MLB Analysis: A Closer Look at Max Scherzer’s 15 Strikeout Showing

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The Detroit Tigers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 on Sunday afternoon behind Max Scherzer’s 15 strikeout performance, but the headline doesn’t tell the complete story…

  • Scherzer’s 15 strikeouts against the Pirates were the most by a Detroit Tigers pitcher in 40 years.
  • Mickey Lolich had 15 strikeouts for the Tigers against Boston on Oct. 2, 1972, and set the club record of 16 in 1969, doing it twice in less than three weeks.
  • Scherzer’s 15 strikeouts were the most by a major league pitcher this year. Miami’s Anibal Sanchez had 14 against Arizona on April 28.
  • Scherzer had struck out five straight – and 10 for the game – when Rod Barajas homered with one out in the fifth to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
  • Scherzer (3-3) threw 115 pitches. He allowed four hits, including two solo homers, and a walk.
  • All 15 of Scherzer’s strikeouts were swinging. The only other pitcher since 1988 to strike out at least 15 – all swinging – in a game was Houston’s Mike Scott, who fanned 15 Cincinnati Reds on June 8, 1990, according to STATS LLC.
  • Scherzer was actually on the hook for a loss when Jim Leyland offered his handshake letting him know a reliever would be coming in after the top of the seventh. Detroit scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh and held on for a 4-3 win.
  • The Pirates struck out 41 times in the three game series…

The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at You may email Mike @ or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.


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