Tigers Need Scherzer(y)

Max Scherzer: a record-setting pace

Max Scherzer: a record-setting pace

At 19-1, Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers is compiling one of the all-time Major League Baseball records in 2013. (For cricket followers: The record indicates this pitcher is credited with nineteen wins against one loss.) If the trend continues, Scherzer will better the 18-1 mark of Roy Face in 1959. Face was credited with this record completely as a relief pitcher, throwing something like a mere ninety innings. By contrast, Scherzer is a starter.

Other incredible-season performances follow.

Fifty years ago, Sandy Koufax went 25-5. Facing Koufax in the World Series, Yogi Berra quipped, “I can see how he won twenty five. What I can’t understand is how he lost five.” Yogi’s long-time Yankees battery-mate, Whitey Ford, was 25-4 in 1961, and Ron Guidry went 25-3 in his greatest season, 1978. In 1968, Denny McLain was 31-6 for the same club Scherzer pitches.

Perhaps no two-year dominance will equal Lefty Grove’s. In 1931, Grove was 31-4. In 1930, his won-loss record was 28-5. Grove won fifty-nine of sixty-eight decisions over two seasons in a decade better known for batting records.

In 1904, Jack Chesbro may have lost twelve games; but this was out of fifty-three decisions. His forty-one victories is almost as astounding as his forty-eight complete games, a mark no current starting pitcher will achieve over a career.

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About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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