Tigers starter Max Scherzer, at long last, has joined the 20-win club. In his fifth attempt at the feat, the right-hander held the White Sox to three runs on six hits and a walk in six innings of work. Scherzer only struck out three, but it was besides the point as the Tigers supplied him with plenty of offense in a 12-5 victory.
Outfielder Torii Hunter went 4-for-5 with three runs batted in, while designated hitter Victor Martinez supplied a two-run home run in the fifth inning. White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod wasn’t able to escape the third inning.
Scherzer, now 20-3 with a 3.00 ERA, will have to compete for the AL Cy Young award against teammate and AL ERA leader Anibal Sanchez, Bartolo Colon, Hisashi Iwakuma, Yu Darvish, and Felix Hernandez.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.