box) In his first four starts of the 2010 season, Tigers right ..."/> box) In his first four starts of the 2010 season, Tigers right ..."/> box) In his first four starts of the 2010 season, Tigers right ..."/>

Scherzer Can’t Solve Twins… Again

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Detroit 4, Minnesota 10 (box)

In his first four starts of the 2010 season, Tigers right hander Max Scherzer held an ERA of 2.63. He had walked seven and fanned 17 over 24 innings and opponents were batting .253 against him.

Then he faced Minnesota.

After a disaster start last Wednesday, where Scherzer allowed 10 hits and six runs over 3.2 innings, he got another chance versus Minnesota last night.

The results were not good.

Scherzer (1-2) ran into trouble in the very first inning, missing location to three of the first five batters he faced. After retiring the leadoff man, Scherzer left a pitch up to Orlando Hudson, who singled, then walked Justin Morneau and allowed another hit to Jim Thome, scoring the Twins first run. Micheal Cuddyer then found a slider over the heart of the plate and he drove it into the second deck at Target Field and just like that Minnesota had a four run lead.

Things would get worse before they got better and Scherzer gave up another three runs in the second. Before he had worked two full frames, the Tigers bullpen was already beginning to loosen. Scherzer settled in a bit and pitched into the fifth, but was bitten by another crooked number.

His final line: 4.1 innings, 8 H, 10 ER, 4 BB, 1 K

The Tigers made a small amount of noise against Scott Baker, cutting the Twins lead to 7-3 at one point, but they had dug themselves too large a hole in this one. Baker (3-2) worked ahead of seemingly every hitter and the Tigers never really threatened to make this a game.

This was a poor effort given that the Tigers had won their previous five straight, but over 162 games, you’re going to get run out of the stadium a few times. You just hate to see that happen against the Twins.

Cheers and Jeers after the jump.

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Cheers for

  • Austin Jackson– AJax had another three hits, giving him 14 multi-hit games already this year. He leads the league with 43 base hits and is second in average at .377. He fell a home run shy of the cycle in this one.
  • Brad Thomas– Sure, he allowed both inherited runners to score when he entered in the fifth, but that was all the Twins could muster against him. His 3.2 innings of relief meant another day off for the rest of the bullpen, which helps going forward. Thomas has shown some value as a long man, a role I didn’t think he could fill effectively.
  • Brennan Boesch– Has anyone noticed the absence of Carlos Guillen? Boesch has jumped into the big league lineup and shown why he was the Tigers Minor League hitter of the year last season. He connected for his fifth double of the year and drove in his ninth run. He is carrying a slash line of .300/.323/.567 in eight games (31 plate appearances).

Jeers for

  • Max Scherzer– In his two starts against the Twins, he’s 0-1 with an ERA of 18.00. He has worked a combined eight innings in those two starts and Minnesota batters are hitting .439 against him. He has walked four and struck-out four. Apparently he is not a Twins-killer. Sigh.

What’s on tap?

The Tigers will try to get back to .500 on the road this year when these two team meet again tonight. Detroit has fallen to 1.5 games off the pace set by the front-running Twins and will turn to their most effective starter so far to right the ship. No, not Justin Verlander, not Jeremy Bonderman or Rick Porcello either. They’ll turn to Dontrelle Willis.

For all he has been through, Willis has shown his mettle this season. In four starts, he has an ERA of 3.13 (1-1, 3.75 overall), and held the Twins without a run over six innings in his last start. Detroit will need a similar effort this evening if they are to even the series.

Minnesota will send Nick Blackburn to the hill as they try to secure a series win. Blackburn (1-1, 6.85) has been touched up in each of his last two starts, allowing five runs in each, both games against the Royals. He is 2-3 career versus the Tigers, posting a 3.95 ERA in seven games (six starts). He might miss the dome more than most however, as he has been hit hard in five games at Comerica, while pitching very well when the Tigers came to Minnesota in the past.