Max Scherzer in 1986 to open the season with a 12-0 record. He allowed three runs in seven innings and struck out nine in the Tigers' 6-3 victory over the Rays.
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Scherzer has made 16 starts on the season, pitching 103 1/3 innings with a 3.01 ERA on way to 12-0. His 31 percent strike out percentage is currently the second highest rate in the game behind the Ranger's Yu Darvish and his 10.6 K/9 trails only Darvish and his teammate Anibal Sanchez among qualified starters. Despite his incredible record and his elite strikeout ability, Scherzer's 3.01 ERA ranks just 27th. His fielding independent pitching mark (FIP) of 2.54 suggests that even at 12-0, Scherzer has not been particularly lucky with his ERA, and he could even be in line for some improvement in that mark if the advanced metrics are to be believed.
Scherzer has been far from unlucky in other areas, however. For one thing, he has gotten as much help from his team as any pitcher could hope for. The Tigers have scored an average of 6.3 runs with Scherzer on the mound. Only three starters have gotten more runs support than that so far this season. That success continued against the Rays. Miguel Cabrera went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs, and Prince Fielder hit a home run off the catwalk.
On his way to his 1986 American league MVP Award and his first of seven Cy Young awards, Roger Clemens went 14-0 before being handed his first loss. Through those 14 games, Clemens had a 2.18 ERA and just one no decision. He finished the season an AL-best 24-4. Scherzer has earned no decision on four of his starts. In one of them, a possible victory was wiped out when closer Jose Valverde allowed four runs in the ninth.
Schezer still has the chance to match or even surpass Clemens 14-0 record. He is expected to make his next start July 3 when the Tigers face the Toronto Blue Jays on the road.