NEW YORK – During a season of nearly unprecedented pitching success, Max Scherzer relished a rare opportunity to talk about his bat.
Definitely my own, he said. P-100, says Max Scherzer on it.
Scherzer outpitched Matt Harvey in their All-Star rematch, striking out 11 and hitting a stunning RBI double in the second inning that sent the Detroit Tigers to a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday.
Scherzer (19-1) joined Rube Marquard in 1912 and Roger Clemens in 2001 as the only major league pitchers to win 19 of their first 20 decisions in a season.
But it was his big hit off a hard-throwing ace that had teammates talking – and Scherzer crowing.
I’ve got a replay, and I’m sending a text to everybody right now. It was definitely 96 (mph) down and away, and I laced it for a double, Scherzer said. I’m never going to shut up. I’m just going to keep talking trash the whole time.
Andy Dirks had three hits off Harvey, who gave up a career-high 13 over 6 2/3 innings against Detroit’s powerful lineup. He pitched out of trouble to keep the Mets in the game, but they lost for the fifth time in his last six starts.
Missing injured slugger David Wright, the Mets were outhit 15-3 by the AL Central leaders, who got aggressive against Harvey (9-5).
Harvey and Scherzer squared off on the same Citi Field mound 5 1/2 weeks ago in the All-Star game.
The Mets said this matchup marked the third time All-Star starters had faced each other on another occasion during the same season, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau. The first two came in the World Series: Mets ace Dwight Gooden opposed Clemens and the Boston Red Sox in 1986, and Red Ruffing of the New York Yankees faced Cincinnati’s Paul Derringer in 1939.
It’s just something fun to be a part of, Scherzer said. I always enjoy facing the best.
Scherzer, given the best offensive support in the AL at about 7 1/2 runs per nine innings, allowed three hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out seven of eight hitters during one stretch.
I pitched well today, but I didn’t pitch efficiently, Scherzer said. I wasn’t quite as sharp as usual, but I thought I made big pitches when I needed to and that was the most important thing.
New York loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but a good play by Dirks on Ike Davis’ double off the base of the right-field wall held Daniel Murphy at third.
Scherzer struck out rookie Juan Lagares with a high fastball at 96 mph. John Buck popped up the next pitch, and a fired-up Scherzer pounded his glove in excitement, knowing his day was done after 118 pitches.
Jose Alvarez set down all four batters he faced, and Joaquin Benoit worked a perfect ninth for his 17th save.
Don Kelly added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Harvey gave up hits to six of his first 10 batters, and the Tigers scored twice in the second inning.