Time/Place: 7:15 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation blog: Over the Monster
Media: FOX, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: LHP Jon Lester (6- 6, 3.56 ERA) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (6- 2, 3.20)
A battle of soon-to-be high priced free agent pitchers pits the Tigers' Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, against Boston's Ace, Jon Lester.
Scherzer has been struggling over his last three starts, posting a 7.32 ERA with a 4.19 FIP, allowing three home runs and four walks while striking out 16 batters. This coincides with the Tigers' recent 4- 13 stretch. Scherzer has allowed 7, 5, and 4 runs in those three appearances, which include Tiger losses in Cleveland, Oakland, and Seattle.
Lester is coming off a shutout performance of seven innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. The win gods have not been kind to him, as his peripheral numbers are far better than his won- loss record. He is fourth in the American League in WAR, and second in strikeout rate.
Lester took the loss in his only matchup against Scherzer this season, a five inning performance in a 1- 0 loss to the Tigers on May 16, where he gave up one run on four hits, striking out seven and walking three batters.Scherzer got the win, going six innings while allowing three hits, with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Hitter to fear: David Ortiz is hitting .471 with 3 HR and an OPS of 1.630 against Scherzer
Hitter to fail: Mike Napoli is just 1 for 10 (.100) with no extra base hits (He is scheduled to be activ.
The Red Sox desperately need a win, as they find themselves ten games out of first place, six games under .500, but the Tigers looked like they got their mojo back on Friday night with hitters who had been in a coma suddenly showing signs of life. Scherzer needs to get his game on track as well, being in the middle of probably his roughest stretch of three games in two seasons.
Scherzer rights the ship and the Tigers squeak one out, extending their win streak over Boston to five games.