Whether the Detroit Tigers won or lost Game 5, Max Scherzer knew the pressure level for his Game 6 start was going to be high.
Being on the brink of elimination at Fenway Park on Saturday doesn’t change the 21-game winner’s mentality.
“Every game is a must-win,” Scherzer said. “I haven’t played a game yet where it hasn’t been a must-win situation for us. For me it’s the same mentality every single time we take the field.”
Three of his 10 career postseason starts (and five appearances overall) have come with the Tigers either facing elimination or having a chance to clinch a series.
With the Tigers down, 2-1, to Oakland in the Division Series, Scherzer pitched two innings of relief as Detroit won Game 4. game their four win to keep them alive. He also won Game 1 of that series with seven strong innings.
This will be just the second time he’s started a Game 6, following a start in the 2011 ALCS in which he gave up six runs in 2⅓ innings in a 15-5 loss to Texas. But in these circumstances, the Tigers are confident with him on the mound.
“I like our chances,” said Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com.