Sunday, May 30, 2010

Did Max Scherzer make history today?

When I go to a game, I'm always hoping to see something unusual.  Since there was a perfect game last night, I figured that was off the table, but there actually was something today at the A's-Tigers game today.  Max Scherzer, in his first start after being recalled from the minors, had a day to remember. 

He only made it 5.2 innings before being removed (probably for a high pitch count of 113 as well as putting runners on with 2 outs in the 6th) but he had 14 K.  In Roger Clemens' 20 K game at Tiger Stadium in 1996, he had 15 through 6 innings. 

Since 1920, there had only been 5 other instances of a pitcher having at least 12 K in less than 6 innings, and only 1 with 13 (Kevin Appier in 1994), so this was truly special.  Beyond that, Tigers pitching finished with a combined total of 17 strikeouts in 9 innings. 

That is only the 85th time that a team has recorded 17 strikeouts in a 9 inning game since 1920, compared to 166 no-hitters in the same time period.  The A's spread it around too, with only 1 hitter (Daric Barton) striking out 3 times.  Scherzer has a great arm, but even after today, he still has a an ERA of 6.42.  He's probably bought himself a decent amount of time to prove himself, so he is one to watch out for after today's performance.

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