Fighting to remain in the American League Central race, the Detroit Tigers received bad news Tuesday night when right-handed starting pitcher Max Scherzer departed after two innings because of shoulder fatigue.
The 28-year-old Scherzer retired A’s outfielder Coco Crisp to end the second inning and did not return. According to MLB.com, his last fast ball was clocked at 90 m.p.h. after ranging from 92-94 m.p.h. for most of his 44 pitches. The Tigers said that he will have an MRI.
Scherzer has given Detroit a formidable No. 2 starter behind ace Justin Verlander. Scherzer is 16-6 with a 3.77 ERA and a Major League-leading 220 strikeouts in 176.1 innings this season. Over his last 10 games, Scherzer is 7-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 67.1 innings.
At 77-69 heading into Tuesday’s game against Oakland, the Tigers were three games behind the first place Chicago White Sox.
Detroit has rotation depth with Doug Fister, Rick Porcello and Anibal Sanchez to accompany Verlander and Scherzer, but an injury to a key arm like Scherzer could significantly hinder the club’s chances of catching the White Sox.