Sunday, June 20, 2010

Max Scherzer Shuts Down the D-Backs

Former Arizona Diamondback Max Scherzer threw a rare gem in a victory over his former team.

Scherzer pitched 7 strong innings striking out eight and only giving up two walks. The Detroit Tigers defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1 on Sunday. Diamondback starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who like Scherzer, was featured in last off season's three team blockbuster trade, pitched a strong 6 2/3 innings issuing zero walks and striking out five batters. His downfall? He gave up two home runs to Carlos Guillen and Brennan Boesch.

Going into this game, it looks like Kennedy has had a better year than Scherzer--especially if you use ERA as the basis of your argument. Scherzer has a 6.14 ERA and Kennedy has a 3.57 ERA.

Looking at Scherzer's stats, through 66 innings, his bb/9 are consistent with his career averaged at 3.4/9 (not that great), but his hr/9 has sky rocketed to 1.6/9 and his k/9 have dipped slightly at 8.0/9. The dip in strike outs could be due to the fact that he is facing a designated hitter instead of a pitcher or pinch hitter.

Kennedy has been a nice surprise for the Diamondbacks. He was the most intriguing player in the trade because he had GREAT minor league numbers, but has been injured for much of the past two seasons. In 88.1 innings, he has 7.8 k/9, 3.2 bb/9 and 1.5 hr/9.

Both pitchers have very similar rate stats. If Scherzer can lower his home run rate to somewhere closer to his career of 1.1/9, his ERA will drop and if Kennedy can do the same, he will be able to sustain his ERA.

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