It's a Good Name for You: the Max Scherzer thread

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Early favourite to join Clemens, Johnson, Maddux, and Carlton as the only four-time Cy Young winners (Kershaw and Seaver should probably have four too). Five years ago, when he put up the 21-3 season, I remember the gaudy W-L record drew some suspicion that he was just a good pitcher having a fluky year. Not Jewish. He is a Max.

clemenza, Sunday, 20 May 2018 15:53 (six years ago) link

My favorite player outside of my team.

Big user of analytics.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 21 May 2018 18:44 (six years ago) link

three weeks pass...

We bought tickets for Saturday's Jays-Nationals game a month-and-a-half ago...Giddy-up--Scherzer!

clemenza, Thursday, 14 June 2018 01:37 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

max scherzer was born the same day that purple rain opened in theaters

mookieproof, Friday, 27 July 2018 16:36 (five years ago) link

Wow, great site. I like Ohtani's!

timellison, Friday, 27 July 2018 17:39 (five years ago) link

Yeah, that's great, especially that you can search by artist.

Rolling Stones - 7 players
Dylan - 1 player ("Like a Rolling Stone," Mark Canha)
Drake - 45 players

Their database can't be complete--Prince and Michael Jackson come back with zero results, something I find hard to believe.

clemenza, Friday, 27 July 2018 17:58 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

Where does he rank on the Greatest Free Agent Signing list? Bonds and Maddux sit 1-2.

clemenza, Friday, 28 September 2018 16:15 (five years ago) link

a-rod's first (the much-maligned rangers deal) has to be in there

54.6 bWAR in seven seasons = 8.1/per

mookieproof, Friday, 28 September 2018 17:22 (five years ago) link

Max Scherzer has been worth 0.8 WAR as a hitter and fielder this season, leading all pitchers. That's more position player WAR than Charlie Blackmon

— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) September 28, 2018

mookieproof, Friday, 28 September 2018 17:26 (five years ago) link

Remember how the Tigers got Scherzer in 2009? 3-way trade between Yanks/DBacks/Tiggers.

The Yankees received:
Curtis Granderson from the Tigers

The Tigers received:
Phil Coke and Austin Jackson from the Yankees
Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth from the D-backs

The D-backs received:
Edwin Jackson from the Tigers
Ian Kennedy from the Yankees

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 28 September 2018 17:27 (five years ago) link

Total WAR for the signing team (treating it as one big contract--Bonds and Maddux must have renegotiated once or twice):

Bonds (1993-2007) - 112.5 (7.5/season)
Maddux (1993-2003) - 66.3 (6.0/season)
A-Rod (2004-2016) - 54.2 (4.5/season + sat out 2014)
Randy Johnson (1999-2004) - 48.1 (8.0/season)
Scherzer (2015-2018) - 29.2 (7.3 season)

I think mookieproof is combining A-Rod's Rangers years and his first few seasons with the Yankees; I meant service for one team. The Diamondbacks got four Cy Youngs in six seasons from Johnson.

Scherzer's near the top on a yearly basis, though he's still only halfway through the contract and far behind in total WAR.

clemenza, Saturday, 29 September 2018 14:13 (five years ago) link

Add Beltre's time with the Rangers (2011-2018) to the list:

43.3 (5.4/season)

clemenza, Saturday, 29 September 2018 14:25 (five years ago) link

Manny Ramirez (2001-2008) - 36.7 (4.6/season)

(I'm getting some help from the internet.)

clemenza, Saturday, 29 September 2018 14:59 (five years ago) link

Rafael Palmeiro (1994-1998) - 23.4 (4.7/season)
Rafael Palmeiro (1999-2003) - 20.9 (5.2/season)

clemenza, Saturday, 29 September 2018 15:02 (five years ago) link

Taking into account total WAR, seasonal WAR, World Championships (ultimately the whole point of a splashy free-agent signing), and how much of a public relations nightmare the player ended up being (which applies to three or four of these guys), I'd rank them this way:

1. Bonds (public relations nightmare and no World Championships, but still)
2. Either Maddux or Johnson--I can see arguments for both
3. Manny Ramirez
4. Scherzer
5. A-Rod (you could rank him third, I guess...lots of headaches near the end)
6. Beltre (would like to place him higher, but I don't think you can)
7. Palmeiro

clemenza, Saturday, 29 September 2018 15:11 (five years ago) link

yeah, i was talking about a-rod's initial 10-year/$252m deal with the rangers (which he then opted out from after seven years). i would argue that these things should be ranked by contract rather than stints with teams, although it's more difficult to parse.

