The Tigers are playing in the ALCS for the third straight season but that doesn't mean getting here was easy. They had to win two elimination games in the ALDS against the Athletics earlier this week including Game 4 after being down three runs early. Detroit was on the brink of going home.
In that Game 4 manager Jim Leyland used Game 1 starter Max Scherzer out of the bullpen to bridge the gap between starter Doug Fister and closer Joaquin Benoit. Scherzer did allow a run in two innings of work but he also managed to escape a bases loaded no outs jam without allowing a run in the eighth. That inning helped save the Tigers season.
The 29-year-old Scherzer wound up throwing 47 pitches in the two-inning stint most of which were high-stress. It was reasonable to think he'd emptied the tank and was done for the afternoon regardless of the score but Scherzer said he would have continued pitching thanks in part to watching Miguel Cabrera play hurt at the end of the season.
"If the team ...