. Fister could not do it also. We may need at leat one of them to do it. Rick and Anibal could win some, too. Go Tigers!!!!!!!

Back to the schedule. As you all say, the biggest issue is the DH. That should have been addressed years ago and is definitely the elephant in the room when expanding interleague. There are some positives. At quick glance I see only one west coast trip? The Tigers will play more games that I can attend, so that’s good.
I will be interested in seeing how attendance for interleague is now that’s it’s not dominating the prime attendance month of June. It may not be as popular as Selig thinks.

First thing we are mostly an end of the month interleague team. Whatever that means. Does it mean the the big market matchups are down to four games now?? Rich, of course, the attendance will be down for the reason you gave. The rough year will be when we play the NL West. But it’s okay because all our division is in the same boat. Det-Pitt, Clev-Cincy, Chi-Chi, Mn-Milw, KC-St L. That looks good.

Do we still play 18 games with division foes?? That leaves seven games series with all the east and west teams. That helps with Wild Card problems. Not that I’m interested in that beast. Could be a hurricane in Miami end of September but we get to play inside anyway.

19 divisional games now. That will be a 10 away 9 home split that will probably alternate every year, I’d think.
I actually like this setup better than throwing away the entire month of June on interleague just as the division races are taking shape. And they cut down on those hokey rivalry things.

Lots of good in it. It makes clinching the division before Sept 26th all the more important!!!!!!!!!!

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