Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer got word just a few days ago that his younger brother Alex had committed suicide. But he decided to carry on and make his scheduled start Saturday vs. the Pirates.

And he put together a truly inspiring performance.

The Tigers didn’t win and Scherzer was handed his fifth loss of the 2012 campaign, but he struck out seven batters and issued just one walk over six strong innings. He only really made one mistake, which Andrew McCutchen deposited it over the left field wall for a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

Scherzer understandably declined to talk to the media after the game, but his teammates stepped in.

“It’s a situation where I don’t think anyone can understand it unless you’ve gone through it,” said catcher Alex Avila. “It’s hard to put into words what he’s feeling. He’s a tough guy, and we’re all here for him.”

Your Saturday recaps and box scores:

Tigers 1, Pirates 4

Blue Jays 7, Marlins 1

Cardinals 8, Royals 2

Rockies 11, Rangers 7

Indians 1, Astros 8

Rays 6, Phillies 7

Twins 0, Reds 6

Nationals 3, Orioles 1

Braves 4, Red Sox 8

Dodgers 3, Angels 1

Brewers 6, White Sox 8

Giants 9, Athletics 8

Yankees 4, Mets 3

Mariners 5, Padres 1

Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 10

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves