Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 8/26/12
DETROIT -- It seems bizarre to even type the words, but is it possible that Justin Verlander isn't the best pitcher in Detroit right now? Since July 1, Verlander is 4-2 in nine starts. In 67 innings, he's allowed 51 hits, struck out 71 and posted a 2.15 ERA. That's an ace on any team, and it's justifiably put him in contention for a second straight Cy Young Award. But there's another pitcher in the same clubhouse that's putting up some eye-popping numbers of his own. In the same stretch, Max Scherzer has made 10 starts with a 7-1 record. In his 64 13 innings, he's given up 58 hits, struck out 80 batters and posted a 2.94 ERA. Verlander probably has a slight edge, but after Scherzer shut down the Angels on Sunday, he now leads the Tigers in wins (14) and strikeouts (195). He and Verlander (192) are on pace to become the first teammates to lead the majors in strikeouts since Kerry Wood and Mark Prior of the 2003 Chicago Cubs. "The strikeouts don't matter," Scherzer said. "There's only one thing that matters -- the Tigers in the playoffs. That's it." Sunday, he stepped up once again just when the Tigers needed him. With Detroit struggling to solve Ervin Santana, Scherzer allowed one run in seven innings, striking out nine. That allowed the Tigers to win a series against a team they could easily see again in October. "These aren't must-win games right now, but they are must-win series," Scherzer said. "If we keep coming out here and winning series, we're going to be in the postseason. It is as simple as that." He's now the first Tigers pitcher to strike out at least eight batters in eight straight starts since World War I. "I think he's figured out what he can do and what kind of pitcher he is," said Gerald Laird, who caught Scherzer against the Angels. "He's definitely got one of the top-two fastballs in the league right now, and once he established that, you could see all of the bad swings they took on the changeup and slider. He made my day easy today." Angels manager Mike Scioscia, a former catcher himself, agreed with Avila. "He's got a tremendous arm, and he builds everything off his fastball," Scioscia said. "You have to be expecting the fastball, but he's got a decent changeup and he can throw a breaking ball whenever he needs one. "With that arm, and the deception in his motion, you just have to hope your guy can match him pitch for pitch." Scherzer's strong second half has come in a season where Detroit's No. 2 pitcher, Doug Fister, has struggled with injuries. If Fister can overcome his current groin problem and pitch anywhere near his best, the Tigers will have the best 1-2-3 punch in the American League down the stretch. "I'm not worried about my results right now -- I'm worried about my stuff," Scherzer said. "That's the thing I've learned. If you forget about the results, the only thing left to focus on is the next start. "I'll make a couple adjustments based on today, and I'm confident that I can pitch deep into the next game and give us a chance to win."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA players to fund health insurance for former players

Report: Geno Smith 'intent' on beating out Ryan Fitzpatrick

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game


Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker