Archive for the ‘Max Scherzer’ Category

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at Washington Nationals

It is easy to get too cute when thinking about pitching. For all the attention given Masahiro Tankaka’s splitter and Jose Fernandez’s curveball and Stephen Strasburg’s change up, there is no substitute for a good fastball.

There is no one set way to attack hitters but a good fastball goes an awful long way. Without one, pitchers are at the mercy of hitters to expand their zone and go after bad pitches.

Velocity isn’t everything but it certainly helps. Even a pitcher without his “peak” velocity can still dominate using a well-place fastball.

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MLB: ALCS-Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox

It wasn’t a slam dunk but Max Scherzer was the odds-on favorite to be named to the AL Cy Young award after his great season. Yes, he picked up the required pitcher wins that tend to swing these votes but Scherzer is no Bob Welch.

The race in the American League was such that there was no sure shot to take home the honor. Hisashi Iwakuma did a great job of preventing runs, though he did so in a bigger ballpark and posted pedestrian strikeout rates. Yu Darvish had the innings and strikeouts but struggled at times with the long ball.

In the end, it was Scherzer who managed to sway the vote thanks to his combination of strikeouts, innings and yes wins to take home the AL Cy Young award.

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MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals

You’ll never believe it but, even in the playoffs, striking out batters is a great way for a pitcher to help his team win. Anibal Sanchez of the Detroit Tigers pitched really well Saturday night and Max Scherzer also pitched well Sunday night. Combined they struck out 25 batters in 13 innings.

Scherzer might have pitched better but Sanchez got a lot of attention for leaving the game without allowing a hit, a desirable outcome for a starting pitcher. The Tigers staff as a whole held the Red Sox to just one measly base hit while striking out 17 as a staff. That’s good!

Comparing the two starts, it’s a little odd that Sanchez allowed six base runners while Scherzer only let four reach safely. Six walks seems like a lot for a “dominant start”. In the minds of some, this diminishes his outing a little. Hey, if taking pride in a strange fun allergy is your thing, go nuts – tear down as many no-hitters or near no-hitters as you can. Nobody forces you to enjoy them, let your beige accountant flag fly.

The Tigers dominated the Red Sox batters both nights, but the Sox ability to work counts and draw walks gave them chances to score on Saturday, loading the bases in the sixth inning against the AL’s ERA leader. It was in those brief moments of hope for the Sox that we saw the true value of the strikeout – a pitcher’s ultimate equalizer.

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This many Ks!

This many Ks!

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!

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Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers

Some of the most-used baseball truisms are a variant of “pitching to the corners.” Scouts even differentiate between command and control when they say that some pitchers can put the ball in the strike zone and some can put the ball exactly where they want.

But much of baseball analysis is on/off when it comes to the strike zone. Was it as strike or wasn’t it? Was it walk or wasn’t it? It stands to reason that there might be pitchers falling between the cracks of our pitching metrics that are still adding to their value by showing great command. And, further, it stands to reason that those pitchers might show better numbers in the future — if they keep ‘pounding the zone’ in the right places, it’s sure to show up in his ERA and WHIP eventually, right?

Thanks to Jeff Zimmerman and Bill Petti at FanGraphs, we have the beginnings of an inkling about these pitchers now. The two developed a metric called ‘Edge%’ which tracks how well a pitcher can throw to the edges of the strike zone. It’s a simple concept, and executed well: who hits a defined sliver of the strike zone best? And what does that mean?

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Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, who has two different eye colours, celebrated in style last night after the Tigers 6-0 win over the A’s with some pretty awesome looking goggles that came as a gift from his wife for his anniversary.

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The Detroit Tigers have taken sole possession of the Central Division after a big win over the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night parlayed with the Cleveland Indians victory over the Chicago White Sox. But it’s not all good news this morning, as the team announced Max Scherzer has been scratched from his scheduled start Friday against the Minnesota Twins.

Scherzer, who left his start back on September 18th against the Oakland Athletics with right shoulder fatigue, underwent an MRI that revealed no structural damage. In his next start against the Twins September 23rd, he allowed three runs on six hits over five innings. In that game, Scherzer threw his fastball 54.7% of the time with an average velocity of 91.5 mph, topping out at 93.5 mph. On the season Scherzer has thrown his fastball 61% of the time with an average velocity of 94.2 mph.

Drew Smyly (4-3, 4.24 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 3.94 xFIP, 22.7 K%, 7.6BB%) will start in his place.