Saturday, September 11, 2010
Can Scherzer's strong starts continue?
Saturday Notables from the Elias Sports Bureau:
The Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer has a 1.72 ERA over his last eight starts dating back to July 31. Over that span, only two pitchers have a lower ERA (minimum: 50 IP): the Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez (1.07) and the Houston Astros' Wandy Rodriguez (1.63). Scherzer, Hernandez and Rodriguez are all scheduled to start Saturday as well.
Felix Hernandez has started 16 games this season in which he has pitched at least six innings and allowed three or fewer earned runs and failed to get a win. Over the last 15 seasons, only one other pitcher has had that many such starts: the San Francisco Giants' Matt Cain (16 in 2007). The last American League pitcher with at least 16 such starts: Bert Blyleven for the Twins in 1972 (16).
The Baltimore Orioles' Jeremy Guthrie goes for his 10th win of the season tonight against the Tigers. Winning 10 or more games in three consecutive seasons doesn't seem like a big accomplishment, but doing it for a team that ends the season at least 25 games below .500 is. Over the last 30 seasons, only two pitchers won at least 10 games in three consecutive seasons for a team that was at least 25 games below the .500 mark: Scott Kazmir with Tampa Bay (2005-07) and Ben Sheets with the Milwaukee Brewers (2001-04). (The Orioles are currently 33 games under .500.)
The Giants can take sole possession of first place with a win over the San Diego Padres. Over the last 10 seasons, the Giants have been in first place this late in the season only once and that was in 2003 when they won the National League West.
With a win Saturday night over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cincinnati Reds will end their streak of nine straight seasons with a losing record. Cincinnati has had only two other stretches in which they had at least nine straight losing seasons: 1929 to 1937 and 1945 to 1955.