The Detroit Tigers are looking to finish out a rather rough month of June on a high note with a series win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday in a game which presents a rather interesting mound matchup.
With a 7-5 win over the Nationals at Comerica Park on Saturday, the Detroit Tigers notched only their fifth victory in the month of June. Now, on the last day of the month, the Tigers look to win their first and only series of June. In order to do so, they must overcome Washington ace and former Detroit Tiger Max Scherzer.
Max Scherzer transformed himself into one of the most dominant aces in the game during his five seasons with the Detroit Tigers from 2010-2014. The righty stood alongside Justin Verlander at the top of a star-studded Tigers starting rotation which led the team to an AL Pennant in 2012 and three consecutive ALCS appearances from 2011-2013.
During that incredible run, Scherzer was twice selected as an All-Star and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2013. However, in 2015, Scherzer left Detroit to sign with the Washington Nationals, where he has continued his dominance on the mound ever since.
Scherzer won back-to-back NL Cy Young Awards in 2016 and 2017 and finished second in voting last season. So far this year, Scherzer once again looks in the form to be in the Cy Young running with a 7-5 record and 2.52 ERA through 17 starts.
Going up on the mound against Scherzer for the Detroit Tigers on Sunday is Max’s former Washington teammate Jordan Zimmermann. The two pitchers spent just one year together in the nation’s capital in 2015 before Zimmermann came to Detroit in 2016.
Zimmermann’s transition to his new squad in Detroit did not go quite as smoothly as Scherzer’s did in Washington, to say the least. Ever since coming to the Motor City, Zimmermann has struggled to put up consistently solid numbers and to stay healthy.
So far in 2019, Zimmermann missed a large chunk of time with an elbow injury from late April to mid-June. His start on Sunday marks his third since returning from the IL on June 19th, with his record currently sitting at 0-5 with a 5.95 ERA.
Detroit certainly faces a daunting task in trying to win the series against Scherzer. Hopefully, the Tigers are able to show the same confidence at the plate on Sunday as they did in Saturday’s win, which could give them a boost in trying to overcome one of the game’s dominant aces.