Max Scherzer brilliant as Detroit Tigers break Halos hex; down Angels 5-2


Apr 19, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (37) warms up before the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels looked like they’d picked up exactly where they left off on Friday, and the nine games previous, against the Detroit Tigers when J.B. Shuck unexpectedly lined a lead-off homer down the right field line in the first inning. Shuck, who doesn’t hit for a lot of power, is just the latest strange Angels’ deed against the Tigers over their 10-game winning streak, dating back to Aug. 26, 2012.

Max Scherzer calmly set down Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Raul Ibanez with three strikeouts. From there it was academic as Max allowed just three hits, two walks and fanned nine batters–one start after striking out 10 over five innings in a loss against San Diego. Scherzer and a couple of homers from Tigers’ batters led the way for a 5-2 win at Comerica Park on Saturday.

The Tigers had runners on all day against starter C.J. Wilson. Though a threat failed in the first inning, they went right back to work in the second when Nick Castellanos slapped his second homer of the year, a two-run shot to get Detroit the lead they would not relinquish.

The Tigers added single runs in the third, fifth (Victor Martinez‘s third homer of the year), and in the eighth.

Joba Chamberlain relieved Max in the eighth inning and promptly struck out two in a 1-2-3 inning. Chamberlain has been doing what he needs to in that setup spot, striking out seven batters in his last 4 1/3 innings.

The Tigers manufactured an extra insurance run in the ninth off maligned reliever Josh Wall. The righty was just hours removed from allowing five Tigers’ runs in last night’s game without recording an out, giving him an ERA of infinity. Wall allowed a run after a bunt single and two walks, and lowered his ERA to 54.00.

Because of that run, Joe Nathan came in for a non-save situation and struck out two, but allowed a long homer to Pujols, his sixth of the year.

  • Those that have insane man crushes on Mike Trout had a somber day as the “five-tool player” did something he’d never done before. Apparently four of those tools are strikeouts as Trout fanned four times, three by Scherzer–a first in his career.
  • Brad Ausmus had another replay overturned today when Miguel Cabrera was called out after trying to tag to third. He was ruled safe via replay and scored a run a few minutes later.
  • The Angels 10-game winning streak is not even a record against the Tigers. They beat them 14 times over two seasons (2002-03) for their longest winning streak against Detroit.

Detroit looks to do something they haven’t done in a while–win two games in a row and win a series when the two teams wrap up their series tomorrow afternoon. The Tigers have lost or tied each series they’ve played since beating the Baltimore Orioles two of three from April 4-6.