Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 23rd. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network. Scherzer went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, 16 strikeouts and two walks in 13.0 innings pitched over two starts to lay claim to his firs career weekly honor, joining teammate Prince Fielder as Player of the Week winners from the Motor City this season. Among A.L. leaders for the period, Max was tied for first in wins, was second in strikeouts and finished tied for fourth in innings pitched.
On Monday, the right-hander allowed one run on seven hits with 10 strikeouts over 6.0 innings as the Tigers defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 5-1, at Comerica Park. It was the 28-year-old's 10th win of the season in Detroit's 68th game, becoming the fastest Tigers hurler to reach double-digits in wins since Jack Morris notched his 10th victory in the Tigers' 63rd game of the 1987 season. In his next start on Saturday, the St. Louis native allowed two runs on six hits, walked none and struck out six in 7.0 innings to lead the Tigers to a 10-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Detroit. The University of Missouri product moved his record to a perfect 11-0, making him the first pitcher in Club history to win his first 11 decisions as a starter to begin a season, and the first to do so in the Majors since Roger Clemens started the 1997 season 11-0 with the Toronto Blue Jays (Elias Sports Bureau). Of note, George Mullin began Detroit's 1909 season with an 11-0 record, but his 11th victory came as a relief pitcher. In addition to Scherzer's winning string, the 11th overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft (by Arizona) has struck out at least six batters in each of his 15 starts this season, matching him with Boston's Pedro Martinez (1999) for the second-longest streak of six-strikeout games to begin a season in A.L. history. According to Elias, Martinez holds the overall mark with a 29-game run to begin the 2000 season.
On the season, Scherzer is 11-0 with a 3.05 ERA, 24 walks and 122 strikeouts in 103.1 innings pitched over 15 starts. Among Major League leaders, Max ranks first in wins, second in strikeouts, third in strikeouts per nine innings (10.6) and is fourth in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.097). The six-year veteran also stands sixth in the A.L. in innings pitched.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Scherzer's teammate Miguel Cabrera (.536, 15 H, 2 HR, 6 RBI, .606 OBP); Chris Carter (.391, 5 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI) of the Houston Astros; Nelson Cruz (.379, 3 HR, 11 RBI) and Joe Nathan (5 G, 1.80 ERA, 5 SV) of the Texas Rangers; Chris Davis (.348, 4 HR, 10 RBI) of the Baltimore Orioles; Raul Ibañez (.321, 4 HR, 9 RBI) of the Seattle Mariners; and Joe Blanton (0-0, 1.93 ERA, 14.0 IP, 17 K) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Max Scherzer will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.