For the past couple of years, Detroit Tigers fans have been used to their team having one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.
And for once, that pitcher isn't Justin Verlander, it's Max Scherzer.
Scherzer struck out six batters Saturday during a 10-3 win over the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park in Detroit. The righty also earned his 11th win of 2013, boosting his record to an impressive 11-0.
That's the best start ever by a Tigers pitcher. George Mullins started 10-0 in 1909.
Scherzer has powered his way throughout lineups with 122 strikeouts, the second-most in the Majors; he's been unstoppable, despite a modest 3.05 ERA.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland praised Scherzer after the win, which gave Detroit a 3.5-game lead over the Cleveland Indians for first in the AL Central.
"You're not 11-0 unless you're pitching good," Leyland told reporters (via Matthew Mowery of the Oakland Press). Detroit averages 5.67 runs per game, fifth-best in MLB. "I'm sure you've had some games in there where he caught a break when we've scored at the right time. He's probably caught a couple of breaks but we've also done very well obviously."
(Thanks to Mowery for digging up the following stats. I added a little more information -- such as specifics for Clemens, etc. -- but Mowery did the dirty work).
Scherzer is only the 15th pitcher to start 11-0 since 1916, the first since Roger Clemens did so in 1997 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He finished with a league-high 21 wins (21-7, 2.05 ERA).
Mowery also pointed out that Scherzer is the first pitcher since 2000 to notch six or strikeouts in the first 15 starts of the year. Former Red Sox star Pedro Martinez did so in 29 straight outings, while former Seattle Mariners star Randy Johnson put together a 23-game stretch.
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