Oct 18, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer waves to the crowd as he is relieved in the 6th inning during game four of the 2012 ALCS against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
We don’t know who the Tigers will be facing in the World Series, but we do know that they won’t have home field advantage (thanks, in part, to Justin Verlander’s shoddy All-Star Game performance). Detroit’s quick sweep of the Yankees (that never gets old) means they’ll have the luxury of plenty of time off to set up their pitching rotation however they’d like.
Game One – Wednesday, October 24 – at NL Champion
Justin Verlander is the no-brainer decision to start game one. It could be in St. Louis, or it could be in San Francisco, but it probably won’t matter either way. The Tigers will have the best pitcher in the game in line to start two of the first five games, and that’s a huge advantage.
Game Two – Thursday, October 25 – at NL Champion
You could make the argument here for either Doug Fister or Max Scherzer. I’ll pick Fister since he’s been Jim Leyland’s number two guy for the postseason. He wasn’t at his sharpest during his last outing in New York, but he still managed to 6.1 scoreless innings.
Game Three – Saturday, October 27 – at Detroit
I’ll pick Scherzer to be the starter for the first game in Detroit; he has seemed to be extremely comfortable pitching in the home ballpark. Max is also prone to shorter outings, so pitching him after the off day would allow for the entire bullpen to be available.
Game Four – Sunday, October 28 – at Detroit
It’s almost unfair that Anibal Sanchez is immediately penciled in as the number four pitcher – he’s been amazing during these playoffs – but Detroit’s starting pitching is that good. He’s only going to get the one start in the World Series, but would be available in relief later on.
Game Five – Monday, October 29 – at Detroit*
This would be the second Verlander game, barring a sweep either way. Verlander. Final home game of the year. World Series. You tell me how intense the atmosphere for that game would be.
Game Six – Wednesday, October 31 – at NL Champion*
It would be Halloween, and the series would be shifting back to the NL park, but let’s hope the only ghosts that appear are the ones created by the dying opponent. This appears as though it would be a Fister start, but it could be Scherzer if he gets the nod in game two.
Game Seven – Thursday, November 1 – at NL Champion*
When baseball is played in November it means the season has gone on too long. Scherzer (but possibly Fister) would be called upon to lead the Tigers to victory under the winner-take-all scenario. Of course, the pressure on him would be relieved somewhat by the knowledge that Verlander would probably be available out of the bullpen for an inning or two. Scherzer wouldn’t have to go super deep into the game, so he could go all-out with his stuff from the beginning.
All games will be broadcast on Fox, and all game times, though officially “TBD”, are presumed to be 8:00 PM (just as all prime-time NLCS games were).