Rainout alters rotation for near future

Rainout alters rotation for near future

CLEVELAND -- Manager Jim Leyland spent a good amount of time in August planning his rotation for the stretch run. Part of it was about lining up the best rotation possible for seven games against the White Sox. Part of it was about trying to get his starters an extra day of rest when he could.

Thursday night's rainout in Chicago didn't throw a big wrench into the plans, but it changes it up for the coming days. Justin Verlander's matchup with the White Sox, obviously, was out, but Leyland also opted against changing his rotation order for Monday's makeup game at U.S. Cellular Field.

After Doug Fister tossed seven innings of two-hit, two-run ball to beat the White Sox last Tuesday, he'll stay on turn and get an extra day of rest to pitch the makeup game. With 99 pitches on Tuesday, Fister wasn't exactly in need of the extra rest.

The more important beneficiary of rest is Max Scherzer, who will keep his extra day between starts after throwing 115 pitches on Wednesday. He could have been moved up and started on his fifth day, but he'll instead get the opener against an Oakland A's squad that is going to be a challenge for the Tigers unless they get outstanding starting pitching. Verlander and Anibal Sanchez will finish the series.

By keeping Scherzer and the rest of the rotation on track from Tuesday on, the Tigers keep the matchups they want for the stretch run. Barring another rainout, Scherzer is on track to make three more starts after Tuesday, including the regular-season finale on Oct. 3 in Kansas City.