July 15, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - For the first time in history, a former Mizzou baseball player will start the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on the mound as Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers will get the nod for American League. Of course, Scherzer also continues a trend of former Mizzou baseball players being named to the MLB All-Star teams as Mizzou has had at least one All-Star in five of the last six seasons. Mizzou is one of just six schools nationally to have three or more alums make an MLB All-Star Team since 2008.
Following the announcement by Detroit Tigers and AL manager Jim Leyland, Scherzer told reporters "It means so much, especially for it being my first All-Star Game. This is what you dream for, to be in this game and get the ball."
Scherzer was the obvious choice in the American League as he opened the season with a perfect 13-0 record before being tagged with his first loss against the Texas Rangers on July 13. He was the first major league pitcher to open the season 13-0 since Roger Clemens in 1986. His 13 wins are tops in the American League this season and he is second in the league with 152 strikeouts in 129.2 innings pitched. Scherzer is second in the AL in WHIP (0.98) and ninth in ERA at 3.19.
Some may argue that wins are not the most important stat for a pitcher in today's game, but for Scherzer his value to the Detroit Tigers has been paramount. In fact, in games that Scherzer has started this season, the Detroit Tigers are 15-4 while they are one game under .500 in games that he has not pitched at 37-38. His Detroit Tigers currently sit atop the AL Central standings, just 1.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians.
Scherzer has pitched at least 5.0 innings in every start this season and of his 19 starts this year, 16 have been quality starts (6.0+ innings, three or fewer earned runs). He also owns a 10.55 strikeout/nine innings ratio this season, moving his career total to 9.45, which would rank sixth all-time in baseball history if he met the 1,000.0 innings pitched minimum, which he will likey do before the season's end.
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