The Wednesday Rundown

The Tigers are in first place for good, 12.5 games ahead of the Indians.

Today’s Game: Tigers @ Royals Max Scherzer (14-9, 4.39 ERA) vs. Felipe Paulino (3-6, 4.12 ERA) | 8:10 p.m. – FSD/1270 AM and 97.1 FM

Notes on Scherzer

Lifetime against the Royals Scherzer’s 4-4 with a 3.93 ERA. This season: 2-2, 5.66 ERA … The Tigers have a 19-12 record in the 31 games he’s started in 2011 … He’s struck out 20 batters in his three starts during September. He’s 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA in the three starts … Scherzer’s making his 13th start following the All Star break. In his previous 12 outings, he is 4-5 with a 3.95 ERA and 66 strikeouts.

Notes on Paulino

Tonight is Paulino’s third career start against the Tigers … He had a no decision against the Tigers in Kansas City on Aug. 5, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits in 6.2 innings, walking 2 and striking out 7, leaving with the score tied … He won his only other career appearance against the Tigers, on June 27, 2009 at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. In the 8-1 victory, Paulino allowed a run on 3 hits in 7 innings, striking out 9 … He’s 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA with 16 strikeouts against the Detroit.

Coming into play tonight the Tigers have a 10-7 record against the Royals in 2011. Why doesn’t it seem that way?

Leading Off: Brad Penny demonstrated while he’ll be on the outside looking in come the American League Division Series. If this were hockey, he’d be a healthy scratch for the duration. Penny allowed seven runs in four innings of work. Austin Jackson led the Tigers with two hits, including a double, and an RBI.

Around the Central: Does it matter?

On this date in 1935 the Tigers clinched the pennant with a doubleheader sweep over the St. Louis Browns, 6-2 and 2-0. Elden Auker won the nightcap with a complete game shutout, while Tommy Bridges takes the opener.

With a win tonight, the Tigers will have 90 wins for the 19th time in the club’s 111-year history. In nine of those seasons, they finished second and only once, 2006, did they finish second and still make the playoffs. Twice in Tigers history they finished with 100 wins with nothing to show for it, 1915 and 1961. I wrote about the ’61 season in Tigers Annual 2011.

Happy 48th Birthday to Big Daddy, Cecil Fielder. Today would have been the 63rd birthday of Aurelio Lopez. He was killed in a car accident in Mexico in 1992.

Finally, did you know that Monday Night Football debuted on this date in 1970? It’s true. Oh, and Happy 61st Birthday to Bill Murray.