Year after year, I watch baseball teams celebrating their postseason berths and division crowns and wonder how more people don’t get hurt. Between champagne and beer flowing everywhere and 40-man pig piles in the middle of the field, it’s a mystery how more players don’t break bones or tear ligaments. Unfortunately for Tigers fans, their team was unable to escape its AL Central-clinching celebration without injury.
Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer will reportedly miss his final start of the season on Wednesday after tweaking his ankle during Detroit’s celebration on Monday night. Manager Jim Leyland told reporters someone stepped on Scherzer during the festivities.
“This is a slightly twisted ankle,” Leyland explained. “You know, swollen, but it doesn’t appear to be serious. But it’s obviously serious enough that he won’t pitch tomorrow.”
Scherzer had missed his previous scheduled start because of a sore right shoulder, and the plan was to have him throw five innings on Wednesday to test it out. Leyland said Scherzer felt great while throwing off of flat ground on Tuesday and that the ball was “flying out of his hand.”
While Leyland did everything he could to downplay the injury and not cause a panic, it is obviously a concern for the Tigers. Scherzer was one of the better pitchers in the AL this season, finishing with a 16-7 record and 3.82 ERA. His 228 strikeouts were third-best in the AL, so Detroit obviously needs him in the postseason.
UPDATE: Per Hardball Talk, Scherzer apparently woke up feeling fine on Wednesday and was penciled back in for his start against the Royals. Obviously good news for Tigers fans regarding the ankle. The issue to monitor now will be how his shoulder responds.
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