Baltimore Orioles slugger Adam Jones is not the only major league player to dominate Max Scherzer. (Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

The Ten Worst Matchups for Detroit Tiger Pitchers


Tonight, as the Detroit Tigers faced the Baltimore Orioles, starter Max Scherzer, otherwise dominant, surrendered two hits, including a two-run homer, in the three times he faced Adam Jones. The damage done against Scherzer was nothing new for Jones, who is now 8-for-15 (.533) with a home run and two doubles lifetime off the pitcher. Those numbers don’t look good if you’re a Tiger fan, but they’re not the worst you’ll see.

Seeing the head-to-head numbers for Jones and Scherzer made me wonder what other matchups individual Detroit pitchers have struggled to win. Following are the top ten pitcher-hitter encounters the Tigers should hope to avoid, sorted by on-base plus slugging percentage and limited to matchups that have occurred at least 20 times:

Batter Pitcher AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OPS
Shin-Soo Choo Max Scherzer 21 12 2 1 2 5 6 4 0.571 1.714
David Murphy Doug Fister 20 9 0 0 4 8 1 1 0.45 1.526
Justin Morneau Max Scherzer 15 5 1 0 3 4 5 1 0.333 1.5
Placido Polanco Anibal Sanchez 21 9 1 1 2 4 1 1 0.429 1.312
Nelson Cruz Max Scherzer 22 9 2 0 2 5 1 5 0.409 1.208
Chase Utley Anibal Sanchez 34 15 5 2 0 7 2 5 0.441 1.192
Alex Gordon Max Scherzer 20 8 2 0 1 2 6 4 0.4 1.188
Juan Pierre Rick Porcello 18 7 3 0 1 5 2 0 0.389 1.172
David Ortiz Justin Verlander 24 8 4 0 2 4 3 7 0.333 1.157
B.J. Upton Justin Verlander 21 9 2 0 1 5 2 5 0.429 1.145

Fortunately for the Tigers,  five of these hitters are currently employed by clubs in the National League. Two of those, Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco, play for the Philadelphia Phillies, who will travel to Detroit for a weekend series in July. Two players on the list, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy, are members of the Texas Rangers. Only two others, Justin Morneau and Alex Gordon, play in the American League Central.

The speed demon Pierre is just the kind of player who would thrive against Porcello, a ground ball pitcher. Interestingly, Scherzer appears on this list four times. The only surprise with Cruz is that he doesn’t appear more than once on the list.

In any case, these are a few matchups the Tigers would do well to stay away from.

Next Tigers Game View full schedule »
Tuesday, Sep 22 Sep7:05at Cleveland IndiansBuy Tickets

Tags: Detroit Tigers