Breitbart Sports noted Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer was one of only five pitchers in baseball to have a winning record when his team only scored one to three runs. On Friday he became the first to do it in the 2013 playoffs, making three first inning runs hold up for a 3-2 win over Oakland in their playoff opener. In the first seven playoff games this season the winning team had always scored eight or more runs.
Scherzer was 6-5 when getting just one to three runs of support this season (league average 27%), and he made three runs stand up again by cruising through with only five base-runners – but he did need help after home run champion Yoenis Cespedes blasted a two-run homer to left to break up Scherzer’s shutout in the seventh.
In the next inning, Joaquin Benoit came in to get the last out of the eighth and then struck out Brandon Moss, Cespedes and Josh Reddick for a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
The average score in games started by Scherzer was a 5.6 to 2.9 Tigers win according to www.valueaddbaseball.com – making Scherzer one of only 12 pitchers to receive that much offensive support (Allen Webster of Boston received the most support in his seven starts, but had victories in only two of seven games with an average score in his games of Boston 6.7, Opponent 7.4).
The Tigers had not scored since the first inning when Austin Jackson doubled to right, Bartolo Colon hit Torii Hunter hit by pitch, and Miguel Cabrera singled Jackson home. Colon induced a double play grounder from the slow Prince Fielder, though Hunter scored on the play. Victor Martinez then doubled and scored on Alex Avila to wrap up the Tigers scoring for the first inning – and for the game.