Is it possible for a pitcher to match a record not seen since at least 1918 and still fly under the radar?
By PETE GRATHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Perhaps, because Detroits Max Scherzer hasnt gotten nearly the attention he deserves for his recent pitching performance. Scherzer, the former Missouri star, had his 10th consecutive start with at least eight strikeouts on Friday, although he didnt get the decision as Detroit lost 3-2 against the Angels.
Scherzer, who is 15-6 overall with a 3.85 ERA, took over the majors' strikeout lead with 213 -- to 209 for teammate Justin Verlander, who pitched Saturday night. According to the Detroit Free Press, Scherzer is the first Tigers pitcher with at least eight strikeouts in 10 straight games since at least 1918. Last weekend, Scherzer shut down the White Sox, which led to Chicago radio announcer Ed Farmer to say: Thats the best pitcher Ive seen since Verlander last year.
Thats high praise given that Verlander won the AL Cy Young Award and was named MVP last season.
In his last six starts, Scherzer is 5-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 43 innings. Opponents hit .195 against him in that span.
Since being traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Tigers before the 2010 season, Scherzer has a 42-26 record. But hes thriving in Detroit in part because of his time spent in Arizona.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Scherzer still lives in the Phoenix area and as part of his conditioning work in the offseason, he regularly visited Camelback Mountain, which has two hiking trails that ascend 1,280 feet.
(You may recall that former Chiefs coach Todd Haley also ascended Camelback to get in shape)
I ran that thing a couple of times a week, Scherzer told the Free Press. It is not easy. Doing that means leg power and leg strength.
It takes me about 40 minutes to run up. Its not a run -- its more of a jog, because youre running up the hill. That was such a great workout for me because it combines cardio work and gives you a lot of leg strength because youre going up the mountain.
Scherzer believes the mountain work has helped him gain speed on his fastball, and well, who can argue with his success? In fact, according to Fangraphs, Scherzers average fastball speed this season is 94.2 mph. The previous two seasons it was 93.1.
Its basically running up stairs for 40 minutes straight, Scherzer said. I loved it because it didnt feel like I was running. I was enjoying myself in the outdoors. Its fun. You get a good view of the skyline of Phoenix when you get to the top.
If Scherzer continues his recent success, he may be a big reason why the Tigers get to the top -- of the American League Central.
*The Rangers Adrian Beltre is hitting .360 (nine for 25) with four homers and six RBIs in the month of September.
*Pirates pitcher Wandy Rodriguez is 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA in his last four games.
*The Orioles Mark Reynolds is batting .367 with eight homers and 16 RBIs since Aug. 31 with a 1.608 OPS.
*Going into Saturdays games, the Braves were hitting .147 (23 for 157) with runners in scoring position over the previous 20 games (9-11 record).
*Atlantas Paul Janish is zero for 13 in the month of September.
*Even though he hit a home run on Friday, the Blue Jays Colby Rasmus is batting .115 (10 for 87) with 34 strikeouts in his last 23 games.
*The Giants' Buster Posey could become the first catcher to finish a season with the highest on base percentage in the N.L. since Roger Bresnahan in 1906; according to the Bay Area News Group, the only other catchers in major-league history to win the OBP title were the A.L.'s Mickey Cochrane in 1933 and Joe Mauer in 2009.
*How odd is this? The Detroit Free Press noted that the Twins beat the White Sox 18-9 on Tuesday night despite Chicago having 10 doubles and Minnesota having zero two-baggers. The White Sox are the first team since 1935 to have 10 doubles and lose (Tigers against Washington). The Twins are the second team this season to win 18-9 and have zero doubles (Rockies vs. Mets on April 27).
*Matt Latos (158), Johnny Cueto (149), Homer Bailey (138), Aroldis Chapman (118), Mike Leake (109) and Bronson Arroyo (107) of the Reds could become the first set of six major-league teammates to record 120 or more strikeouts each in the same season; the Reds are the 15th big-league club to have six pitchers with 100 or more K's each in the same campaign.
*Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart could become the first teammates to finish 1-2-3 in extra-base hits in a season since Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and Bill Skowron accomplished the feat for the Yankees in 1960; through Friday, the Brewer trio were first, third and fourth in extra-base hits.
*According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, major-league teams will sell 20.5 million hot dogs and over five million sausages by the end of the season.
*The Mariners matched last years win total of 67 with a victory Wednesday.
*The Tigers open a four-game series in Chicago on Monday against the White Sox that could ultimately determine the Central race.
*Seattles Felix Hernandez and the Cardinals Jake Westbrook are both two victories away from 100 for their careers.
*The Cardinals travel to LA to face the Dodgers in a four-game series that will have wild-card implications.
Words of wisdom
His swing is so short he could swing the bat in a phone booth.
| Pirates manager Clint Hurdle on rookie second baseman Brock Holt.