September 22nd, 2012

Scherzer will start day game Sunday, Smyly in nightcap

Max Scherzer is back in line in the Tigers rotation. He threw for about 10 minutes Saturday afternoon and felt fine with all his pitches, so he’ll start Sunday’s afternoon game against the Twins.

“Everything felt good,” Scherzer said. “My arm warmed up quick. My arm felt 100 percent. I was able to throw every pitch.”

Drew Smyly will start Sunday night. Rick Porcello, who went from starting on Friday to being on standby in case Scherzer wasn’t ready, will now essentially have his spot skipped this turn. He’ll start Wednesday against the Royals.

By skipping Porcello instead of simply moving everybody back, manager Jim Leyland keeps his rotation in order for the stretch run. As long as Scherzer’s healthy, he stays in line to make two more starts after Sunday, including the regular-season finale Oct. 3 in Kansas City.

Saturday’s lineups: Tigers vs. Twins

1. Austin Jackson, cf
2. Quintin Berry, lf
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3b
4. Prince Fielder, 1b
5. Delmon Young, dh
6. Andy Dirks, rf
7. Jhonny Peralta, ss
8. Alex Avila, c
9. Omar Infante, 2b
P: Doug Fister

1. Denard Span, cf
2. Ben Revere, rf
3. Joe Mauer, c
4. Josh Willingham, lf
5. Justin Morneau, 1b
6. Ryan Doumit, dh
7. Trevor Plouffe, 3b
8. Alexi Casilla, 2b
9. Pedro Florimon, ss
P: Sam Deduno

Tigers, Twins rained out; doubleheader Sunday

Here’s what we know as of Friday night:

  • Doug Fister will start Saturday afternoon as scheduled. He’ll oppose Sam Deduno, who was scheduled to start for the Twins Friday night.
  • Sunday’s previously scheduled game is still on at 1:05pm. The makeup game is at 7:05. Tickets for Friday’s game are good for Sunday night’s game without exchange necessary. If you have a Friday ticket and can’t make it Sunday night, you can exchange your ticket for a ticket to any non-premium Tigers home game between now and next Sept. 21.
  • Scott Diamond will pitch Sunday’s early game for the Twins. P.J. Walters, who was originally scheduled to pitch Sunday afternoon, will pitch Sunday night instead.
  • Drew Smyly will start one of the games Sunday for Detroit. We don’t know yet which one. The other starter is listed as TBA, which presumably depends on whether Max Scherzer is cleared to pitch after dealing with a shoulder injury that knocked him out of his previous start. Scherzer is scheduled to throw one more time Saturday to make sure he can throw all his pitches without issue.
  • Rick Porcello, Friday’s scheduled starter for the Tigers, has been pushed back, though he didn’t do any warmups on the field prior to game time. With six games over the next five days, he’s expected to start one of them. It could be Sunday if Scherzer doesn’t go. It could be during next week’s series against the Royals, against whom he has fared much better this year (1-1, 3.46 in two starts) than he has against the Twins (0-0, 5.27 in three starts, 27 hits in 13 2/3 innings).
  • It’s going to take some work for manager Jim Leyland to preserve his pitching order for season’s end. The way he had plotted it out, Scherzer was on track to pitch the regular-season finale, followed by Justin Verlander to either start the postseason or pitch a tiebreaker. With that in mind, I would be absolutely shocked if Verlander pitches on short rest in the coming days.