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Blog Entry

ALCS Game 2: Tigers look to even series up

Posted on: October 9, 2011 2:12 am
Edited on: October 10, 2011 1:43 pm
 
Scherzer, Holland

By Evan Brunell

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Tigers at Rangers, 4:19 p.m. ET, October 10, Rangers Ballpark

WHO HAS THE EDGE?


Yeah, Texas won Game 1, but the Tigers still have a thin edge in Game 2. Why?

The Tigers constantly threatened to break the game wide open each of the first several innings, but could never get that big hit. Texas was able to smack Justin Verlander around enough that even if there was no rain delay, the right-hander was probably coming out of the game after five or six innings anyways, having allowed seven baserunners. All told, Detroit reached base 13 times compared to Texas' nine, which includes an error by Austin Jackson.

Then add in the pitching matchup, which you can learn more about below. Both Max Scherzer and Derek Holland are pitchers long on potential that have experienced some difficulty putting it all together. Each pitcher's respective performances in the ALDS was strong, and Holland rebounded after a shaky beginning to Game 2, but Scherzer came away more impressive in the end.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Tigers' Max Scherzer: Going on three days rest after hurling 1 1/3 innings of one-run relief against the Yankees, Scherzer has taken to the playoffs beautifully and also blanked the Yankees for six innings in Game 2. The righty originally was supposed to start Game 4, but that would have limited him to just one start, and the team could have really used him for two. Now they get that chance.

"He convinced me yesterday. And Max, he's up front with everything. He would never mislead me in any way, shape and form," Jim Leyland said prior to Game 1 of the ALCS, being convinced in due part to Scherzer playing catch on Friday and feeling 100 percent."He's raring and ready to go."

Scherzer's posted a 4.09 ERA since the All-Star break, but that doesn't do justice to how good he's been since mid-July. He punched out 78 and walked just 18 in 82 2/3 post-break innings, with a fielding-independent ERA in the low 3.00s showing just how good he's been. He made three starts against the Rangers in 2011, posting a 4.76 ERA in 17 innings, striking out 12 and walking four, with the team winning two games.

"Scherzer, what an arm," Rangers manager Ron Washington raved.. It's unorthodox, doesn't throw anything straight, and for some reason when he faces us, he finds the strike zone with more consistency with all his pitches."

Much like his opponent Monday, Scherzer has struggled with consistency in his command. "It's been a challenge this whole year of constantly making adjustments throughout mechanically with each pitch and how I want to execute it throughout the whole year," the pitcher said. I felt like the last five starts, the way of my stuff and the way of my mechanics, I felt in a good position."

Rangers' Derek Holland: Holland has been tantalizing many with his potential for quite some time, and he's finally starting to deliver on his promise. As Washington put it prior to Game 1 of the ALCS, "Right now he's not a total thoroughbred. He's just a little pony, but he'll develop into a thoroughbred."

Holland has had to battle inconsistency in the past with both command and jitters, He had a forgettable 2010 postseason thanks to that, posting a 4.76 ERA in 11 1/3 innings, but so far this postseason has been an impact lefty. He scuffled in the first inning of Game 2 of the ALDS against the Rays, but pulled it together to go five innings, giving up three runs, two unearned. He also appeared in relief in Game 5, blanking Tampa for 1 1/3 innings.

"Last year, I didn't really know what to expect, how to handle anything," Holland said before Game 1. I have a better idea, especially after being around with [Cliff Lee] and then C.J. [Wilson] has been helping me big time this year in how to handle myself as a starter. This year it's a big difference. I'm a lot more relaxed and I would say composed."

Holland has only started once against the Tigers, coming last season when he held Detroit to one run in four innings, knocked out with a rising pitch count due to walking two and striking out five. Delmon Young had the best success for Detroit against Holland, facing him twice while with Minnesota and collecting six hits in 12 at-bats. Unfortunately, Young isn't on the roster. Wilson Betemit and Victor Martinez are the only active Tigers who have a hit off Holland.

LINEUPS


Tigers Rangers
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Austin Jackson CF 1 Ian Kinsler 2B
2 Ramon Santiago SS 2 Elvis Andrus SS
3 Delmon Young LF 3 Josh Hamilton CF
4 Miguel Cabrera 1B 4 Michael Young DH
5 Victor Martinez DH 5 Adrian Beltre 3B
6 Ryan Raburn RF 6 Mike Napoli C
7 Jhonny Peralta SS 7 Nelson Cruz RF
8 Alex Avila C 8 David Murphy LF
9 Brandon Inge 3B 9 Mitch Moreland 1B

Max Scherzer RHP
Derek Holland LHP

NOTES
  • Unlike the NLCS, there's no rancor between the teams involved in the ALCS. During Jim Leyland's press conference, he went on and on about how amazing Ron Washington has been in Texas and said that they are not enemies, just friends managing against each other. Meanwhile, both teams fraternized during BP with smiles on everyone's face. Miguel Cabrera was a popular man and could be sighted laughing uproariously with Washington.
  • Nelson Cruz's home run snapped a 1-for-16 skid in the postseason following a brutal September. It was a special homer for him too, as it's his seventh postseason homer (in just two seasons). That's the most in Rangers franchise history, breaking a tie with Juan Gonzalez.
  • The winning team in Game 1 of the ALCS has won the series 24 of 41 times, or 59 percent. That number dips to 52 percent when you limit it to only when the ALCS shifted to a best-of-seven since 1985. However, seven of the last 11 ALCS have been won by the Game 1 losing team.

