Good pitching beats good hitting.
It's the universal saying in baseball and it's a phrase the Detroit Tigers hope to ride all the way to the World Series.
Ignoring the Tigers' meltdown on Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics when they gave up 14 runs, Detroit's pitching has been one of the best in baseball.
Going into Wednesday, the Tigers had the best team ERA and the lowest batting average against in the American League with a 3.54 mark and a .246 clip, respectively.
With 64 victories collectively, Detroit's starters have the most wins in the major leagues.
The Tigers' pitchers have the most strikeouts in the league with 780 and have the third-best WHIP in baseball, boasting a 1.21 mark.
Although the Tigers have the best MLB offensive average (.284), on-base percentage (.348), slugging percentage (.440) and are second in runs scored (675 or 5.075 per game), it's the guys on the hill that will prove to be the reason Detroit is representing the AL in the World Series.
Here is a look at the Tigers' pitching performances this season.
Max Scherzer is having the season of his life.
He's 19-1 this season and is the only pitcher in baseball with 19 wins. His 2.73 ERA is eighth among pitchers with at least 150 innings and his .091 WHIP is second in the major leagues.
Scherzer began the year with a perfect 13-0 record and was the starting pitcher for the AL in the All-Star Game. He suffered his first and only loss on July 13, but since then has rattled off six wins in seven starts, giving up two earned runs or less per start.
Partly because of his superior performance, and partly because Justin Verlander has had a sub-par season, Scherzer is slated to be the Tigers' ace going into the postseason.
Only one pitcher in major league history has reached the 20-win mark before he lost two games that season. Scherzer will attempt to become the second on Thursday afternoon as he looks to continue his dream season.
Although he has a 12-10 record and a decent 3.74 ERA, Justin Verlander's track record shows he's having by far the worst statistical season of his career.
Verlander won the AL MVP in 2011 and finished second in Cy Young voting in 2012, but so far this year, he hasn't been able to figure out what's wrong on the mound. He's given up at least three earned runs in five of his last eight starts.
There's something wrong.
But, while Tiger fans attempt to come up with ways to fix the former ace, I think he'll be just fine when it matters—during the playoffs.
With Scherzer's exceptional performance this season, the presence of Verlander in the Tigers' rotation gives Detroit options No. 1 and 1A.
He's having an off-year, but as one of the best pitchers on the planet, Verlander will find a way to figure it out.
After Anibal Sanchez's fantastic postseason in 2012, he was rewarded with a monster five-year, $80 million deal.
He's defended his contract so far this season, going 11-7 with a career-best ERA of 2.61
The 29-year-old has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of over 3-to-1 and is averaging a career best strikeout-per nine innings total of 9.83.
He's overtaken Doug Fister as the No. 3 spot in the rotation, guaranteeing he'll have a huge presence down the stretch, and into the postseason, especially should the Tigers choose to go to a three-man rotation at any point in the playoffs.
Sanchez is on pace to earn a career-high win total, and is on pace to have his lowest amount of losses since 2008.
Doug Fister would easily be a No. 1 or No. 2 starter on the majority of rotations in the major leagues, but with the Tigers, Fister is the No. 4 option.
We're going to throw out Fister's performance Wednesday night, giving up seven earned runs in five innings against the Athletics, and look at his numbers prior to Wednesday.
He's having another solid season for the Tigers, posting an 11-6 record with a 3.54 ERA, going into Wednesday.
He had won five of his last six decisions and more importantly, the Tigers had won seven of the last eight times the 29-year-old has taken the hill.
The right-hander began this season in stellar form, racking up a four straight victories with a 2.38 ERA in his first five starts.
He's provided the Tigers with a reliable arm at the back end of the rotation and with 127 strikeouts compared to only 33 walks in 172.2 innings. Fister is a guy the Tigers can to depend on to go out, throw strikes and more often than not, get the job done.
Rick Porcello has been one of the biggest surprises for the Tigers this season.
Although Porcello's 10-7 record and 4.49 ERA aren't gleaming stats, the 24-year-old has already earned a career high in strikeouts this season and he's on pace to have his second-best walk total.
In addition, the Tigers' fifth-year starter hasn't exactly received a lot of help when he's been on the mound this season.
In six of Porcello's seven losses, the Tigers have failed to score more than three runs. Porcello has been solid as Detroit's No. 5 starter despite trade rumors all season and criticism that he's disposable and shouldn't be in the rotation.
With the recent moves made to bolster the bullpen, the Tigers relievers have actually been one of the team's bright spots lately.
After spending most of the season as a complete joke, Detroit's pen has been among the league leaders the second half of the season.
The Tigers' relievers have a respectable collective ERA of 3.89, and a batting average against of .245.
Because the Tigers starters have been so good this season, Detroit's bullpen hasn't been asked to do a whole lot. They have the least amount of innings pitched with 365.1 and are in the top five of given up earned runs.
Detroit has figured out its closer situation, giving the ball to Joaquin Benoit in the ninth inning, and Benoit hasn't disappointed.
He is 3-0 with a sparkling 1.54 ERA and is a perfect 17-for-17 in save situations.
The Tigers acquired Jose Veras from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline, and Veras has proven to be a very dependable setup man since coming to Detroit, earning a 2.19 ERA in 13 appearances.
The Tigers have depended on long relief from Drew Smyly, who boasts a 5-0 record with a 2.25 ERA, and have even gotten a contribution from long-time Tiger, Jeremy Bonderman, who has a 2.51 ERA in nine appearances since re-joining the team in July.
Everything is coming together for the Tigers on the mound, and it'll be their pitching that has everyone talking when Detroit makes back-to-back trips to the World Series.