This past week, Max Scherzer added two more wins to his astonishing stat line, pushing his total to 19 for the 2013 season. As the victories pile up, Scherzer also continues to impress along the way statistically.
As a result, at this point in the season, there’s no use debating who should be the American League Cy Young award winner. Scherzer, with his eye popping win-loss record, dominating strikeout numbers and low ERA is the only conventional choice among all the available pitchers.
The critics, of course, will argue that Scherzer is playing for the best offense in baseball, receiving nearly five runs a game of support. Never mind the fact that Scherzer himself has very good statistics, whiffing the second most batters in baseball, trailing only Yu Darvish by 29 strikeouts while having the fourth best ERA in the league. He’s raised his game against Detroit’s divisional competiton (3-0 against Cleveland with a 2.70 ERA, 3-0 versus Kansas City); he’s won pitching duels like this weekend’s against Matt Harvey. What else must Scherzer do to prove himself worthy?
Naturally, all anybody wants to do is come up with reasons why Scherzer shouldn’t win the award. Playing with good teammates should do nothing to diminish his personal achievements, the likes of which haven’t been seen since Roger Clemens in Toronto and New York. Besides, any of the best pitchers would likely admit they had help from their teammates along the way in order to achieve their levels of personal success.
Scherzer, as he continues to win almost every match up, adds to the list of superhuman accomplishments by Tigers’ players lately. There was Justin Verlander’s phenomenal 2011 season, Miguel Cabrera’s fantastic triple crown year in 2012 and now, amongst more Cabrera drama chasing a second straight triple crown, Scherzer has very quietly racked up 19 wins to only one loss. That’s five better than the closest competition in the victory category and two better in the loss column. The competition simply doesn’t stack up.
Once again, just like the silly questions about if Verlander and Cabrera’s 2011 and 2012 performances were MVP-worthy, there’s no doubt that Scherzer deserves to win the Cy Young. The eye test has been present this season, as he’s dominated and won nearly every game he’s pitched in with the exception of one. In late August, what pitcher can ever say that? Only Ray Face and Johnny Allen could, and until he lost his final two decisions, Clemens in 2001. That places Scherzer within pretty rarified pitching air.
Any time history intervenes, there shouldn’t be a question in the minds of the voters. They should always make the easiest choice and reward a fantastic, once in a lifetime type performance. Scherzer’s turning in something special from the mound in 2013, and has already earned the hardware.
After Scherzer’s 18th victory this week, we posted a graphic celebrating the accomplishment on Facebook. One of our savvy readers managed to notice yet another reason Scherzer’s season should be considered a lock for the Cy Young award in 2013.
Shelley Woodworth: Love the fact that he didn’t walk a batter today!
That was fantastic. Consider, also, that Scherzer hasn’t walked a batter in six games this year, while Matt Moore has only accomplished the feat twice, Yu Darvish three times, Justin Masterson once and Felix Hernandez five times. The deeper baseball voters want to go with statistics, Scherzer still manages to prevail over all his competition.
Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax