Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer got word just a few days ago that his younger brother Alex had committed suicide. But he decided to carry on and make his scheduled start Saturday vs. the Pirates.
And he put together a truly inspiring performance.
The Tigers didn’t win and Scherzer was handed his fifth loss of the 2012 campaign, but he struck out seven batters and issued just one walk over six strong innings. He only really made one mistake, which Andrew McCutchen deposited it over the left field wall for a three-run homer in the fourth inning.
Scherzer understandably declined to talk to the media after the game, but his teammates stepped in.
“It’s a situation where I don’t think anyone can understand it unless you’ve gone through it,” said catcher Alex Avila. “It’s hard to put into words what he’s feeling. He’s a tough guy, and we’re all here for him.”
Your Saturday recaps and box scores:
Tigers 1, Pirates 4
Blue Jays 7, Marlins 1
Cardinals 8, Royals 2
Rockies 11, Rangers 7
Indians 1, Astros 8
Rays 6, Phillies 7
Twins 0, Reds 6
Nationals 3, Orioles 1
Braves 4, Red Sox 8
Dodgers 3, Angels 1
Brewers 6, White Sox 8
Giants 9, Athletics 8
Yankees 4, Mets 3
Mariners 5, Padres 1
Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 10
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.