It looks dire sure. One slugger is ailing the other is flailing. The Tigers are back in frightful Fenway Park with their season in peril down 3-2 and that would be enough to shake any team.

Shaken? Yes. But also stirred? In the immediate aftermath of their 4-3 loss to the Red Sox in Game 5 amid the talk of basepath gaffes and ill-timed swings the Tigers clung to the stirring specter of Scherlander. That’s Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander who have taken turns being dominant and are up next. To have any chance at a second chance it starts with Scherzer today and while the Tigers don’t like their deficit they have to like the matchups.

This isn’t just the old axiom that pitching wins in the playoffs. Actually the Tigers have squandered Scherlander’s two outings this series. This is about who has the most left to give who is accustomed to the heat and who craves the moment.

Let’s be honest here. Miguel Cabrera may crave the moment but he doesn’t have a lot left to give. His groin and abdominal injuries have robbed him of leg strength power and mobility which led to that fateful out at home plate in Game 5.

Prince Fielder should have plenty left to give but we haven’t seen it. He doesn’t have a home run or an RBI this postseason and was booed after two groundouts in Game 5. In the short term his reputation in Detroit is under fire. That’s what the playoff glare does and Fielder has to handle it better.

The glare can singe and also illuminate. Scherzer has been fully illuminated all season a smart competitive tactician who went 21-3 and will win the Cy Young. In Game 2 against the Red Sox he pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and struck out 13. The Red Sox famously won on David Ortiz’s grand slam off Joaquin Benoit but they didn’t solve Scherzer and they didn’t solve Verlander the next game.