By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – It would be hard to imagine a better first half of the season for Detroit Tiger Max Scherzer.
He recorded an ERA of 3.19 and WHIP of 0.98. He struck out 152 in 129.2 innings, and his strikeouts-to-walks ratio is 4.9.
As a bonus, he went 13-1 in 19 starts.
Essentially, Scherzer is meeting goals left and right.
“I’m doing everything that I set out to do,” Scherzer said. “I’m pitching deeper into games, I’ve minimized my walks, I’m generating strikeouts at a high rate. My ratio’s damn near five-to-one. That’s something I always keep an eye on, and when I’m able to do that, that means I’m going to be successful.
“I’m able to pitch with four pitches, so I have a curveball to help keep the lefties – slow them down,” Scherzer continued. “So I’m doing a lot of things right, what I set out to do this year.”
As a result, Scherzer is going to his first ever All-Star Game.
“That’s going to be fun,” he said. “That’s going to be a blast, especially as my first one, something you always work hard to put yourself in a position to be there. Finally it’s happened for me and I can’t wait to go to New York.”
Not only is he going, Scherzer is the favorite to start. At that thought, the pitcher burst into a grin.
“It’d mean a lot,” Scherzer said. “I just know how many great pitchers are in the game, the other pitchers who are on top of their game right now and how well they’re pitching. If I get a nod over those guys, that’s a real nice moment.”
Though he joked that most of his friends have work Tuesday and thus cannot attend the All-Star Game, his parents, fiancée and one of his college buddies will be in attendance.
Scherzer also hopes to make a new acquaintance at the game – heralded closer Mariano Rivera, who will be making his last All-Star Game appearance. Scherzer already knows exactly what he would say to the man he calls one of the greatest pitchers ever.
“’Teach me!’” Scherzer exclaimed, laughing. “’I’m all ears, I’m all ears! If you teach me how to throw that cutter, oh my gosh.’
“I doubt that happens,” he added, “but you’ve got to hope, you’ve got to dream, right?”
With the way Scherzer’s season is going, it seems it would be foolish to rule anything out.