In theory, the Tigers were going to be significantly more dangerous in a five-game series than in a seven-gamer. All because certain AL Cy Young Award winner and probable MVP Justin Verlander would have been able to start 40 percent of the possible games, rather than 29 percent.
Now, he’s essentially starting 20.
Friday’s Game 1 between the Tigers and Yankees was suspended with the score tied 1-1 after 1 1/2 innings. So, now, with Friday’s game getting picked up Saturday and Saturday’s game being pushed back a day, we’re looking at the following matchups for the rest of the series.
Game 1: Doug Fister vs. Ivan Nova
Game 2: Max Scherzer vs. Freddy Garcia
Game 3: Justin Verlander vs. CC Sabathia
Game 4: Rick Porcello vs. A.J. Burnett
Game 5: Doug Fister vs. Ivan Nova
The only off day is scheduled for Wednesday between Games 4 and 5.
It could certainly be worse for the Tigers. Fister has pitched extremely well, and the matchup of him versus Nova seems a bit advantageous. Also, the Yankees will now be starting Burnett when they had no intention of doing so in the first place.
But the Yankees have more depth in their pitching staff than the Tigers do and are better equipped to handle five games in six days. If a Tigers starter gets knocked out early — and it’s bound to happen at least once during the series — then it’s going to be Brad Penny time. And little good can come from that.
Lineups come out every day and I look at them every day and I give very little thought to them as long as they include the sorts of players who are appropriate to the game.
On Opening Day everyone important should be playing. Between then and the last day of the season it can be almost anyone depending on health and how much rest they need. In the playoffs it should be the best possible players once again, adjusted for platoon stuff. Usually it all washes by. Managers, our criticisms of them notwithstanding, tend to be pretty good at their jobs.
The Dodgers lineup for Game 6 of the NLCS caught my eye, though, because I can’t remember ever seeing a lineup in which the players were listed, basically, in defensive order. Really, with the exception of the catcher not batting first, have you ever seen a lineup with the defensive positions arranged like this? I haven’t. It’s fun, though!
1. David Freese (R) 1B
2. Max Muncy (L) 2B
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B
4. Manny Machado (R) SS
5. Cody Bellinger (L) CF
6. Chris Taylor (R) LF
7. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
8. Austin Barnes (R) C
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu (R) P
For the Brewers, things are a bit more conventional. Kudos to Craig Counsell for not putting an askterisk or a question mark next to Wade Miley, though, which I presume means he’ll last for more than one batter:
1. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
2. Christian Yelich (L) RF
3. Ryan Braun (R) LF
4. Travis Shaw (L) 2B
5. Jesus Aguilar (R) 1B
6. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
7. Erik Kratz (R) C
8. Orlando Arcia (R) SS
9. Wade Miley (L) P
Is it the last Brewers lineup of the season? Tune in tonight to find out.