Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tigers go with Scherzer for opener

DETROIT — From All-Star starter to postseason headliner: Max Scherzer is Jim Leyland's pick again.

The Cy Young Award favorite will start the AL Division Series opener Friday night at Oakland, with former Cy winner Justin Verlander following in Game 2. Leyland announced the Tigers' rotation Tuesday, putting an end to any speculation about who would start Game 1.

"I truly feel that I could start any one of my guys and I would feel comfortable," Leyland said. "I think that the kind of year Scherzer's had. … I'm sure somebody will find something wrong with this choice, but I think that's kind of hard to argue."

Scherzer started for the American League in the All-Star Game, which Leyland managed. But Verlander was the 2011 AL MVP and has been one of the top pitchers in the game.

"It's awesome," Scherzer said. "We're going up against a great team, and I have a shot to go out there and pick up the win, first time. What more can you want?"

Scherzer will face Oakland RHP Bartolo Colon, an obvious choice after finishing second in the AL with a 2.65 ERA. It will be Colon's first postseason appearance in eight years.

"It means so much to me. I'm 40 years old and never thought I'd be here," Colon said through a translator.

LYNN GOING SECOND: RHP Lance Lynn's strong finish earned him the start in Game 2 of the NL Division Series for the Cardinals. Lynn pitched six scoreless innings in the NL Central clincher Friday.

ETHIER AILING: OF Andre Ethier may be limited to pinch-hitting duties in the NLDS because of a left ankle injury, leaving the Dodgers still undecided on whether to include him on the playoff roster.

A'S PITCHER HURT: Athletics RHP A.J. Griffin won't be in the ALDS rotation because of elbow tendinitis, manager Bob Melvin told mlb.com. Melvin said the elbow has bothered Griffin for several weeks and has gotten worse recently.

UGGLA OUT?: 2B Dan Uggla, who batted .179 this season, will be left off the Braves' NLDS roster, mlb.com reported.

Around the majors: The Yankees want Joe Girardi to return as manager, GM Brian Cashman said. Girardi's contract expires at the end of October. … The Royals and manager Ned Yost agreed to a two-year extension after wrapping up an 86-76 season, the franchise's best finish in 24 years. … Major League Baseball finished the regular season with an attendance of 74,026,895, sixth best all time though down slightly from last year's 74,859,268. … Teams averaged 4.17 runs per game this season, lowest since a 4.12 average in 1992.


Division Series

American League

Red Sox vs. Rays-Indians

Friday: at Boston, 3:07, TBS

Saturday: at Boston, 5:37, TBS

Monday: at Tampa Bay-Cleveland, TBA

Tuesday: at Tampa Bay-Cleveland, TBA*

Oct. 10: at Boston, TBA*

A's vs. Tigers

Friday: at Oakland, 9:37, TBS

Saturday: at Oakland, 9:07, TBS

Monday: at Detroit , TBA

Tuesday: at Detroit, TBA*

Oct. 10: at Oakland, TBA*

National League

Cardinals vs. Pirates

Thursday: at St. Louis, 5:07, TBS

Friday: at St. Louis, 1:07, MLB

Sunday: at Pittsburgh, TBA

Monday: at Pittsburgh, TBA*

Oct. 9: at St. Louis, TBA*

Braves vs. Dodgers

Thursday: at Atlanta, 8:37, TBS

Friday: at Atlanta, 6:07, TBS

Sunday: at Los Angeles, TBA

Monday: at Los Angeles, TBA*

Oct. 9: at Atlanta, TBA*

* If necessary

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