Below: Former Tiger Jayce Tingler, center. Photo from DominicanSummerLeague.com)
Max Scherzer (05-07) turns 25 on Monday, when he will presumably receive several boxes of gifts to mark the occasion.
What he would most like, however, is for someone to package what he came up with on Sunday.
"That's as good as it gets," Scherzer said after having pitched as good as anyone can.
In hurling the first seven innings of the D-backs' 9-0 victory over the Pirates, Scherzer was nearly automatic, a strike-zone-seeking missile burning a trail across the plate.
In a performance Arizona manager A.J. Hinch called "great" and "dominant," Scherzer threw 85 of 109 pitches for strikes and fell behind by two pitches against only one of the 26 batters he faced.
. . .
Scherzer put the Bucs (43-55) on serious K-rations from the outset of this one. His first eight pitches of the game were strikes, and he made 15 of them among 18 first-inning offerings.
Then he grew sharp. Snapshots of a precise recital to admire:
• First-pitch strikes to 20 of 26 batters.
• Three-ball counts to two of the 26 batters, and two-ball counts on only two others.
• At one point, midway through the fourth, Scherzer's strikes-to-balls ratio was 44-9.
• He did not deliver his 20th ball until his 100th pitch
"We're just letting the process work itself out," said Gibson, who is recovering from a broken bone in his right forearm suffered while pitching for the University of Missouri this spring. "At times, it's going great. At other times, it's not so great.''
Negotiations between the two sides were expected to be slow. Gibson wanted to rest the arm, even before the injury was revealed, and didn't expect to sign with a team until the end of July.
Now, Gibson and his father, Harold, expect negotiations to go on until the Aug. 17 deadline set by major league rules, although they both expect him to sign with the
"There's two sides to it," Harold Gibson said. "The Twins have to make a business deal, and Kyle has to make a business deal. Kyle hasn't made any demands, but he wants to be treated like a top 10 pick."