Justin Verlander is pitching against the New York Yankees in the playoffs. Where have I seen this before? Oh yes, that’s right, in 2006, 2011, and 2012. How did those starts turn out? Verlander collected two wins, pitched 22 2⁄3 innings, and the Detroit Tigers won all three games. Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch is feeling pretty confident right now.
Truth be told, the first two starts weren’t vintage Verlander (though one of them was in his rookie year). But no Tigers fan will soon forget his 2012 display: 8 1⁄3 innings of three-hit ball that gave the Tigers a commanding 3-0 series lead in the ALCS.
In a reverse from the ALDS, Verlander will be taking the mound in Game 2 instead of Game 1. But that is a luxury afforded to a manager when your other ace is Dallas Keuchel. It’s 1a and 1b, and the Astros will have a clear starting pitching advantage in both games.
More on a budding bromance in Houston
More on the Cleveland sadness
Having to root between the Indians and the Yankees meant that there would be no real winners, but I’m still in disbelief that the Yankees pulled off their comeback. And so is the city of Cleveland, who have failed to win the World Series for the 69th consecutive season (not nice). The worst part about all of this is that the Yankees, once in a spot very close to where the Tigers are, never had to rebuild. It’s a masterful job done by their front office, namely general manager Brian Cashman.
Anyway, not that it needs to be said, but go Astros.
The new curse
That’s the only way you can explain what happened to the Nationals on Thursday night. The top of the fifth had to be one of the weirdest innings of playoff baseball in history.
And then the bottom of the eighth happened.
It’s tough not to feel for Max Scherzer, who had another dominant season. Maybe managers shouldn’t bring former Tigers starters in for relief duty anymore.
Around the horn
Ruben Amaro is apparently “on the Tigers radar” for the manager job. Hopefully that’s because the radar is huge and he’s just on the fringe of it. An interview with Derek Hill, who seems like a good guy. A look at all of the manager openings and projections for who will fill each spot. Omar Vizquel is as good of guess as any. Greg Holland is set to become a free agent again. Derek Jeter is ignoring everything Jeffrey Loria is telling him to do, so he’s probably doing a good job.