Scherzer Claims Strikeout Lead In Majors

RHP Max Scherzer allowed seven baserunners in seven innings Tuesday night and took over the major-league strikeout lead with eight more, giving him 186, while taking over the club lead with his 13th victory. Scherzer has been generally sharp with his fastball, which touched 99 mph again, plus his slider and changeup. “Max early on got the quick outs,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He still had something left in the tank at the end.” Said Scherzer, “For the most part, I’m pretty pleased with the way I’ve pitched the whole year.” Scherzer credited his offseason conditioning, part of which included jogging up Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, with strengthening his legs for this season.

–C Gerald Laird, like most catchers, doesn’t get credit for his defense or play calling. He made some good pivotal choices to help Scherzer record a 5-3 victory Tuesday night, but his choices on the last batter of the game, DH Edwin Encarnacion, were particularly successful. Encarnacion came up as the potential winning run, with two on and two out in the ninth, and RHP Jose Valverde trying to close it out. The first pitch was an outside fastball for a strike, after which Laird came out to the mound. A split-finger went for strike two and again Laird went out to the mound, calling for another split-finger that Encarnacion waved at for strike three. “We wanted to make sure of each pitch,” Laird said. “No signs, no confusion; we wanted to be on the same page.”

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