Max Scherzer owned the outer edges of the strike zone against the Angels, recording all but 6 of his outs on pitches not in the middle third of the plate.With nine strikeouts against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday, Max Scherzer took the major-league lead in strikeouts from teammate Justin Verlander.
It was Scherzer’s eighth straight game with at least eight strikeouts, a Tigers record according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Scherzer registered six of his eight strikeouts on fastballs Sunday, a day on which his fastball averaged 95.1 mph. You have to go back more than three years, to June 6, 2009, to find the last time Scherzer’s fastball was clocked at a higher average speed (95.2 mph).
Max Scherzer Since July 19
Whether it was speed or location that was giving them problems, Angels hitters struggled to even make contact with Scherzer’s fastball, swinging and missing 13 times on heaters.
Scherzer’s 13 missed bats on his fastball are tied for the second-most in the majors since the All-Star Break and the most for any Tigers pitcher since Justin Verlander on September 29, 2010 against the Cleveland Indians.
Perhaps most impressive during his franchise-record run of at least eight strikeouts in eight straight games is that Scherzer hasn’t pitched more than seven innings in a game since June 17.
The Elias Sports Bureau tells us Scherzer’s eight straight games with eight or more strikeouts and seven or fewer innings pitched is the longest such streak in a single season in baseball's modern era (since 1900).
Scherzer now has 195 strikeouts in 2012 and is 14-6 in his 26 starts. When he takes the mound Saturday against the Chicago White Sox, he will have a chance to become the first Tigers pitcher other than Justin Verlander with 200 strikeouts and 15 wins in a season since Jack Morris in 1987.