Tarik Skubal's lost performance against Yankees draws Max Scherzer-Tigers AL Cy Young parallel

Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees
Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

It was a dreary, bleak weekend for the Detroit Tigers during their visit to the Bronx. Not only were they swept by the Yankees (including a walk-off win in Game 1), Game 3 was called early at the end of the eighth on account of rain, ending any possible Tigers bid for a come-from-behind victory while they were down 5-2.

A silver lining in the clouds, though, was Tarik Skubal, who started Game 3 and looked pretty incredible doing it. He pitched six innings and gave up two runs in early innings — one on a solo homer to Aaron Judge and another on a ground-rule double to Oswaldo Cabrera scoring Gleyber Torres — but Yankees starter Nestor Cortes allowed the Tigers to do the same amount of damage at the top of the seventh.

For the Tigers, the story of the game was Skubal's 12 strikeouts, a career high. On his 12th to sit down Gleyber Torres and end the sixth on a 99 mph fastball, Skubal came out of his rotation with a scream. Not only had he set a personal best, he'd also become the youngest Tigers pitcher since Max Scherzer in 2010 to strikeout 12+ batters in a start.

Tarik Skubal's performance against the Yankees set a new personal record and drew more comparisons to a young Max Scherzer

Skubal's been generating early Cy Young hype since before the season even started, and Scherzer is the Tigers' last Cy Young Award winner. He garnered nearly unanimous first-place votes in 2013, when he pitched over 200 innings for a 2.90 ERA, to win his first of three Cy Youngs.

While it's unlikely that Skubal will pitch quite as many innings, he's pitched 42 2/3 for a 1.90 ERA so far this season. His fastball, changeup, and sinker continue to be lethal, striking out 47 out of 53 batters (the other six came on his far-less-used slider); eight of his strikeouts on Sunday came off the changeup, three on the sinker, the last on a fastball.

We're still very early into the season and Skubal will have to stay healthy and consistent through the vast majority of year if he wants to compete with the likes of Corbin Burnes or even Seth Lugo, who's been absolutely dealing for the Royals, but he's off to a very, very good start. The Tigers (as usual) just need to work on creating some run support for him, because right now it's looking like Skubal is in a league of his own.