i guess it broke the rangers, but that a-rod deal was very much worth it for value and still would have been even with the remaining three less impressive seasons. the yankees re-signing him after the 2007 season is far less defensible: eight years (not including the one he didn't get paid for), 23.3 bWAR, $226m

does ichiro count as a free agent signing?

mookieproof, Saturday, 29 September 2018 18:09 (five years ago) link

by stints-with-teams, roger clemens with the jays has to be up there too. those two seasons were fantastic, and they traded him at exactly the right time because the remaining years were less so

mookieproof, Saturday, 29 September 2018 18:14 (five years ago) link

write-in vote for miles (!) mikolas (!)

mookieproof, Saturday, 29 September 2018 19:51 (five years ago) link

David Ortiz didn't have the WAR numbers during his two contracts w/the BoSox but he was an extremely good signing both times.

omar little, Saturday, 29 September 2018 20:37 (five years ago) link

I thought of Ichiro...somehow that seems different to me, being his first major league team. If you throw him in, he's somewhere in the middle. Ortiz, of course--had it my mind he came over in a trade, but you're right. And for just a stopover, Clemens might rank #1 (even though we didn't get any closer than 26 games out).

Ichiro (2001-2012) - 57.1 (4.8/season)
Ortiz (2003-2016) - 52.7 (3.8/season)
Clemens (1997-1998) - 20.0 (10.0/season)

i would argue that these things should be ranked by contract

Yeah, I wasn't factoring in money at all (or what you may have subsequently gotten, in a trade or with a draft pick, when the player left), just results.

clemenza, Saturday, 29 September 2018 21:19 (five years ago) link

Why is this restricted to post-'93 signings? Deals longer than 3-4 years were relatively rare before then (Bonds' deal was an icebreaker IIRC) but on an AAV basis there were plenty of good deals in the 80's and early 90's-- Rickey and Winfield with the Yankees, Nolan Ryan with the Astros, even Molitor with the Jays.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Saturday, 29 September 2018 23:20 (five years ago) link

I didn't consciously restrict it, just couldn't think of anything offhand. (I looked at Reggie with the Yankees.) Initially, I was thinking of long-term tenures, and it kind of veered off into shorter stays. Here are the ones you mention:

Henderson (1985-1989) - 36.0 (7.2/season)
Winfield (1981-1990) - 28.2 (3.1/season)
Ryan (1980-1988) - 25.5 (2.8/season)
Molitor (1993-1995) - 10.5 (3.5/season)

Henderson for sure. I definitely consider the other three singings very successful, and Molitor was huge in '93; I guess they don't quite rank with the others using WAR.

For everyone I've been calculating, I included the year-end total for players traded during their final season (e.g., Henderson). So their overall totals are very slightly off.

clemenza, Sunday, 30 September 2018 00:09 (five years ago) link

Sorry to go off-topic, but Max Scherzer will be starting tomorrow in Denver and needs 6Ks to break the club's single season record for strikeouts (Pedro '97)

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Sunday, 30 September 2018 03:29 (five years ago) link

Max who?

clemenza, Sunday, 30 September 2018 03:38 (five years ago) link

False Alarm, he'll be shut down:

Max Scherzer will no longer start tomorrow against the Rockies. Dave Martinez said they’ve decided to shut him down considering his workload this year.

Erick Fedde will start Sunday instead

— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) September 30, 2018

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Sunday, 30 September 2018 06:17 (five years ago) link

eight months pass...

10+ K starts since 4/29/2008 (Max Scherzer's MLB Debut)
89 Scherzer
84 Phillies
78 Cubs
78 WSox
78 Rangers
75 Dbacks (3 by Scherzer)
75 Yanks
72 Mariners
66 Angels
63 Brewers
58 Marlins
56 Jays
56 Cards
53 Reds
52 Braves
48 Rox
42 Padres
41 Bucs
39 Royals
38 A's
30 Twins
20 O's

— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 26, 2019

na (NA), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 14:22 (four years ago) link

Dominant start today...Someone pointed out in an e-mail to James the other day how uncannily some of his basic career totals match Koufax's right now:

Scherzer (before today)

W-L: 166-87
IP: 2232.0
WHIP: 1.094
ERA+: 133
WAR: 57.6


W-L: 165-87
IP: 2324.1
WHIP: 1.106
ERA+: 131
WAR: 53.1

Scherzer has a much better K/BB ratio (4.29 to 2.93), Koufax the better FIP (2.69-3.13).

clemenza, Sunday, 30 June 2019 21:25 (four years ago) link

ridiculous player

omar little, Monday, 1 July 2019 00:00 (four years ago) link

Koufax pretty good to.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 1 July 2019 00:08 (four years ago) link

Missing his next start. Last nine:

IP - 64
H - 40
K - 94
BB - 9
HR - 3
ERA - 0.84
Game Scores - 71, 59, 86, 73, 72, 77, 78, 84, 79

clemenza, Saturday, 13 July 2019 14:02 (four years ago) link

Just because I like checking such things, I was curious how rare it is for a pitcher to have seven consecutive starts with a game score over 70. Yes, that's cherry-picked two ways: the game score of 70, and the number of starts. I realize that. It's a completely arbitrary and therefore largely meaningless achievement.

