Scherzer dominates in Tigers win

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Max Scherzer relied heavily on his fastball and changeup in Friday’s win.Max Scherzer stole the show in Game 1, as the Detroit Tigers ace dominated the Oakland Athletics.

He struck out 11 and allowed three hits in seven innings, becoming the first pitcher with 11 strikeouts and three or fewer hits in a postseason road win since Cliff Lee in 2010. Kerry Wood and Roger Clemens are the only other pitchers to do so in the last 15 postseasons.

Scherzer tied Justin Verlander (three times) for the third-most strikeouts by a Tigers pitcher in a postseason game. Only Joe Coleman (14 in 1972) and Bill Donovan (12 in 1907) have had more than 11 strikeouts among Tigers pitchers.

Those 11 strikeouts are tied for the fourth-most by any pitcher against the Athletics in a postseason game. Only Coleman -- whose 1972 performance listed above came against the A’s -- along with Tom Seaver (12 in 1973) and Jim Palmer (12 in 1973) had more.

Highest Career K Per 9 IP
Postseason History

Scherzer now has the second-most career strikeouts per nine innings pitched (11.5) in MLB postseason history. Only Adam Wainwright (11.6) has more among pitchers with at least five postseason starts.

It was Scherzer’s fastball-changeup combination that powered his success against Oakland.

All but 11 of his 118 pitches were either a fastball or changeup. Six of his strikeouts came via fastball while the other five were with his changeup.

He threw a season-high 35 changeups overall and the A’s were 1-for-11 against the pitch Friday.

As a team, Detroit’s pitchers tallied 16 strikeouts, the most by an American League team in the postseason since 2004, when the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins each had 16 against the New York Yankees.

The only teams to strike out more than 16 in an AL postseason game were the Baltimore Orioles in 1997 (21 vs. Indians) and the Cleveland Indians in 1996 (23 vs. Orioles).

The 16 strikeouts by Tigers pitchers are the most for the Tigers in a postseason game. The 16 strikeouts by Athletics batters are the most for the A's in a postseason game.