Max Scherzer: second-best pitcher on the planet

At least, it seems like he should be every time I watch him pitch. He has the fastball. He has the breaking ball. He has the change. He can command it all. But he's never had that breakout season that he was supposed to for the last five years.

Or did he? Here's Max Scherzer in the second half of the season:

I Split ERA IP H HR BB SO
2nd Half 2.69 90.1 77 8 27 110


There you go. That's the Scherzer we've been waiting for for the last several seasons. He allowed half as many home runs as he did in the first half, and the batting average on balls in play went from .355 before the All-Star break to .317 after.

Or maybe it's just a small sample, and Scherzer is the pitcher he was for the three halves before that.

All I know is that when he's on, he sure looks like the second-best pitcher on the planet (read: second-best pitcher on his team), and he's on through the first three innings of Game 4. Nary a hit, nary a walk, and four strikeouts his first trip through the order.

He would have had a perfect first three innings if it weren't for a Prince Fielder error with two outs. After the error, Scherzer walked Ichiro on a close 3-2 pitch, but he struck out Nick Swisher to end the threat.

The one blemish: Scherzer has thrown 55 pitches through three innings, though 13 of those are on Fielder's hands.

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