The Rangers finally have an ace.
They’ve had a few bona fide number one starters. But they haven’t had a true shut-it-down, guaranteed-to-dominate, hand-him-the-ball ace in a long, long time.
They thought they had that with Jacob deGrom. And Cole Hamels. And Yu Darvish. And Kenny Rodgers. What they had were really good pitchers.
What they have in Max Scherzer, though, is an ace. A certain Hall of Famer. A dominating starter. The guy you want on mound when everything is on the line.
Since coming to the Rangers at the trade deadline, in a brilliant move by Chris Young, Max Scherzer has been elite.
His first inning as a Ranger proved it. He gave up three runs, struggled with his control, and was surprisingly hittable.
But an ace, no matter how dominating, is still human. Scherzer, too. These guys aren’t perfect. But what they are is suffocating. Since that three-run first against the White Sox, Max Scherzer has thrown nineteen innings, and given up just one run.
His ERA as a Ranger is 1.80. Since that first inning of his first Rangers start, it’s 0.47.
Last night against the demoralized Angels, Scherzer threw seven innings of domination. One hit, one walk, eleven strikeouts, and no runs.
The Rangers offense answered with twelve runs.
It was a game that was so one-sided, Bruce Bochy even let Martin Perez pitch.
After watching their huge lead in the American League West evaporate by the All-Star break, the Rangers needed a miracle at the trade deadline.
They got something even better.
They got a pitcher who knows how to win.