It wasn’t quite a near no-hitter, but Max Scherzer became the first pitcher this season to strike out 15 batters Sunday in a victory over the Pirates.
Scherzer allowed two runs in seven innings in the game. Tigers pitchers struck out 17 in all.
This year’s previous high strikeout game belonged to Anibal Sanchez, who fanned 14 Diamondbacks on April 28.
It was the high game for a Tigers pitcher since Mickey Lolich struck out 15 Red Sox on Oct. 2, 1972.
Scherzer joined Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg in striking out a dozen Pirates. Three of this season’s nine 12-strikeout games have come against Pittsburgh.
Scherzer improved to 3-3 with the victory and lowered his ERA to 5.73. He has four games of nine or more strikeouts this year, but he’s also given up at least five runs on three occasions.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.