The Detroit Tigers face an elimination game tonight in the American League Divisional Series against the Oakland A's. There is no much discussion, thank to the Los Angeles Dodgers starting Clayton Kershaw last night on short rest, that the Tigers should start their best pitcher (arguably Max Scherzer) starting the game tonight on three days rest. There are exactly three problems with that line of reasoning:
1. The starting pitching hasn’t been the problem in the ALDS
2. Starting Scherzer on short rest turns this game into a bullpen match up the Tigers are very likely to lose
3. If Fister (with is 2.97 career ERA in the playoffs) does get the win Scherzer or Justin Verlander can start game five on regular rest. Not to mention how that sets up the staff for the ALCS should they prevail over Oakland.
Beyond getting roughed up the New York Yankees in the 2011 ALDS Fister has been a very good starter in the post season. We are talking about a guy with a 14-9 record in 2013 a 3.67 RA and 159 K’s. Tigers fans should have faith in Fister tonight, and turn their attention to the real problem, the lack of offense.
In his time in Detroit Fister ahs the track record that should show the fans that he is capable of taking the ball tonight and performing on this grand stage. Maybe they need him to be lights out but he is certainly capable of that. In 8 career playoff games Fister has only given up more than 2 earned runs once.
How the Tigers and manager Jim Leyland choose to fix the offensive problems is a little more complex. Strong arguments can be made to move Miguel Cabrera to DH and have Jhonny Peralta start at third.
Instead of arguing for Scherzer to start tonight Tigers fans should look at Prince Fielder who makes 23 million dollars a year and has been a huge bust in the post season both in his career and with the Tigers specifically. He hit 0.71 in the World Series last year, and has just three hits and no RBI so far in the 2013 ALDS.