Home > Detroit Tigers > Max Scherzer Has A Pretty Nice Strikeout Streak Going On

Max Scherzer Has A Pretty Nice Strikeout Streak Going On

The obligatory Scherzer Eyes photo. I never tire of it

I can’t say Max Scherzer is finally putting it all together this year for the Detroit Tigers. Many of his numbers this year are close to what he’s done in the past. He’s still a little too wild. His ERA is up over 4.00 again. Many casual fans probably aren’t paying much attention to him again. But along with his history of mercurial starts, there’s no denying that Scherzer’s has always had dynamite power stuff.

Our heterochromatic (not a word?) friend is your current MLB leader in strikeouts with 194. It’s a lead that Scherzer has given/will give up and regain many times over a matter of days considering that his teammate Justin Verlander is at 192. Strasburg, Kershaw and Dickey are at 183.

But there’s Scherzer at 194, ahead of that company. If it feels like he’s out of place, it could be because he has never been an All-Star. Actually, if Scherzer were to lead baseball in strikeouts this year, he would become the first non-All-Star to lead that category since Frank Tanana in 1975.

If we’re just talking about strikeouts — and we are — Scherzer is one of the best. His 194 Ks are already a career high, and after Sunday’s nine-K outing against the Angels, Scherzer has now recorded at least eight strikeouts in eight consecutive starts. That is baseball’s second-longest such streak since 2003. Tim Lincecum struck out at least eight in 10 consecutive starts during the 2009 season. Dickey went seven straight starts with eight or more Ks while he was shutting out everything and everybody earlier this year.

If you search prior to 2003, you see a lot of Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. The longest streak of 8+ strikeouts belongs to the Big Unit with 17. Then it’s Pedro with 16. Then Pedro and Big Unit at 15. Then Johnson at 14. You get the point. Other names on that list include: Ryan, Schilling, Koufax, Clemens, Smoltz, Gooden, Gibson, Feller … and Max Scherzer is creeping up.

Maybe it’s a hot streak, but he’s always had that stuff. And just maybe Scherzer is putting it all together now. He has allowed five runs in his last four starts (27 innings). More importantly for Scherzer, he allowed no more than two walks in any of those starts, giving him a 1.07 WHIP. He sawed through the Angels, Blue Jays and Rangers in three of those starts, not exactly softies with the lumber.

Scherzer will be on the bump next weekend versus the White Sox. Hopefully more and more people tune in to check out one of the game’s best power pitchers, a man who is learning more and more about becoming a great pitcher while still possessing the power.

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