It had been 27 years since a pitcher has won 12 consecutive games to start an MLB season, but Detroit Tiger pitcher Max Scherzer broke the streak in a 6-3 over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. Scherzer gave up only four hits and struck out nine batters in the victory. The right-handed Scherzer became the first pitcher in the Tigers long, storied history to win his first 12 decisions.
Although he’s pitching unbelievably well, Scherzer was went out of his way to credit his teammates for his hot start, saying he wouldn’t have achieved the record without the offensive firepower of the likes of Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera had two home runs against the Rays. “My personal record is a reflection of the team,” Scherzer explained. “I don’t get caught up in the win-loss record because it’s kind of fluky.”
Scherzer has struck out six batters in each of his 16 starts this season. His dominance wasn’t lost on Rays manager Joe Maddon, who complimented Scherzer on the movement and the “whiffle ball look” his pitches have. “There’s a reason why he’s 12-0,” Maddon said.
The last pitcher to start a season 12-0? None other than Roger Clemens, who accomplished the feat back in 1986 when he pitched for the Boston Red Sox (Clemens extended his winning streak to 14-0).