There was quite a bit of historical significance riding on Max Scherzer's final start before the All-Star break.
With a victory on Saturday night, Scherzer would have become the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to begin a season 14-0, which is the record we've all been waiting to see if he could match since he reached 10-0 back in June. He also would have become the first pitcher to ever enter the All-Star break with 14 wins and zero losses, unseating former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dave McNally (13-0) for the best undefeated record heading into the break.
The unexpected chance was there for Max Scherzer to reach both milestones in one grand outing, but the Texas Rangers proved to be very uncooperative in handing Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers a 7-1 defeat at Comerica Park.
Over six innings of work on Saturday, Scherzer allowed four runs on eight hits while walking two, with the biggest blow came in the fourth inning when Mitch Moreland connected for a two-run homer to cap off a three-run rally. It wasn't his worst outing of the season — he's twice allowed five runs and was even victorious in one of those outings — but it certainly wasn't his best. In fact, the eight hits allowed were a season high over his 19 starts and his six strikeouts matched his lowest total of the season (done four other times).
It wasn't great. It wasn't awful. It was just kinda of there, and there wasn't good enough on Saturday. Here's what Scherzer had to say about his start courtesy of the Associated Press:
''I threw some good pitches, they hit it. I threw some bad pitches, they hit it even farther,'' the Detroit right-hander said. ''It's a loss. That's what happens when you don't quite pitch as well.''
It's also what happens when the offense gives you season-low one run of support. In fact, this was only the fourth time all season that the Tigers offense has scored less than four behind Scherzer. But that's not to say he's lived and died by their support. This was only the fifth time he's allowed four or more runs, and he's yet to allow more than five. It's just worked out that this was the first time Scherzer and his bats were a little off in the same game, and I think a lot of that credit should go to Rangers starter Derek Holland (seven innings, one earned run).
But that's probably a little too much analysis of a pitchers win-loss record. End of the day, and regardless of how much or how little you value those stats, Max Scherzer has managed to get everyone talking about two numbers.
It's no 14-0, but who wouldn't take it? Anyone?