Game 37: Scherzer displays his best stuff

Brad Ausmus thought this might have been Max Scherzer near his best.

“This might have been the best his stuff has been all year, really,” Ausmus said.

Scherzer thought he could have been better.

“I didn’t have my changeup,” Scherzer said. “I didn’t like where my changeup was, but I thought both my breaking balls [slider and curveball] were very good tonight. It’s always going to drive me crazy when I don’t throw first-pitch strikes and when I’m walking guys, so that’s my first telltale sign of pitching well. And when I’m walking three in six innings, and I’m barely above 50 percent on first-pitch strikes, that’s something I’m always frustrated with, because I know it’s a process.”

That’s the perfectionist in Scherzer, which is what has pushed him the past couple years to get to this point. That’s also the same pitcher who used that changeup he didn’t have to get one of his biggest outs of the game, striking out Mike Napoli watching it to end the sixth inning.

“It just didn’t have the action it typically had,” Scherzer said. “But in that situation, the whole night I had shown him fastball-slider, and I thought, ‘If I could execute a good changeup right here, this is the pitch.’

Scherzer threw 11 out of 19 changeups for strikes, according to brooksbaseball.net, including eight swings. By contrast, he got a dozen swings and misses on the night from fastballs, sliders and curveballs. In fact, hitters swung and missed at the curveball three out of five times.

He started off hitters with plenty of curveballs and sliders, which shows some confidence that he can get ahead with it.

“I thought my slider was much better today,” Scherzer said. “I had much better feel for it. I actually thought my curveball was really good. I made an adjustment on my curveball. I was able to start throwing that for strikes then throw it below the zone for strikeouts. It was great to see where that pitch was.”

Scherzer did not get a swing and miss off his changeup, according to brooksbaseball.net. That’s the first time he has come up empty in that category since his last regular-season start here last Sept. 3. On the flip side, his three whiffs on curveballs are more than he has ever gotten from that pitch in his career. As good as the curveball has become for him, it has only been good for one or two swings and misses a game.

If he can have that kind of mix, he shouldn’t need to worry about his game long-term. That said, Friday might well go down as a huge outing for his future.

He not only outpitched another soon-to-be free agent starting pitcher in Jon Lester, he did so with time to spare. He pitched in a difficult ballpark for pitchers without serious damage. And he restrained left-handed hitters, the key of opponents that troubled him until last year.

“I didn’t pitch my best,” Scherzer said, “but when runners were on base and I needed big pitches, I made big pitches. That’s the difference in the game. We got dicey there in the sixth, got myself into a corner and fortunately I was able to collect a big double play and get a big strikeout. That was the difference in the game.”

12 Comments

With the wet weather making it harder ,he looked uncomfortable in the sixth, it was even more impressive. The pitchers can make this team a 100 games winner.
The D and the offense need to get it going.

The D turned 3 DPs and the plays Kinsler makes! People that said the defense between Kinsler and Infante was a wash are crazy people.Kinsler has a quicker release and a more accurate arm.

It was the right call to stop Victor at third. That is a new for the Tigers.
A risky running with the ball close and he got 2B. But then the ball was too fast in the hands of the fielder. Even if he seemed to be running on contact., there was no way to score.

Tigers PR
“The Tigers have beat the Red Sox 1-0 at Fenway Park nine times in the regular season with the last time coming on September 10, 1976.”

1976 seems like a very long time ago .

Back then we only had the Game of the Week and the Monday Night Game.
That far into the season probably out of contention

Great win! Don’t see many 1-0 games in Fenway. Max’s gamble is looking good. If he keeps this up, he may get more than Kershaw.
I would have sent VMart from 3rd because of the rain. But understand why he held up. Left field there is ridiculous. Miggy’s single is a HR anywhere else. I thought it was going to go thru the wall.

Rick Porcello vs current Redsox:
name,PA,AB,H,2B,3B,HR,RBI,BB,SO,BA,OBP,SLG,OPS
A.J. Pierzynski,23,22,5,0,0,1,1,1,2,.227,.261,.364,.625
Grady Sizemore,16,15,3,0,0,0,1,1,3,.200,.250,.200,.450
Mike Napoli,13,12,4,2,1,0,0,1,4,.333,.385,.667,1.051
Dustin Pedroia,12,10,2,1,0,0,1,1,1,.200,.250,.300,.550
David Ortiz,7,7,2,0,0,1,1,0,1,.286,.286,.714,1.000
Will Middlebrooks,5,5,1,0,0,0,1,0,1,.200,.200,.200,.400
Shane Victorino,3,2,1,0,0,0,0,0,1,.500,.667,.500,1.167
David Ross,2,2,1,0,0,0,0,0,1,.500,.500,.500,1.000

I think Max should be commended for pitching through rain delay as well. That is not an easy thing to do. Lester managed to do the same and both pitchers were very impressive.
We got lucky with Reed on the mound. I think the guy is over-rated. You can’t have that level of unpredictability in the 7th innig. Balks and HBP will not preserve many victories.

Nate Robertson released.

Has anyone heard any discussion on the ball Rajai didn’t get to in the 7th? Seemed odd watching it. Like he was not full out on a ball that was seemingly catchable.
Rajai is a defensive enigma to be sure. He can climb a wall with the best of them but look like PeeWee Herman on a routine fly ball. (Yes, I know, that play was not exactly routine)

to me he looks scared to death of any wall to his right … remember, he came up as a center fielder … but last night he seemed really tentative , again …

Looking at the stats for Erie and Toledo it would appear that there is not a lot of help “down on the farm” that would be available. Other than Suarez, McCann, Knebel, Travis and Moya I don’t see anything too exciting.
Not sure what to think about the Stephen Drew situation. Though on paper it would seem logical to have his experience I think the cost for a rental player 3 months behind everyone else would be a questionable decision. The best thing for us would be to see Romine pick up his game offensively. Danny Worth is playing OK and is pretty dependable but as a major league ballplayer I would expect him to always on the verge of not being one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25,537 other followers