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Drew Smyly likely to start Sunday, Tigers say

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Tigers manager Jim Leyland told the media this afternoon that left-hander Drew Smyly was likely to get the start in Sunday's contest -- but cautioned it's not a for-sure thing at this point.

As you know, Max Scherzer was injured on Tuesday, which forced one of the Tigers' best starters to leave the game after just two innings. He was diagnosed with right-shoulder fatigue, but an MRI revealed that no structural damage was present.

Still, as we moved throughout the week, indications were there that Scherzer might not be able to go. And let's face it, it's probably for the best that he not try.

Smyly did struggle a bit in relief Thursday. He walked in one run and allowed a hit for two more. (Both of those batters later scored, tagging him with two earned runs of his own.) As a reliever, Smyly's ERA was 4.91 entering play Thursday.

As a smarter, Smyly's ERA is 4.22, and his strikeouts-per-walk ratio of 3.52 is much better than the 1.50 it is when he pitches out of the bullpen.

Smyly was a starter from the beginning of this season until he hit the disabled list mid-July. The Tigers soon after traded for Anibal Sanchez, who joined the rotation. Smyly pitched in Triple-A Toledo from late July until being recalled as a reliever in late August.