At some point every day during the baseball season, I look at the scheduled starters for that night’s games. As the season wears on, the matchups all sort of blur together. Off days and skipped starts all conspire to distribute the quality pitchers evenly through the league. For the first few weeks, many rotations remained lined up so that one team’s number one starter tends to match up against the other team’s number one, or at least something close.
Last night, the matchup of Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners hosting Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers presented the most mouth-watering affair of the inning. The King’s Court in full effect while strikeout master Scherzer gets to buzz through the Mariners lineup. On paper, it had the makings of a great game.
Amazingly, the effort put forth by Felix and Scherzer exceeded any and all expectations. The Tigers sub-ace was dominant, striking out Mariners with extreme prejudice. Felix was just as good, if not better. Both men went eight strong innings, striking out 12 batters apiece while surrendering just a single run each. Felix’s run wasn’t even earned!
18 swinging strikes each. 18 whiffs! Each! The Giants and Brewers only managed 16 swinging strikes combined for the whole game!
As if this wasn’t enough, the two offenses did nothing against the respective bullpens, either. The game went to 14 innings, where the Tigers snuck ahead and held off a Mariners rally in the bottom of the inning, recording the final out of the game at home plate.
Quite a night for Bryan Pena. Run over by Justin Smoak to end the game, driving in the winning run and catching 19 total strikeouts by his staff. The Mariners struck out 21 of their own. This game, 14 innings long as it was, featured 40 strikeouts. FORTY!
While the pitchers deserve the lion’s share of the credit, how about a tip of the cap to home plate umpire Bob Davidson? The swinging strikes made his job easy but over more than 400 pitches, I’m having a hard time seeing more than one blown strike call.
Impressive stuff all around. A crazy game. Felix is good, who knew? Max Scherzer, also good! That’s why you read Getting Blanked, for incisive analysis like this.
And the rest
Brandon League is now [spins Rolodex of Britney Spears puns] more than a woman? Toxic? I’m so confused.
— Brandon League (@BrandonLeague31) April 18, 2013
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