If you were surprised to hear Scherzer had such a great year, you missed out on a great, up and coming pitcher in the last few years. Scherzer’s 2012 performance was impressive as the 6-3 righty posted a 3.74 ERA, a 1.274 WHIP and a 16-7 record in 32 starts. Nevertheless, Scherzer truly arrived in 2013.
Finishing the year with an MLB leading 21-3 record is extremely impressive, but you can’t let that be over-influential in your mind. Although a win-loss record can certainly be indicative of a pitcher’s performance, it can also mask certain truths about what really occurred. For example, Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young Award in 2010 despite having a 13-12 record. Hernandez played for an awful team, so his record reflected poorly, but the voters recognized his true talent from his performances and other statistics.
In much the opposite way, Scherzer’s record is aided heavily by the fact that he played for the Tigers, one of the best offensive teams in baseball. All the same, Scherzer’s overall accomplishment has made him a 2013 AL Cy Young finalist as a 2.90 ERA, a 0.970 WHIP, 240 strikeouts and a ratio of 4.29 strikeouts to every walk certainly earned the 29-year-old a mention among the best pitchers in the game this season.
As he sits right in the prime of his career, the Tigers look to be sitting nicely with two pitchers ranked in the Top 10 of our list in Scherzer and teammate Justin Verlander. As long as Detroit can keep their offense rolling and make some offseason moves to bolster their bullpen, I cannot see why another postseason berth would not be inevitable. Look for Scherzer to lead the charge in 2014 as the Tigers begin their quest for the World Series.