Scherzer, Cabrera streak past Mets

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Matt Harvey faced off with Max Scherzer Saturday in a rematch of 2013 All-Star Game starters.

Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers shut out the New York Mets, 3-0, on Saturday, continuing the run of success for the Tigers’ right-hander. With the win, Scherzer improved to 19-1 on the year, the third pitcher in major league history to win at least 19 of his first 20 decisions in a season.

Scherzer joins Roger Clemens (2001 Yankees) and Rube Marquard (1912 Giants) who each also started their seasons 19-1. Clemens would go on to win the Cy Young award that Fall.

Most Wins in 1st 20 Decisions
Single-Season MLB History

Scherzer finished with 11 strikeouts, his sixth game with double-digit punchouts in 2013. Entering Saturday, only the Rangers’ Yu Darvish had more this season league-wide.

Along with his six shutout innings on the mound, Scherzer also did some damage at the plate, knocking in his first run as a member of the Tigers with a double in the second inning. Before that at-bat, pitchers were just 3-for-56 (.054 BA) against Harvey in his career with 35 strikeouts and had yet to record an RBI.

Not to be outdone, Miguel Cabrera had two hits of his own, the 27th straight game in which he’s reached base safely. It’s Cabrera’s third such streak of at least 27 games this season—all other AL players have four such streaks combined (Mike Trout, Jason Kipnis, Billy Butler, and Jose Iglesias each have one).

Pct of Games Played Reaching Base
Since 1900 (Min. 100 Games w/ 1+ PA)

In all, Cabrera has reached safely in nearly 96 percent of the games he’s played this season. According to Elias, only Frank Thomas in 1996 (97.2) and Ted Williams in 1949 (96.1) finished a season having reached base in a higher percentage of games played since 1900 (min. 100 games with 1+ PA).

On the other side of the diamond, Matt Harvey was the tough-luck loser despite allowing just two runs over 6⅔ innings pitched. He scattered a career-high 13 hits, and in doing so, became the first pitcher in over 50 years to allow two or fewer runs, 13 or more hits, AND lose the game. The last to do it was fellow Met Al Jackson back in 1962.

Saturday marked a rematch of this year’s All-Star starters in Harvey and Scherzer, and it’s not something that has happened often. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us it was the first time All-Star starters faced each other in the same regular season. There have been two previous instances in postseason play—Paul Derringer (Reds) against Red Ruffing (Yankees) in 1939 and Dwight Gooden (Mets) against Roger Clemens (Red Sox) in 1986.