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August 15, 2014

What You Need to Know

August 15, 2014

by Daniel Rathman


The Thursday Takeaway
Max Scherzer last struck out at least 14 batters on May 20, 2012 and the Pirates were on the receiving end of his nastiness. In the intervening 28 months, only one pitcher—Yovani Gallardo on July 15, 2012—so thoroughly carved up the Bucs.

Yesterday, we found out that the Missourian’s assault on Pittsburgh two years ago was no fluke. Scherzer and the Pirates are simply a match made in strikeout heaven.

Gregory Polanco batted first and went down swinging. Travis Snider and Josh Harrison followed suit. And, as if striking out the side once weren’t enough, Scherzer did it again the very next inning, catching Ike Davis looking before making Pedro Alvarez and Jordy Mercer look foolish to strand Starling Marte, who had doubled.

Scherzer might have racked up three more Ks in the third inning, but the catchers conspired to deny him the opportunity. Chris Stewart led off with a single, but after Michael Martinez took strike three, Alex Avila gunned down his counterpart attempting to steal. Polanco whiffed again to end the inning.

The 30-year-old Tiger picked up one more strikeout in the fourth and added two in the fifth, running his total to 11. That’s nice and all, but it wasn't doing the home nine much good, because you can’t win if you don’t score.

Enter J.D. Martinez.

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6 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

asstarr1

With the play at that plate. I thought the catcher was not allowed to block the lane to the plate. Normally this involves impeding a slide, but 8 feet up the line shouldn't make a difference.

Aug 15, 2014 08:04 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

I had that thought, too, and I believe the rule as worded would apply up the line. However, it also looks to me like Amarista veers from the dirt path before Pierzynski blocks it, and so the runner had created his own lane around where Pierzynski ended up. The other aspect is Pierzynski—likely by good fortune—doesn't fully block the lane until the ball comes into his possession.

Then again, given the way reviews of Rule 7.13 have played it, this one might've been worth another look.

Aug 15, 2014 08:36 AM
 
sroney

It also appears that Amarista left the base line to avoid the tag, since he completely missed the plate on his slide and had to go back to tag it.

Aug 15, 2014 09:58 AM
rating: 0
 
flyingdutchman

Is that really the best defensive play from yesterday?

I think a lot of outfielders would come up with that ball without making it look quite as difficult. I'll say this for Torii though: It's the type of batted ball that he typically plays into a triple.

Aug 15, 2014 10:21 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Daniel Rathman
BP staff

It wasn't a great batch, so I gave Hunter the nod for an impressive play by his standards in a key situation. If I remember correctly, Jake Marisnick was the runner-up for a play in the Astros-Red Sox game.

Aug 15, 2014 10:23 AM
 
jj0501

I would like to see video of Baez vs. Fiers with (4) K's racked up in (17) pitches. A teachable moment perhaps.

Aug 15, 2014 10:46 AM
rating: 0
 
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