Detroit’s Max Scherzer became the first Major League Baseball pitcher to reach 19 wins this season after leading the Tigers to a 3-0 victory in an All-Star rematch with Matt Harvey of the New York Mets.
Scherzer (19-1) allowed three hits and walked four while striking out 11 batters in six innings last night at Citi Field in New York. Joaquin Benoit recorded his 17th save, striking out one in the ninth.
Scherzer 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.
“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.”
Harvey (9-5) allowed two runs on 13 hits and struck out four in 6 2/3 innings.
“Just a poor performance,” Harvey said. “I’m getting pretty tired, but so is everybody and you have to work through it.”
The Mets said this matchup marked the third time All-Star starters 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, when Mets’ Dwight Gooden opposed Clemens and the Boston Red Sox in 1986, and Red Ruffing of the New York Yankees pitched against Cincinnati’s Paul Derringer in 1939.
Scherzer gave the tigers a lead with a run-scoring double in the second inning, before Austin Jackson drove in a second run. Jackson also scored on Don Kelly’s sacrifice fly in the ninth.
“I’ve got a replay and I’m sending a text to everybody right now,” Scherzer said. “It was definitely 96 (mph) down and away, and I laced it for a double. I’m never going to shut up. I’m just going to keep talking trash the whole time.”
The Tigers (76-53) lead the American League Central, six games ahead of the Cleveland Indians. The Mets (58-69) are third in the National League East, 18 games behind the Atlanta Braves.
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