A little more than one month after they both started the
All-Star game, Max Scherzer and Matt Harvey will square off at Citi
Field once again.
Scherzer will look to pick up his 19th victory on Saturday as
the Detroit Tigers visit Harvey and the New York Mets.
“I figure this place will be hopping pretty good,” Tigers
manager Jim Leyland said. “It should be fun.”
It’s the first time in history that two All-Star game starters
have faced off in the same regular season.
“You can’t beat that matchup,” Detroit’s Torii Hunter said. “If
you blink you’re going to miss something.”
Scherzer (18-1, 2.82 ERA) will look to become the fastest in the
major leagues to 19 victories since teammate Justin Verlander
picked up his 19th on Aug. 22, 2011, en route to a 24-win
Scherzer has pushed his way toward the 20-victory mark with five
wins and a 1.69 ERA over his six starts since pitching a scoreless
first inning against the NL All-Stars. He has allowed two earned
runs or fewer each time, giving up just 21 hits in 42 2-3
He gave up two runs in eight innings of a 6-3 victory over
Kansas City on Sunday, pushing his streak without allowing a homer
to 34 2-3 innings.
Scherzer has taken advantage of some weak opposition in the
second half, making three of his last six starts against the White
Sox. The right-hander’s other three starts came against
Philadelphia and Kansas City, among the major league’s worst in
runs scored, and Cleveland, which is 26th in runs this month.
Scherzer has twice as many victories as Harvey (9-4, 2.25)
despite the 24-year-old’s lower ERA. Scherzer has the most
victories in a season with just one loss since Roger Clemens
started 20-1 in 2001. Much like Clemens, who had the fourth-highest
run support average in baseball that year, Scherzer has benefited
from a league-best 7.47 mark.
“The win-loss record is a little fluky,” Scherzer said. “Every
time I go out, the guys are putting up runs for me and are playing
great defense so I can’t take credit for being 18-1.”
Harvey has been nearly as good in his last five starts as his
first 20, though his record certainly doesn’t show it. The Mets
(58-68) have lost four of his last five starts despite his 2.34 ERA
and 30 strikeouts against three walks.
Harvey has gone 47 2-3 innings since last allowing a homer to
San Francisco’s Buster Posey on July 8.
Manager Terry Collins certainly wasn’t bemoaning Harvey’s latest
start, when the right-hander allowed two fifth-inning runs and left
after six Sunday in San Diego. He was in line for the victory
before the Padres scored once apiece in the eighth and ninth to win
“Matt pitched great,” Collins said. “Cripes, they got a bloop
single, an infield single and we’re in trouble. He’s done what he’s
done all year for us and that’s pitch very well.”
Harvey, who fanned three in two innings of the Midsummer
Classic, is 1-0 with a 0.72 ERA in three interleague starts. AL
batters are hitting just .107 off Harvey, fanning 28 times in 25
Those outings, however, came against the Twins, White Sox and
Yankees, none of whom are in the top half of the majors in runs per
The Tigers (75-53) are a different story. Detroit pounded three
home runs in Friday’s 6-1 win, including a three-run shot from
Miguel Cabrera that was his ninth in his last 17 games.
Austin Jackson has home runs in consecutive nights for Detroit
and is 10 for his last 22.
Scherzer hasn’t faced the Mets since 2009, when he was still