JABO: Max Scherzer and the Benchmarks of Greatness by Owen Watson June 22, 2015 Whether or not you think Jose Tabata intentionally moved his elbow into the path of Max Scherzer’s two-out, ninth-inning curveball this past Saturday, the final result stood as an example of a very rare phenomenon: a perfect game broken up on the would-be final out of the game. While still securing the no-hitter put Scherzer firmly into the record books, the history of the almost-perfecto is incredibly interesting in its own right, as is the unparalleled dominance the Nationals right-hander has shown in his past two starts. Scherzer now has a distinct place in the discussion of historic pitching performances. We should make sure to put the emphasis on the plural of the word performance, because Scherzer just put together arguably the best back-to-back outings by a starting pitcher since at least 1914. His final combined line for his starts on June 14th and 20th: 18.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 26 K Scherzer faced 57 batters over his two starts: he struck out just under 46% of them. To put that in context, he had a better strikeout rate over the entirety of two consecutive complete games than Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, or Dellin Betances have in their relief appearances this season. By the numbers, he was more or less the equivalent of facing the best closer in baseball on a particularly dominant day for two entire games. Read the rest on Just a Bit Outside.