Detroit Tigers right hander Max Scherzer is enjoying perhaps the finest season of his still-young career. Unfortunately, it looks as if he may have already made his final start, at least of the regular season.
Scherzer, who was supposed to have taken the ball in the series opener in Minnesota on Friday, is still dealing with a strained deltoid muscle. It’s the same injury that forced him from a start on September 18 after just two innings. Scherzer felt healthy enough to make the start five days later and tossed five scoreless innings against the Twins before running into trouble in the sixth; all three batters he faced that inning wound up scoring.
The Tigers hold a one game lead in the American League Central and Scherzer had been on schedule to start the season finale. Rookie left hander Drew Smyly will get the ball in place of Scherzer on Friday. Scherzer said Thursday morning that he had felt 100 percent when he took the mound in his last start and had no regrets about making his turn in the rotation.
It is unknown whether Scherzer will start again in 2012. He says he will not start again until he’s pain-free. For the season, Scherzer is 16-7 with a 3.82 ERA. He has a career-high 228 strikeouts in just 183.1 innings pitched.