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Max Scherzer just did something he never did in winning the Cy Young award

Apr 2, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

ALCS - Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Getty Images

Max Scherzer got off to a shaky start this afternoon, walking the first batter he faced and giving up a single to the second hitter, but then he escaped the first inning without any damage and went on to shut out the Royals for eight innings.

His final line: 8.0 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 110 pitches.

That may not seem like a big deal for the reigning Cy Young winner, but actually in going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA last season Scherzer never completed eight scoreless innings in a start.

He allowed zero runs in four of his 32 outings last year, but they were 6.0, 6.0, 7.0, and 7.2 innings each. He did throw eight innings seven times, going 5-0 in those starts, but allowed 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, and 4 runs.

Or, put another way: Max Scherzer’s first start of 2014 was better* than any of his 32 starts in 2013, and he was the best pitcher in the American League in 2013.

(*Arguably, I guess, but you get the idea.)

UPDATE: And here’s another thing that didn’t happen to Scherzer much last season: Detroit’s offense provided him with only one run of support and the bullpen blew a 1-0 lead, costing him a “win.”

  1. newyorkmetsfan - Apr 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    And he doesn’t get the win. Brian Kenny must be losing his mind.

  2. elwaysagenius - Apr 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    This is nice but last year he got 21 wins and wins are the flawless, end-all-be-all of stats for pitchers.

  3. historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Oh, so it’s just like the playoffs.

  4. rbj1 - Apr 2, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Thank you Joe Nathan.

    /sarc

  5. baldcrabbydaddy38 - Apr 2, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    so the quotations around the word win were…..sarcasm? I’m pretty sure that the closer allowing the opposing team to score instead of closing it out is the very definition of costing a pitcher a win.

  6. Francisco (FC) - Apr 2, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    And here’s another thing that didn’t happen to Scherzer much last season: Detroit’s offense provided him with only one run of support and the bullpen blew a 1-0 lead, costing him a “win.”

    That’s known in sports talk radio as Cliff Lee Syndrome.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      In all fairness, when we were up 1-0 against the BoSox last September, His Heterochromianess blew the lead himself. Today, we’re crowdsourcing.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 2, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    He just doesn’t have the bulldog mentality that allows pitchers to get wins, I guess. He should have watched Cliff Lee’s last start so he could learn how to win.

  8. salvomania - Apr 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    I’d rather have a pitcher that knows how to win than a guy who pitches eight “great” innings but can’t nail down the W.

    • moogro - Apr 2, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      You don’t come across as smart.

    • revrn2 - Apr 3, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      He didn’t allow any 0, zip zero runs, what else should he do you moron.

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