Max Scherzer Gives Tigers Gutsy Performance, Teammates Turn Yet Another Mediocre Pitcher Into Cy Young

Starter Max Scherzer takes a moment to himself during Saturday’s game. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Tigers’ offense was cold yet again, managing only two hits and one run against Brad Lincoln—the same Brad Lincoln who was in danger of being demoted to the bullpen following a string of poor starts—through 6+ innings. Lincoln had allowed only a single walk through five innings when Ramon Santiago led off the sixth inning with a base hit. The Tigers managed to get Santiago to second, but could not cash him in.

More after the jump

Miguel Cabrera provided the Tigers’ only offense with a solo homerun to lead off the seventh inning, chasing Lincoln from the game. Four relievers combined to shut the Tigers down the rest of the way; the Tigers brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but closer Joel Hanrahan capped off the 4-1 Pirates victory with his nineteenth save of the season.

In the case of Max Scherzer, literally one poor pitch decided the outcome of the game. Scherzer, who had previously fooled Andrew McCutchen with deadly sliders, threw a mid-90s 0-2 fastball up and in—the location was supposed to be up and away, according to Alex Avila—that McCutchen hammered over the left field fence for a three-run homer and an early lead the Pirates would never relinquish.

The Pirates added an insurance run off Phil Coke in the seventh, and that was essentially all she wrote, save a minor uprising in the ninth against closer Joel Hanrahan that ended with an Avila strikeout.

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Scherzer, as you’re surely all aware of now, was pitching with a heavy heart following the death of his younger brother a few days ago. Scherzer had been away from the team the previous two days, and returned in time to make his scheduled start Saturday afternoon.

Scherzer understandably declined to address the media following the game, according to Chris Iott. Dan Dickerson also mentioned during the game that Scherzer’s parents had made the trip to Pittsburgh with him (h/t katieg1975).

Funeral details for Alex Scherzer are available online here.

I can’t speak for anyone else at Walkoff Woodward, but my thoughts are most definitely with the Scherzer family during this trying time.

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