Scherzer proves stingy again

You can take your pick for your favorite Max Scherzer outing this season. Most folks will point to his 15-strikeout gem against the Pirates on May 20. Others will remind you about his eight scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts against the Rockies four weeks later.

Gerald Laird might choose one of those two, but he had a point to make about his last outing last Friday against the Angels, in which he gave up two runs in the opening inning, then shut them down for the next seven, striking out nine and walking none.

“I mean, that was one of those outings where in the past or early on in the year, he was struggling to get through five or six with four runs,” Laird said. “He gave up two and then just mowed from there. He kind of got in his groove and got his confidence going. It was eight innings, two runs that kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win.”

Wednesday night in Chicago was another one of those nights. It’s just that the big test of an inning wasn’t early.

Scherzer gave up one mistake Wednesday, a fourth-inning slider that caught too much of the plate before it caught Kevin Youkilis’ home-run swing for a 1-0 White Sox lead. However, Scherzer did not give up the big inning to go with it. He came close, going to three full counts. Only Paul Konerko reached base out of it, getting a two-out single, before Scherzer stranded him by retiring Alex Rios.

Scherzer went to five full counts in his six innings, one big reason his pitch count climbed to 115 and his exit came one inning less than Leyland would’ve liked. Konerko’s single made him the only baserunner that came out of it.

Scherzer wasn’t happy about going to the full counts in the first place. He was happy to keep it at that.

“I think there were numerous times when it was 3-2 and I was still able to throw the changeup for a strike and collect an out in that situation,” Scherzer said. “When I can do that for the team, that’s usually when we get good results.”

His two big full-count outs around Youkilis’ home run both came on changeups, a pitch he indicated he had tweaked a bit.

“His command wasn’t very good today compared to his other starts, as far as quality strikes,” catcher Alex Avila said. “I think he would tell you that he struggled today falling behind guys, a lot more than he has been. At the same time, his stuff is so good that he can pitch in the middle of the plate sometimes and get away with it. But it’s tremendous concentration when he’s got three balls on a guy to be able to make a quality pitch.”

As good as Scherzer’s pitching has been for the past few months — he’s now 10-1 with a 2.53 ERA in his last 14 starts, allowing just 75 hits over 92 1/3 innings with 113 strikeouts — his September stretch is a different kind of effective. He has gone 19 innings since his last walk, a third-inning pass to Dewayne Wise in Comerica Park Sept. 1. He hadn’t gone back-to-back outings without a walk since July of last season, a 20 2/3-inning stretch with the All-Star break in between. He proved stingy with walks the following month, but gave up too much damage on hits.

These days, hitters aren’t producing much damage on him at all.

“He made one mistake and that the home run,” White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot that we did off him. When he throws over the plate, he’s tough and he’s been doing that for a few months now. That’s why his record is what it is and his strikeout numbers are what they are and everything is just there.”

 

21 Comments

what can i say? Bad maxx was bad and good maxx was JV-esq. I think most fans knew he had it in him. Honestly, I am a little taken aback that his brother died around the time he turned it around….and he was still able to keep his pitching sharp. I’ve never had an immediate family member die so I guess I don’t know how it goes, but I give Max all the props in the world. Classy guy – great stuff.

He’s not having negative results escalate like before. That’s where the Bad Maxx moniker came from. He’s now able to overcome the occasional bad pitch. He’s always had the stuff. I’ve watched him from behind homeplate and he’s just incredibly nasty from the hitter’s view. If he can keep locked in from game to game and, more importantly, season to season, he’s going to have an outstanding career.

yea agree agree. Do you remember JV having similar problems early on in his career? He seemed to have similar mental struggles when he was younger (e.g. 2005-2007ish) if i recall correctly.

RR is on the DL.

in regards to RR, that’s better than simply not playing him. Maybe he’ll come back in late october and will be impactful. Hopes and dreams everyone, give him a round of applause.
.
Lakeland won the Florida State League championship with a 2-0 win over Jupiter last night. They won the best-of-five game series, 3-2…. first championship since 1992.

Weather could be a problem tonight. Rain expected here. I am 120 miles west of Chicago. Wouldn’t you know I have a ticket for the game. A friend’s usual game buddy is in the hospital so he called me since he knows I am a Tiger fan. Guess I’ll be taking my rainy winter gear. LOL.

have fun, stay dry, and enjoy the company of other tiger fans you will see!

Wind blowing out to RF at gametime. Probably not in our favor.

I know it’ll be blowing from the north this evening…but i don’t know the orientation of the park

i see the rain possibly ending by 9pm….fyi

Just so they do not start it and then it rains in the first inning or two. That is so wrong.

Just like Boston and NY…Chicago tends to play games when it comes to the weather, I remember several. One in particular, the Soxs were not playing well at the time, and had injuries. It was raining early in the day in Chicago ( evening game) and they called the game around 3 or 4. Around five I was talking to a vendor in Chicago and the weather had cleared out . Wasn’t raining at game time or anytime through the game.

I am pretty sure they will wait out the weather as much as possible tonight. There are very few opportunities to make up a game in the next couple weeks.

yea lets touch on that – because there is going to be rain right during the game tonight.

Just talked to a NWS weather forecaster friend of mine – who is a big baseball fan (Redsox THEN the tigers for him). He said they will get the game in but with rain delays. That’s his feeling of it.

Both teams have a common day off next Monday. Sox between Minn and KC and Tigers between Cleveland and Detroit. Very do-able, if they wanted to do-right.
I agree with your weather guy that the game would be played through and around the rain. Not good for an important game with both aces going. Of course, they still have Ventura’s Legions.

Why did Infante give that 2nd baseman a chance to complete the double play in the 7th? He even thanked Infante for not wiping him out. We need to get Infante a “WWTCD” bracelet (what would Ty Cobb do). We have to get throught the White Sox to make the playoffs. If their man wants to be a hero with an unconventional double play, make him pay for it with a broken arm!!!! That was BS Omar! I don’t care if you are a 2nd baseman yourself. Professional courtesy is for losers. Maybe professional courtesy comes before winning when you’re making millions! If so, what a circle jerk.

*like*

Spike him in the chest, slice open his arm, that kind of thing? Or slide into the bag trying to beat a play that Hudson was struggling with?

speaking of the rain, found it odd this was a night game and not a day game being Thursday – better for me so I can watch it, just saying.

This is the Max that was an absolute ACE @ Mizzou and dominated the Big 12! He’s got his confidence back and great focus too. Now if we could just get JV consistent as it appears Fister has turned the corner too. Its the bats and the bullpen that will make or break the playoff hopes.

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