It’s become an interesting recent phenomenon within Detroit Tigers’ baseball. Players achieve feats not seen in years, yet many downplays their achievements because of petty reasoning.
In 2011, Justin Verlander’s game walked like an MVP and talked an MVP, yet some people still doubted he was worthy of the award. A pitcher haden’t been elected the most valuable player in years, so history stood in his way. Similarly, Miguel Cabrera was set to become the game’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, yet many wanted to debate his merits as the most valuable player because Mike Trout’s WAR rating was higher than Cabrera’s. It was the saddest and most pointless sports debate ever.
Now, you can add Max Scherzer to that list. After Scherzer mowed down the Boston Red Sox for his 11th win of the season on Saturday night, breaking a decades old franchise record while receiving 10 runs in the process, many will continue to contend in the weeks ahead that Scherzer isn’t the right man to start the All Star Game, because he’s merely been lucky with run support. Get ready, because the dissension will likely be getting even louder as July pushes closer.
Here we go again. As everyone should know, baseball is a game mostly about end results. Often times, the most polished statistical player isn’t playing on a winning team or recieving run support. Those are just the breaks. Ignoring Scherzer’s feats because of that or downplaying them is just plain wrong. The fact is, he’s on a winning streak that hasn’t been seen by a pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1997. He’s got 122 strikeouts and nearly leads the league in WHIP, which are the two telltale signs of a dominating hurler.
Those numbers say, especially in late June, that Scherzer should be starting the midsummer classic in New York. Those have been the statistical breaks thus far during the season, and Scherzer has made his own way with confident pitching. As far as pitchers go, you’d be hard pressed to find someone more deserving than Scherzer, who’s had his ups and downs since joining the Tigers and worked through them. Finally, he’s blossomed into the power pitcher many expected he would be after toiling away at his craft.
For that, regardless of what the experts identify as the reasoning, he deserves one of the highest honors the game allows in starting the All Star Game.
Facebook feedback of the week, incidentally, hopes to reverse a potential curse started by the Detroit Sports Site. Following Scherzer’s 11th win, a celebratory photo was posted counting down the days since his last loss. This didn’t sit well with one of our readers, who believes the supernatural will now intervene to sink Scherzer’s perfect record.
Rita Hoffman Matte: Hope you didn’t just jinx him…
We hope so too, Rita, but his next start is scheduled for Friday in Tampa Bay, and lifetime, Scherzer is only 2-2 against the Rays. It looks possible we may have ushered in a jinx, but rest assured, we’ll take complete responsibility if the unfortunate ends up happening.
Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax