The Tigers are off to a good start. Their starting pitchers — at least in the won-lost column — are not.
Despite starting the season 5-1, no Tigers starter has recorded a win. And according to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the first time that’s ever happened in major league history.
Yes, oddly, all five Tigers victories have been picked up by relievers — two for Duane Below and one each for Jose Valverde, Phil Coke and Collin Balester, who won Thursday’s game against the Rays.
That said, it’s not that Tigers starters have pitched all that bad. Some even have pitched great.
Justin Verlander has thrown eight scoreless innings twice and led 2-0 going to the ninth both times; he blew one lead himself and Valverde the other. Doug Fister was cruising along in his start before leaving with a side injury before he was eligible for the victory. Rick Porcello threw a seven-inning gem, and Drew Smyly had a nice major league debut Thursday but because of a high pitch count set up by a long first inning came out before the fifth.
The only real poor start was by Max Scherzer, who couldn’t make a 4-0 first-inning lead and a 5-2 second-inning hold up before leaving Sunday’s start against the Red Sox.
Scherzer gets a chance to bounce back Friday afternoon, starting the White Sox home opener at U.S. Cellular Field.
By the way, here’s this week’s look around the AL Central.