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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 5:25 am
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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 9:11 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:26 pm
 

ALCS Game 2: Tigers look to even series up

Now this blog post used to be exclusively fully published, and it likewise features a good deal of necessary details. We highly recommended a person's professed procedure for writing this short post.


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 8:04 pm
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Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 6:10 pm
 

ALCS Game 2: Tigers look to even series up

I think its funny when you tell others to stop doing exactly what you are doing (hating and using facts?). Had to tell you bc its obvious you dont look in the mirror. How about a little respect for the Tigers? Even if not, how about not making yourself look like a fool. The tigers wouldnt make the playoffs in the AL East yet they can actually beat the Yankees in the playoffs? They also had a winning record vs the Yankees and AL east in general so I d like to hear how they would not have made the playoffs rather than your baseless, factless statement? Oh yeah and who eliminated the Yankees in 2006?


As for the AL central, the Tigers will be strong for another 2-3 years at minimum and the Royals and Indians are up and coming with loads of talent if you take a closer look. White Sox and Twins are down but those are good organizations as well with a greater history of recent winning than the Orioles and Blue Jays.



brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 5:17 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Apr 6, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 3:19 pm
 

ALCS Game 2: Tigers look to even series up

How about a thin edge to the Texas offense??????



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 10, 2011 2:48 pm
 

ALCS Game 2: Tigers look to even series up

No matter how you break it down, Holland is as good or better than Scherzer in almost every facet of the game. Holland had a better season (2.7 WAR v. 3.6 WAR) and Holland was equally hot down the stretch. This isn't to say that Scherzer isn't fully capable of shutting out the Rangers today. But the edge in toay's pitching matchup clearly tilts in the Rangers favor. This is particularly true given Scherzer's home run proclivities. This could be a big issue pitching in the Rangers Ballpark. 

Scherzer also struggled on the road this season, that's until he went into Yankee Stadium last series and shut an unbelievably great hitting team down in a park that plays like a minor league ball park for hitters.  So what I'm saying is you never know man, anything can happen in MLB and anything usually does happen in MLB, especially the playoffs.  The Yankees have one championship the last 12 seasons for a reason.  The Phillies lost in the playoffs last season and this season for a reason.  The Bosox went so long without winning a world series they made a movie out of it for a reason.  The reason for all of this?  Baseball is extremely unpredictable and always will be....... nobody has the slightest clue what's going to happen from one game to the next.



Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 2:01 pm
 

ALCS Game 2: Tigers look to even series up

Holland is a better pitcher than Scherzer. Even if we just ignore their season perhiperals (where Holland is basically equal or better than Scherzer is nearly every metric), Holland also posted remarkably good numbers after the all-star break: 9-1, 3.06 ERA, 88.1 IP, 80 K, 26 BB. His montly xFIPs since July have been 3.62, 3.71 and 2.95. He was terrific in September with a 3.50 K/BB rate. No matter how you break it down, Holland is as good or better than Scherzer in almost every facet of the game. Holland had a better season (2.7 WAR v. 3.6 WAR) and Holland was equally hot down the stretch. This isn't to say that Scherzer isn't fully capable of shutting out the Rangers today. But the edge in toay's pitching matchup clearly tilts in the Rangers favor. This is particularly true given Scherzer's home run proclivities. This could be a big issue pitching in the Rangers Ballpark. 



Since: Aug 12, 2009
Posted on: October 10, 2011 1:46 pm
 

ALCS Game 2: Tigers look to even series up

So the Tigers have the "thin edge" today because of the starting pitching?  Are they throwing at milk cans?  Is this ring toss?  Or you in a dunking booth?  If you want to give the "thin edge" in pitching to the Tigers then fine, but I seem to recall that baseball consists of hitting, defense, running, relief pitching and starting pitching.  Not to mention health of the team.  In fairness you also give them this "thin edge" due to the number of men that reached based during the last game.  Wouldn't have thought to consider that.  Based on this the Tigers will win because the Rangers were horrible in the 70s...and the 80s...and most of the 90s.  Seriously, hoping for a good game between two good teams.  Sorry about the injuries on the Tigers...bad timing.



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