If there's any debate about who should receive the AL Cy Young award this season, Max Scherzer did a pretty good job of making his case in Detroit's 3-0 victory over the Mets on Saturday.
Scherzer improved to 19-1, going six innings without surrendering a run, walking four, but fanning 11.
Having to work exceptionally hard for the win, Scherzer threw 118 pitches (76 for strikes) but also doubled in the first run for the Tigers in the second inning, his first RBI since 2009.
After Ike Davis singled to lead off the second for the Mets, Scherzer struck out the next three batters to end the inning, then fanned four of the next five, prior to walking Davis with two outs in the fourth, recording eight straight outs, seven of them via the K.
Scherzer allowed just three hits before turning the ball over to a trio of Tiger relievers, who set the Mets down in order through the final three innings.
As for the Cy Young talk, Scherzer's 19 wins are five better than any other pitcher in the league, he's struck out 198 batters, second in the league, and his 2.73 ERA is fifth-best in the AL. With the Tigers leading the AL Central by six games with just 33 games left in the regular season, Scherzer may get five, maybe six starts and is likely to be the only pitcher in the majors to win 20 games this year. Adam Wainwright and Jordan Zimmrmann - both National Leaguers - have 15.
Scherzer's last defeat was a 7-1 loss to Texas, on July 13. He's since won six of his seven starts.
The Tigers and Mets wrap up their three-game series in New York at 1:10 pm EDT Sunday. Detroit leads, two games to none.
Beltran's homer came in the third and gave the Cards the lead for good. The Cardinals tallied three more in the seventh and Beltran delivered another run with the second of two singles in the eighth, finishing the day 3-for-5 with a .311 average on a six-game hitting streak.
Later in the evening, Pittsburgh dropped a 6-3 decision in San Francisco, dropping them into a tie with the Cardinals, who have taken three straight from the Braves.
St. Louis will be looking for the sweep when they face the Braves on Sunday at 2:15 pm at Busch Stadium.
Today's Trivia: Since Denny McLain won 31 games in 1968, what pitcher had the most wins in a single season? (answer tomorrow)
Yesterday's Answer: Don Mattingly led the AL in total bases in 1985 with 370, and again in 1986, with 388.