Max Scherzer Latest to Record Rare 100 Plus Bill James Game Score


While I don’t write about sports as frequently as I did in the past, they are still an important part of my life, so you’ll still see them now and then. Especially when a cool statistical feat has been accomplished, which is the case here.

Earlier today, Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer pitched a hell of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers: a complete game shutout while striking out 16 and giving up one hit and one walk. The game score? 100. That puts him in rare company. 

What is game score though? Developed by the great statistician Bill James, game score is a metric to determine the strength of a pitcher in a particular game. To calculate game score:

  1. Start with 50 points.
  2. Add one point for each out recorded, so three points for every complete inning pitched.
  3. Add two points for each inning completed after the fourth.
  4. Add one point for each strikeout.
  5. Subtract two points for each hit allowed.
  6. Subtract four points for each earned run allowed.
  7. Subtract two points for each unearned run allowed.
  8. Subtract one point for each walk.

Before Scherzer’s game, only 101 other games had a game score greater than or equal to 100. The most recent ones are Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter  (game score 102) on June 18, 2014 against the Colorado Rockies in which he struck out 15 (the only base runner was a result of a throwing error) and Matt Cain’s perfect game (game score 101) on June 13, 2012 against the Houston Astros in which he struck out 14. Scherzer’s game makes it 102 games now.

A small caveat to think about however, is that most of 100+ game scores are from extra inning games. The highest 9 inning game score is 105 from Kerry Wood’s legendary 9 inning, 1 hit, 20 strikeout performance on May 6, 1998 against the Houston Astros, which you can watch below.

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