Anyway, I checked the game logs for a bunch of famous seasons starting with Gibson in '68: Seaver in '69, Vida Blue in '71, Carlton in '72, Guidry in '78, Gooden in '85, Clemens in '86, Hershiser in '88, Maddux in '94/95, Clemens in '97/98, Pedro in '00/01, Johnson in '01/02, Kershaw in '14, deGrom last year. Hardly exhaustive, just wanted something I could manage in five minutes. From those seasons, the only ones to do it were Blue in '71 and Hershiser in '88 (the scoreless streak plus the start before). Gibson had an average game score of 76 in 1968, but not seven consecutive starts of 70+.

clemenza, Saturday, 13 July 2019 18:01 (four years ago) link

Let me rephrase: largely redundant achievement, in that it's just another way of measuring what we already know, that Scherzer has been pretty great the past seven starts.

clemenza, Saturday, 13 July 2019 18:09 (four years ago) link

what about arrieta that year?

k3vin k., Sunday, 14 July 2019 03:59 (four years ago) link

what was that? 14? 15? sorry I’m a little drunk

k3vin k., Sunday, 14 July 2019 04:00 (four years ago) link

Arrieta didn't have more than three in a row that year (2015). However, his Game Scores for his final nine starts were:

70, 69, 98, 81, 71, 68, 91, 84, 75

If we lower clem's (arbitrary) threshold, that's nine straight over 68.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 14 July 2019 09:20 (four years ago) link

If you loosen the parameters a bit, there are many more impressive streaks than Scherzer's just from that small group. If you go to a game score of 65, Gibson has a 15-game streak in '68 (May 17-July 30). His worst start during that run: 8 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 5 K, 1 BB. He hit 80-89 nine times and was over 90 twice.

clemenza, Sunday, 14 July 2019 10:48 (four years ago) link

Day-to-day; not good when the best player and the best pitcher in the game are simultaneously down.

clemenza, Monday, 15 July 2019 14:26 (four years ago) link

(Oops--thought I was posting on the Trout thread. He's the one who's day-to-day; Scherzer's on the 10-day.)

clemenza, Monday, 15 July 2019 14:28 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Is this common knowledge? I never knew it: he has heterochromia iridum, meaning his eyes aren't the same colour.

If he'd been on the '69 Pilots, he would have had an undoubtedly cruel nickname.

clemenza, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 21:56 (four years ago) link

i think it's common knowledge around these parts -- he has the excellent nickname "Blue Eye" apparently, in addition to the more common "Mad Max". the former name is real Bond villainish.

omar little, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 22:01 (four years ago) link

11 years ago, on the day Max was called up to the bigs, felicity (arguably the best contributor to I Love Baseball) wrote:

Max Scherzer petrified 13 straight batters with his deadly gaze!

Difficulty: 8
Attacks: Pitch 1d3, Petrification

--You behold Max Scherzer . . .
--You are terrified by his 2-color eyes, and cannot move . . .
--You cannot see the release point . . .
--You hear Max Scherzer's fastball hissing!
--You have become a statue.

when will the 2008 Arizona Diamondbacks come back to earth?

so my advice young clem, is to stick around, maybe catch up on the archives.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 22:14 (four years ago) link

Sorry for the duress and inconvenience caused by my redundant post.

clemenza, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 23:06 (four years ago) link

three months pass...

Scherzer and Strasburg for their careers:

                     ERA	WHIP	K/9	BB/9	H/9	HR/9
Max Scherzer 3.20 1.092 10.6 2.4 7.4 1.0
Stephen Strasburg 3.17 1.086 10.6 2.4 7.4 0.9


clemenza, Friday, 8 November 2019 01:04 (four years ago) link

I'm curious to see how Strasburg does in his 30s. There are quite a few power pitchers whose inconsistencies seem to be tamed in their late 20s and their prime production continues well into their mid to late 30s even to their 40s with a few.

earlnash, Sunday, 10 November 2019 15:21 (four years ago) link

I lump Max in with that class of pitcher with preternatural calm and a murderous gaze, liable to go off and choke somebody to death if their control slips for a second. Kenny Rogers and Kevin Brown are two I can think of -- I'm sure there are others.

