During the second game of the 2010 season, Hochevar and Scherzer hooked up at Kauffman Stadium, and each held their opponents scoreless -- Hochevar went 7 2/3 innings, and Scherzer went six -- then left with no-decisions before the game was decided in the 12th inning, when Rick Ankiel drove in the winning run for a 3-2, walk-off victory for the Royals.
Scherzer will hope for the same type of success again, but the stats don't back him up.
Scherzer tries to improve against familiarity
The 25-year-old right-hander, acquired from the D-backs in the three-team deal that sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees in December, faced the same team in back-to-back starts three times last year and yielded more runs the second time around each time.
Against the Giants, he gave up one run in five innings on April 19, then four runs in 4 2/3 innings on April 25. Against the Astros, he gave up four runs in five innings on Aug. 22, then five runs in six frames on Aug. 28. And against the Dodgers, he twirled a 7 2/3-innings, one-run gem on Sept. 2, then surrendered four runs in seven innings on Sept. 7.
"For me, it's really tough," Scherzer said. "I had to do it a couple times last year, and, for the most part, it was a much bigger challenge for me to face that team the second time in consecutive starts. They've seen what you've got. You've shown your strengths. They're really good about making adjustments to what your strengths are, so that's where I'm still learning how to deal with a situation like this."
Hochevar's attempted rebound looking good so far
Hochevar's ERA was a dreadful 6.55 through 25 starts in 2009, but he posted a 3.15 ERA in 20 Grapefruit League innings, then got the 2010 regular season off on the right foot. He even had success against his longtime nemesis, Miguel Cabrera, who had a streak of eight straight hits before grounding out in his first at-bat on Wednesday.
A lot of that could stem from his work polishing the changeup this spring.
"Last year, I didn't throw it very much," the 26-year-old right-hander said recently. "Now, I have a lot of confidence in it. I threw it a lot in Spring Training, and I really got a lot of good results out of it. I'm excited about that pitch. It gives me another option to kind of slow them down and get them off my fastball, and get back in counts with that pitch."
At 5-1, the Tigers are tied with the 2006 team for the franchise's best start since 1985. Another win would tie that '85 team, which began the season at 6-1. The '84 team got off to the franchise's best start, at 35-5. ... The Royals, who begin their road slate on Monday, went 4-5 at Comerica Park last season and 9-9 overall against the Tigers. On the road, their record (32-49) was one win worse than their home record (33-48).
Mon, 4/12 1:05 PM ET
Podsednik makes Royals tick in win over Tigers
Scott Podsednik went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored to spark the Royals past the Tigers. Jose Guillen gave KC the lead for good with a two-run homer in the fourth, and Carlos Guillen homered for Detroit.
|Guillen, J, DH||5||1||2||2||0||1||4||.286|
|Betancourt, Y, SS||4||1||2||0||1||0||1||.208|
2B: Betancourt, Y (1, Scherzer), Butler (1, Scherzer), DeJesus (2, Scherzer), Kendall (3, Ni, F).
HR: Guillen, J (3, 4th inning off Scherzer, 1 on, 2 out).
TB: DeJesus 4; Podsednik 4; Butler 3; Guillen, J 5; Kendall 3; Betancourt, Y 3.
RBI: Butler 2 (6), Ankiel (6), Guillen, J 2 (7), DeJesus (2), Podsednik 3 (3).
2-out RBI: Guillen, J 2; DeJesus; Podsednik 3; Butler.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Getz; Ankiel; Guillen, J 2; DeJesus.
Team RISP: 7-for-18.
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Podsednik (5, 2nd base off Scherzer/Avila).
E: Getz (1, throw).
2B: Inge 2 (5, Hochevar, Hochevar), Raburn (1, Hochevar).
HR: Guillen (1, 4th inning off Hochevar, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Jackson, A 2; Cabrera, Mi; Guillen 5; Inge 4; Raburn 2.
RBI: Ordonez (7), Guillen (3), Inge 2 (6).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Avila; Santiago 4; Cabrera, Mi.
Team RISP: 1-for-11.
Team LOB: 8.
E: Cabrera, Mi (1, fielding), Scherzer (1, throw), Raburn (1, fielding), Avila (1, throw).
DP: 3 (Santiago, Santiago-Cabrera, Mi, Inge-Cabrera, Mi).
WP: Ni, F.
HBP: Damon (by Hochevar), Raburn (by Farnsworth).
Pitches-strikes: Hochevar 98-59, Parrish 20-16, Farnsworth 21-12, Hughes, D 19-9, Scherzer 101-68, Thomas, B 50-25, Ni, F 42-25.
Groundouts-flyouts: Hochevar 4-2, Parrish 1-4, Farnsworth 0-1, Hughes, D 1-2, Scherzer 4-2, Thomas, B 5-1, Ni, F 2-0.
Batters faced: Hochevar 24, Parrish 6, Farnsworth 6, Hughes, D 4, Scherzer 23, Thomas, B 13, Ni, F 10.
Inherited runners-scored: Parrish 1-0, Ni, F 1-1.
Umpires: HP: Phil Cuzzi. 1B: Chris Guccione. 2B: Jerry Crawford. 3B: Brian O'Nora.
Weather: 56 degrees, sunny.
Wind: 6 mph, In from LF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media