When it comes to the season Max Scherzer is putting together, Royals reliever Aaron Crow admits he is a bit conflicted.
On one hand, he wants nothing but success for his former Missouri teammate, especially considering everything he’s been through over the past few years. But on the other hand, well, Scherzer does play for the Detroit Tigers, the team that has won the American League Central for the last two seasons.
Crow thinks he’s found a solution.
“I wish him all the success in the world, I hope he stays healthy,” Crow said with a grin. “But I hope he goes eight innings and (allows) zero runs every time and then they lose in the ninth.”
The chances of that scenario playing out is highly doubtful, of course, but if the second half of Scherzer’s season goes anything like the first, there won’t be many times the Tigers even lose a game Scherzer starts. The 28-year-old, who started the All-Star Game for the American League on Tuesday, is in the midst of his best season yet.
Scherzer enters Monday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox with a sterling 13-1 record and a 3.19 ERA, numbers that top even his Cy Young Award-winning teammate, Justin Verlander. Scherzer started the season 13-0, and didn’t pick up his first loss until three days before the All-Star Game, not that it ruined the experience or anything.
“It was an unbelievable experience for me to be able to get the ball in front of some of the other guys that are so deserving,” Scherzer said. “I know what that means. I’ve watched the All-Star Game since I was a kid, so I remember watching Pedro (Martinez) start those games. Greg Maddux and (Tom) Glavine and (John) Smoltz and (Curt) Schilling. To get the ball and start it, it means so much.”
Crow, who played at Missouri with Scherzer in 2006, said it appears his former teammate has finally mastered how to marry his electric pitching repertoire and analytical approach to the game.
“It’s been fun to watch him … he’s got dominant stuff, so just being consistent (was important),” Crow said. “He works hard and been through a lot, so he deserves all the success he’s had.”
Scherzer, who studied business at Missouri, learned the value of sabermetrics from his brother younger Alex, who committed suicide last summer. Since then, he has dedicated every start to himas the family mourns its loss
When asked how he has managed to post what is shaping up to be the best season of his career amidst such personal tragedy, Scherzer said he has relied on a singular focus toward improving, a formula for success he doesn’t plan on changing anytime soon.
“That’s just the relentless effort to get better every single day,” Scherzer said. “That’s what I believe in, that’s what I try to do every single day, just try to get a little better … you never get caught up in your success because that breeds complacency.
“I’ve enjoyed this season,” he said. “But at the same time, I realize I’ve got more to do.”