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Max Scherzer struck out 10 on Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis, MN- We’ve seen it many times this year.  Max Scherzer walks a couple of batters, finds his arm slot and makes life miserable for opposing hitters the rest of the night.  It happened again on Wednesday at Target Field.

In the bottom of the second inning, Scherzer walked Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit.  Pitching Coach Jeff Jones made a quick visit to the mound and the rest of the day for the Twins was, well, miserable.

Scherzer then struck out Trevor Plouffe, Jamey Carroll and Alexi Casilla consecutively and in essence ended the Twins chances that day.

Living with the occasional walks has been a small inconvenience considering the season Scherzer is assembling.  Wednesday’s win was his 12th of the year, and with each passing start it is becoming more apparent that the Tigers have another dominating pitcher that can miss a lot of bats.

Scherzer’s 10 strikeouts on Wednesday vaulted him to the top of the strikeout charts in the major leagues with 178.  That in itself is impressive, but for the Tigers, his second half is turning into a potential key to the club’s playoff chances.  Justin Verlander will dominate and Doug Fister is back.  Scherzer’s contributions would give the Tigers three solid performers for the postseason.

Since the All-Star break, Max is 4-1 with a 3.74 ERA in seven starts.  While these numbers are far from remarkable on their own, it’s the personal issues that Scherzer has overcome that make them impressive.

Opposing hitters provide a big enough challenge, but Scherzer has had to pitch around another obstacle.  In June this year, Max’s brother Alex took his own life, leaving Scherzer and his family dealing with a deep personal loss.

Shortly after learning of the news of Alex’s death, Max took the mound in Pittsburgh on June 23rd, refusing to miss a start.  Scherzer said at the time that it was the best thing for his family and everyone involved.  Still, to overcome such an incredible loss and perform the way he has, is remarkable to me.

Since that start on June 23rd at PNC Park, Scherzer is 6-2 with a 3.47 ERA.  He has piled up 78 strikeouts in just over 62 innings.  Numbers aside, Scherzer’s willingness to compete, and do it at a high level, deserves our highest respect. 

Watching him perform every fifth day leaves me wondering how he is able to do it.  Only Max can answer that question, but it is one of the most impressive things I have seen on a major league field.

 


Comments

shawn
08/17/2012 12:01

I attended the Pittsburgh game you mentioned and later learned about the tragedy that befell his family. One thing in that game bugged me though. Tabata was trying to bunt, but due to his inability to control his own bat, the pitch struck him on the wrist. The ump called it a HBP and awarded Tabata first, even though his effort was to BE in the strike zone- certainly not to get away.

The next batter McCutchen hit a 3 run dinger and that was the difference. I don't feel like he should have gotten that chance and that Tabata should have still been batting, no matter.

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Randall
08/17/2012 13:05

Mario, Rod and yourself need to talk to JL about letting JV pitch on his 5 day cycle. If he keeps the rotaiton the way it is, he will miss both series with Chicago. If he changes it, he will pitch in both series. This is important as it will give us a better chance to pass Chicago in the Central. Thanks and Great Job! We watch you every night up here in the U.P.

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Andrew
08/19/2012 13:42

Hi Mario. I enjoy watching your telecasts each day for the Tigers. I believe you speak clearly and announce well. I would just appreciate it if you wouldn't talk about the Pitch Count so much. I really get tired of hearing it. There is so much more you could be talking about. Postioning of the infielders for example, or something to do with the baseball rules. I watched George Kell and Al Kaline for years and years, and I never even heard the word Pitch Count come out of either one of them during a game. Please just cut it down. It isnt a baseball rule, and it really doesnt mean anything if you really think about it. Otherwise keep announcing. You do well.

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08/26/2012 19:22

After Sundays great pitched game by Max, had to add this bit of statistical info on Max's season;

Scherzer's final line: 7IP, 1ER on 4H, 2BB/9K...
last 14GS: 9-2, 2.88ERA, 30BB/115K in 90IP....has lowered ERA from 5.88 to 4.13...
Max rolled to the finish, retiring 17 of final 18 batters, 8 on Ks.
Scherzer is 4-0 with 2.25 ERA in August.

Scherzer's 9 K's gave him a new Tigers record of striking out at least 8 in 8 consecutive games, breaking Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser's record.

Scherzer has struck out at least eight in eight consecutive starts. He is the first Tigers pitcher to do that since at least 1918. He also turned in his 11th start with at least nine strikeouts. That's the most games with at least nine strikeouts since Mickey Lolich had 15 of those games during the 1971 season.

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