Minnesota Twins (62-89) at Detroit Tigers (80-70)
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation Blog: Twinkie Town
Pitching Matchup: LHP Scott Diamond (11-8, 3.69 ERA) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (16-6, 3.78 ERA)
It is still unclear whether Diamond has truly evolved into a Twins pitcher -- you know, the likes of Scott Baker and other no names who threw strike after strike after strike during Minnesota's divisional reign in the mid-2000s -- or if his walk rate of 1.58 hitters per 9 innings is simply a fluke, but one thing is for sure: he's not going to beat himself today. A ridiculous ground ball rate of 53.8% -- tied for 9th in the majors with our very own Rick Porcello -- is a big reason for Diamond's success. Well, that and a decent infield defense. Expect more of the same today.
Scherzer's last start was little more than a glorified bullpen session, but with his fastball failing to touch 95 mph, the extra rest was probably a good thing. He reported yesterday that his arm is 100% healthy, which will need to be the case in his next three scheduled starts down the stretch. Max has pitched well against the Twins this season, winning both of his starts against Minnesota while allowing an ERA of 2.19.
It's tough to bet against Scherzer, who hasn't lost a start since July, and today is no different. Diamond pitched well in his only start against the Tigers this season, but the Tigers were able to pull away late with a 5-run 8th inning. Expect more of the same today.
Scherzer outduels Diamond and the Tigers tack on a couple of insurance runs against the Twins bullpen.