WmC, Sunday, 10 November 2019 18:23 (four years ago) link

earlnash, Monday, 11 November 2019 02:20 (four years ago) link

lol yes

Trussrippers WILL be persecuted! (WmC), Monday, 11 November 2019 02:25 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

14 K in 7 innings against the Yankees. (99 pitches, but still in there.)

clemenza, Saturday, 8 May 2021 21:52 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

max scherzer is 0-for-45 this season with zero walks

he does have two sac bunts and a sac fly

mookieproof, Friday, 27 August 2021 03:28 (two years ago) link

gonna reach 3000 K in his next start

absolutely lights-out since being traded

is his deal with washington the best huge contract ever?

mookieproof, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 00:57 (two years ago) link

if you asked me how many pitchers are there with 3000 Ks i would've guessed more than 19. like at least 30.

, Sunday, 12 September 2021 21:49 (two years ago) link

anyway scherzer is #19

, Sunday, 12 September 2021 21:49 (two years ago) link

You could also track his game on another thread...80 pitches, two more innings.

clemenza, Sunday, 12 September 2021 22:05 (two years ago) link

Damn. A perfect game, 3,000th K, and an immaculate inning would have been a pretty good start.

clemenza, Sunday, 12 September 2021 22:30 (two years ago) link

Lowest ERA in 1st 8 appearances with a team, all starts (single season since ER official in both leagues, 1913):

2021 Max Scherzer, LAD: 0.88
1998 Randy Johnson, HOU: 1.00
1984 Phil Niekro, NYY: 1.04

— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) September 12, 2021

mookieproof, Sunday, 12 September 2021 23:07 (two years ago) link

I really had no idea the "immaculate inning" -- nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts -- was so rare. scherzer joined sandy koufax and chris sale as the only pitchers in history with three such innings in their career

mens rea activist (k3vin k.), Thursday, 16 September 2021 16:13 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

I'm the only person on here who pays the least bit of attention to this tabulation (I won't call it a stat), but Scherzer moved ahead of Kershaw into 4th place on Baseball Reference's Cy Young Share list:

1. Roger Clemens (7 wins) 7.66
2. Randy Johnson (5 wins) 6.50
3. Greg Maddux (4 wins) 4.92
4. Max Scherzer (3 wins) 4.61
5. Clayton Kershaw (3 wins) 4.58
6. Steve Carlton (4 wins) 4.29
7. Pedro Martinez (3 wins) 4.26
8. Justin Verlander (2 wins) 4.21
9. Tom Seaver (3 wins) 3.85
10. Jim Palmer (3 wins) 3.57

clemenza, Saturday, 20 November 2021 15:04 (two years ago) link

Two two will be there forever, probably, but Scherzer may pass Maddux for third.

clemenza, Saturday, 20 November 2021 15:05 (two years ago) link

Two two = top two

clemenza, Saturday, 20 November 2021 15:26 (two years ago) link

Thought “two two” was some weird nick name I’d never heard before!

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Saturday, 20 November 2021 17:59 (two years ago) link

three months pass...


Max Scherzer has "rattled some with his tough negotiating style" over the past few days

— SNY (@SNYtv) March 1, 2022

mookieproof, Tuesday, 1 March 2022 21:40 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

oblique strain, out 6-8 weeks

mookieproof, Thursday, 19 May 2022 18:53 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Dog bites man, man bites dog, Rafi bites Max.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 June 2022 23:52 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

Verlander out for almost three weeks, pitches 5 no-hit innings with a walk and 9 strikeouts. Sixteen days between starts for Scherzer, 6 perfect innings with 9 strikeouts. Old guys need their rest to get by.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 September 2022 02:48 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

Terrible news for the Texas #Rangers:
Max Scherzer has a low-grade strain of the teres major muscle in his right shoulder that ends his season.

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 13, 2023

mookieproof, Wednesday, 13 September 2023 20:43 (nine months ago) link

Dodging the Casas rematch. Between this & Verlander vs the A’s Steve Cohen’s step is lighter today.

ydkb (gyac), Wednesday, 13 September 2023 20:55 (nine months ago) link

three months pass...

Will be joining Kershaw:

If he'd stayed healthy the past few years, I guess he would have hit 250 wins and 4,000 strikeouts. Doesn't really affect anything else, but too bad.

clemenza, Friday, 15 December 2023 20:52 (six months ago) link

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