Scherzer Scratched; Porcello Leaves Heads Scratching

With the Tigers edging the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Thursday afternoon, then watching their AL Central lead increase to two games when the Chicago White Sox lost that night, you’d think Jim Leyland would be smiling and happy with six games left to play.

Not so. There’s no major league manager around who couldn’t find a cloud in a silver lining.

“I’m worried,” Leyland said. “This situation with Max (Scherzer) and Rick (Porcello) … I just don’t know.”

Knowing Scherzer is going to have to skip at least one start with a reappearance of his right deltoid problem is bad enough, but now Leyland isn’t sure what’s going on with Porcello. And neither is Porcello.

Leyland is dropping Drew Smyly into Scherzer’s start Friday night in Minnesota, convenient because both pitched Sunday in a makeup doubleheader with the Twins. So if he had to, Leyland could also start Smyly in the final regular-season game, Wedneday in Kansas City.

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