My mother went to her first Tigers game in years today. “That was boring,” she said.
They were never in the ball game tonight against the Red Sox. Thanks, Max. You disappointed my mother tonight, and, its not too early to say that you just don’t have it yet, buddy.
Max Scherzer is not a major league pitcher. And at best, he’s not a major leaguer yet. He may never be. But this guy belongs in the minor leagues, and should be using this precious time to develop. He’s still young and he’s still moldable.
Watching him pitch tonight was like watching Todd Van Poppel circa 1996. You can’t help but root for the guy, but for the love of God, he cannot get anybody out. He has completely one dimensional skills, and is solely reliant upon his underwhelming fastball. Sure, he touches 95 mph but that doesn’t mean much when it’s as straight and bland as Mitt Romney’s personality.
And it’s not like he has had success before. Last year, his first full season in the big leagues, he posted a 4.12 ERA in only 170.1 innings, over 30 starts, and batters succeeding .253% of the time against him. Oh yeah, that was in the National League, by the way.
If you go through Scherzer’s starts from last year, it’s impossible to find an “incredible” line. In games where he allowed few or no runs, he only pitched 5-6 innings, and when he went deep into the games, he was giving up 10+ hits. In only one start against the San Francisco Giants on June 11, 2009 could I find a line that was ace-like: 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, 6 Ks.
This year has been much of the same. Since his first start in Kansas City in April, Scherzer has gone past the 6th inning only once, and allowed significant amounts of earned runs in a heavy majority of his starts. He’s not racking up strikeouts, he’s not keeping people off base (1.68 WHIP) and, most importantly, he’s not putting this team in a position to win.
Tonight’s game was atrocious, and especially frustrating coming off the series against the Yankees. None of this is to say that Scherzer does not possess potential. When you can throw the ball 95 mph for 7 innings, and have a changeup that, on good days, can devastate, there is certainly potential. But right now the growing pains should come in Toledo, not at the expense of a team trying to keep pace with the high powered Twins. I’d much rather hand the ball to Armando Galarraga, who has had success in the majors, or Eddie Bonine, who has been impressive out of the bullpen.
The only thing unique about Max Scherzer is that he has 2 different colored eyes. Other than that, send the starting lineup from Andover High School to the plate, cause they have a chance to hit this guy.