Max Scherzer is having a historic start to the season. In fact more historic than many of the great Detroit Tigers pitchers past and present. The 9-0 feat was not even matched in 1968 when Denny McClain set the season win record at 31. He only managed a 8-1 start.
With his 9-0 start Max Scherzer is tied for the major league lead in wins, second in strikeouts (109), first in hits per nine innings (5.7), and second in WHIP (0.87). In short Mad Max is performing as an elite pitcher this year. If he wins in his next start it will mark the only the second time a Detroit Tigers pitcher has gone 10-0 to start the season. The first was George Mullin in 1909. It will also be his fourth consecutive double digit win season; and all before the end of June.
So where does Max’s 2013 start stack up aginst some of the other Detroit Tigers greats:
- Vern Kennedy started 9-0 in 1938 he went 3-9 the rest of the way to finish 12-9. That was Kennedy’s only season in Detroit.
- Denny McClain started 8-1 in his record setting 1968 season. He finished 31-6 and led the helped the Tigers to a World Series Championship. McClain’s historic season earned him the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards.
- Mickey Lolich started 8-1 in 1972 and finished 22-14. Lolich was often overshadowed by Denny McClain’s antics and was the Tigers most consistent pitcher of the late 60’s and early 70’s. His 1972 season was not his best, but earned him an all-star appearance and a third place finish in Cy Young voting.
- Jack Morris started his 1984 season 8-1 and finished 19-11. He went 8-1 before started helped the Tigers to a franchise best 35-5 start. Morris lead the team in wins that year and earned and All-Star selection enroute to a World Series Championship.
You may have noticed that three of these pitchers played on World Series winning teams.
Max Scherzer said last night that he dosen’t really care about the history as long as his team is winning. Whether you appreciate the history or not every Max Scherzer start is now must see TV.