July 10, 2018

MLB Highlight Clip Claims Max Scherzer Struck Out "12 Straight" Batters In A Game

I mute MLBTV between innings so I do not have to hear the same highlight clips night after night after night. Much to my surprise, some new clips from this season have been added to the rotation. One of them features Max Scherzer of the Nationals pitching against the Phillies on May 6.

The caption for the clip reads: "Scherzer K's 15 For 5th Time In Career Including 12 Straight".

MLB is correct in stating that game was the fifth time in his career that Scherzer struck out at least 15 batters, but did he strike out "12 straight" Phillies?

I have known since I was about 13 years old that Tom Seaver of the Mets set the major league record when he struck out the final 10 Padres on April 22, 1970. I was extremely skeptical that this long-standing record had been broken approximately two months ago. Was it possible I had missed the news?


I did not miss it, because it never happened.

It would appear that MLB is wildly ignorant of its own history - and does not understand what simple words mean - because Max Scherzer most certainly did not strike out "12 straight" batters.

What Scherzer and the Nationals did was record 12 consecutive outs by strikeout, which is a completely different thing. (And - as you will see below - it's nowhere near the major league record.) The Phillies had no fewer than five baserunners during that span of 12 outs.

Here is Scherzer's play-by-play. The 12 consecutive outs by strikeout is in bold. Scherzer was relieved with one out in the seventh inning.
1st: L7, K, double, K
2nd: P3, single, K, K
3rd: K, K, K
4th: K, K, double, intentional walk, K
5th: K, K, walk, K
6th: Double, HBP, K, GIDP/5-4-3
7th: Single, stolen base, K
It's worth noting that Scherzer became the first pitcher in history to record 15 strikeouts in 19 outs or fewer. ... But he struck out "only" seven consecutive batters on May 6.

Will MLB fix its obvious error? I doubt it. I have been seeing the clip of Didi "Gregorious" driving in eight runs on April 3 for almost three months and there is a new clip of Andrew McCutchen's return to Pittsburgh with a caption referring to Kris Bryant hitting 100 home runs faster than anyone in Cubs history. Now I don't know about you, but I have never looked at McCutchen and wondered: Hey, isn't that Kris Bryant?

On September 25, 2016, Boston pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez and Heath Hembree teamed up to strike out 11 consecutive Tampa Bay hitters. Rodriguez fanned his last six batters and Hembree struck out all five men he faced. Red Sox pitchers struck out a total of 23 Rays in 10 innings.

As I wrote at the time:
Rodriguez and Heath Hembree combined to strike out 11 consecutive batters in the middle innings, a new major league record. From the second inning to the eighth, the Red Sox recorded 17 straight outs by strikeout. There were two walks, a HBP and a single in that stretch, so 21 Rays batters came to the plate over parts of seven innings and hit only one fair ball. MLB.com reports there was an "astonishing two-hour and 11-minute drought in between balls put in play".

1 comment:

FenFan said...

This is almost on the order of "man bites dog;" the only intent is to grab the reader's attention, and the headline is misleading, intentional or otherwise. Coupled with that is the fact that the person who wrote it probably didn't bother to double-check the facts before posting it.

Yes, there is a HUGE difference between 12 straight batters struck out versus 12 straight batters put out "by way of the K," as DO used to state so emphatically.