The Detroit Tigers are looking mighty invincible these days. Sluggers Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera are currently blasting long balls like Micky Mantle and Roger Maris reincarnated while Justin Verlander is a former MVP and Cy Young winner still throwing flinging 100 MPH heat across the plate.
However, this season he’s not even the most accomplished pitcher on their pitching staff. On Friday night, pitcher Max Scherzer became the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to begin a season 12-0. Scherzer surrendered a pair of homers to Tampa Bay in his Friday night outing, but it helped to have Fielder and Cabrera bashing a trifecta of home runs and leading an offense ranked first in batting average, OBP, third in runs and fourth in slugging percentage to a 6-3 win.
Sherzer is a long way off of the single-season record, but midway through Major League Baseball's 162 game marathon, he’s on pace to secure his first Cy Young Award. The record belongs to Dave McNally and his 26-0 start in 1969. Scherzer is humble about his unbeaten streak. Now, if the Tigers could just settle on a consistent closer they'd become the prohibitive World Series favorites.
It's really nice to be 12-0," said Scherzer, who allowed three runs, four hits, walked one and struck out nine in seven innings to become the first pitcher in Tigers history to win his first 12 decisions.
"I'm pitching well, but the reason I'm 12-0 is because of my offense," he added. "You got to see firsthand today the best player in the game hitting two home runs on three pitches and going 4 for 4. And Prince hits a bomb. It's the offense that set me up."
"All I thought about is winning today. My personal record is more a reflection of the team," Scherzer said. "I don't get caught up in the win-loss record because it's kind of fluky. Yesterday Doug (Fister) goes seven innings, one run and gets a no-decision. I got six and (allow) three and get a win, so that's why it's a fluky stat."