I’ll say it – I’ve never been overly amazed by Max Scherzer. Yeah, his eyes are mystifying and he can stack strikeouts like few other starters (11.3/9 this year) but he throws a lot of pitches and gets himself taken out of games sometimes. That’s not always a huge problem, but with the Tigers bullpen being Phil Coke and a bunch of other garbage, his actualized value is a bit less. having said that, he went eight innings with seven strikeouts on May 10th against the Indians, earning the win. He gets thumped sometimes, hard, because of all the fastballs. Michael Brantley, probably the best contact hitter the Indians have, has had the most success with a .304 average and a homer, and Mike Aviles has been solid too. He’s going to strike a lot of guys out, but don’t be surprised if Reynolds catches up to an accidental groover.
Kluber was solid his last time out facing the Phillies, six innings of three run ball. He was on the short end of that 10-4 victory the Tigers and Scherzer enjoyed on May 10th, unable to get out of the fifth and getting knocked for 10 hits and eight runs. But that’s Corey. Much as I’d like for him to be a boss, he’s a middle of the road pitcher on his best days, alright in the back of the rotation. If he can last five and change, he’ll give the Indians a shot.
Verlander has looked kind of pedestrian his last three starts, amassing a 6.75 ERA and earning two losses. He didn’t even get out of the third inning on Sunday in Texas. Watching him, he’s been wild like a younger version of himself and batters are letting him kill himself. He threw seven shutout innings against Houston, but then the Indians drew five walks a start later and touched him for six hits and four runs. There’s no real book on Verlander, just hope all his pitches aren’t quite cooperating. But we’ve seen what these guys do to Cy Young winners. Trends are popular in baseball.
For four games now, Ubaldo Jimenez has been nothing short of almost great. His shortest outing of these was this past Friday against Seattle, and he still threw five innings allowing two runs. That’s not spectacular but it’s Ubaldotacular. The tempering he’s done on our expectations is nothing short of masterful. Again, he’s got the ability to utterly collapse or utterly dominate. He looked good the last time against the Kitties though, I can’t help but think he’ll be good again. So there’s my hope, it’s on him to crush it.
- Final Thought
The Tribe draws the Tigers’ best two pitchers (though if you ask me Fister is better than Scherzer, Max just gets the sexy K’s) and retaliate with the 5th starter and Ubaldo. Naturally, it’s all going to go the Indians way. Really though, with how they kept coming back against the Mariners and how they’ve played, with such spirit and all that other intangible scout speak, who can beat them? Verlander might be hot with how bad he’s been and twirl a gem, but I who cares what he wants to do. Another measuring stick series, let’s see how it goes.