Congratulations on another amazing night, but sorry. You’ve been Max’d out this time.
On any other night — well, most other nights — your two home runs, double and single in a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday would have been the premier performance of the game.
After all, the first home run was far up in the left-field seats and the second (in your next at-bat) was even farther, your 23rd and 24th of the season.
Awesome blasts, both of them, as was Prince Fielder’s two-run home run off a catwalk in the eighth — much to the delight of the many Tigers fans on hand at Tropicana Field.
But with Tigers’ starter Max Scherzer improving to 12-0, marking the first time any Tigers’ pitcher has won 12 games without a loss at the start of a season — and becoming the first major-leaguer to do it since Roger Clemens for Boston in 1986 — well, as we said, you’ve been Max’d.
Not before Scherzer voiced his continuing amazement at baseball’s best hitter, however.
“I don’t know if Miggy was 4-for-4 or 5-for-5,” Scherzer said. “But it was a lot-for-a-lot.”
It was Scherzer’s night to shine again, though — his night in a month and a season which appear to be his as well.
“Max, wow, he’s at another level now,” Brayan Pena said. “It’s exciting to be catching when he pitches. He’s attacking.”
“I’m happy for Max, it’s a great thing — and the big boys did what they do,” manager Jim Leyland said. “That’s a combination of how we get a lot of wins.”
Scherzer has left all Detroit winning streaks in his wake. Even George Mullin’s 11-0 start in 1909, with one of the victories coming in relief, has been passed.
So barring the discovery of some obscure sandlot records, which isn’t going to happen, Scherzer has done what no other Detroit pitcher has ever accomplished.
He’s 12-0 — and likes the sound of it.
“It’s really nice to be 12-0,” Scherzer said, “but the reason I am is because of my offense.”
Scherzer did it this time with Cabrera’s and Fielder’s assistance, and always gives his offense a lot of the credit. But he also got it done because he allowed just four hits — two of them solo home runs — while striking out nine in seven innings.
It wouldn’t have been just four hits if Omar Infante hadn’t made several fine plays at second base.