Jim Leyland rants on run support

Updated: September 4, 2013, 11:43 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland blasted a statistic that could potentially devalue Max Scherzer's outstanding season, repeatedly saying that he doesn't care about "all that stat stuff."

Leyland ranted against baseball's run-support metric Tuesday prior to Detroit's 2-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Scherzer, who entered the game with the highest run support in the majors, ironically recorded the loss despite pitching well and fell to 19-2 this season.

When asked before the game about Detroit's run support for Scherzer this season, Leyland emphatically disregarded the question.

"Some people could find a flaw in Bo Derek," Leyland told reporters, according to the Detroit News, referring to the actress who starred in the 1979 film "10."

Scherzer leads the majors in wins and also ranks in the top three in the American League in ERA (2.88) and strikeouts (209). Despite their offensive struggles Tuesday, the Tigers have averaged 5.79 runs in Scherzer's starts this season.

"I don't believe in any of that stuff," Leyland said. "I won't listen to any of it and have no interest in talking about it. You can figure out whatever you want. My view of pitchers' stats is this: Did he give us a chance to win? If he did that on any kind of consistent basis for me, then he's a very good pitcher.

"But I also like guys that win. I'd rather have a pitcher nobody is talking about who has won 15 games than somebody everyone is raving about who has won five. I'm a baseball manager, not a statistician. I'm wasting my time talking about it."

Leyland also bristled when Scherzer's season was compared to that of John Lackey, who has received 3.28 runs per start this season. The Red Sox right-hander is 8-12 despite a 3.22 ERA.

"Is it Scherzer's fault that they've scored runs for him, but Lackey hasn't gotten any? I don't care about all that stat stuff," Leyland said. "Scherzer has been great for us, and Lackey has been outstanding for them.

"If you really want to simplify it, it's just been Scherzer's year, but don't make it sound as if he hasn't pitched good. I don't believe in any of that stuff. I won't listen to any of it and have no interest in talking about it."

Scherzer allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings Tuesday, striking out eight in his first loss since July 13. The All-Star right-hander was out-dueled by Boston's Jon Lester, who allowed only one run and struck out nine over seven innings.

"Scherzer pitched terrific," Leyland said after the game. "Early on I thought he was as sharp as he's been all year. Tonight, Lester pitched better."

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