Tonight, the A's had nothing against him, almost literally.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the 2013 American League Division Series between the two teams, as Scherzer threw seven dominant innings, striking out 11 batters and giving up only three hits in the 3-2 win.
Oakland could do little against him this time around, and now they'll have to face Justin Verlander tomorrow.
And just like that, it might be time to panic (again) at the O.co Coliseum, which was packed with 48,401 fans for Game One.
Detroit has taken home-field advantage away from the A's, and they'll be sending a historical nemesis to the mound tomorrow to try to steal another game on the road. The Oakland lineup did score five runs off Verlander in five innings the last time it faced the Tigers ace, but obviously that will be meaningless Saturday -- just as the last outing against Scherzer was irrelevant.
A's starter Bartolo Colon gave up three first-inning runs in the blink of an eye, and Oakland was playing from behind all night. They just couldn't quite get back over the hump, although Yoenis Cespedes' tried to do it all by himself against Scherzer.
Cespedes hit a one-out triple in the second inning, but he was stranded there when Josh Reddick struck out and Stephen Vogt lined out. And later, the Cuban left fielder hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning off Scherzer to account for all the A's scoring on the night.
(Reddick later atoned for his missed opportunity at the plate by throwing out Victor Martinez at home plate in the sixth inning.)
Oakland just didn't have a lot of chances in this one, and when that happens, you have to take advantage of what you do get -- and the A's couldn't do it against one of the best pitchers in the AL this year, going 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
There is no shame in that, of course, but now it leaves Oakland in a dangerous position: they have to beat Verlander to avoid hitting the road in an 0-2 hole, and while that turned out fine for the San Francisco Giants last October, it's not the recommended pathway to postseason glory.
The A's also are sending a rookie to the mound in Game Two: Sonny Gray. On the bright side, he doesn't have Colon's negative history against the Tigers (Oakland's Game One starter hasn't beaten the Tigers in 14 starts now, since 2003, going 0-8 in that time against them).
On the down side, he doesn't have any history, really -- just 64 innings of big-league experience, which may actually help a young guy in such a dire situation.
Another plus for the A's may just be the law of averages: the Tigers were no-hit in their final regular-season game on Sunday, and every true baseball fan knows that no-hitters always require a little but of luck.
And whatever luck Detroit didn't get last Sunday while getting no-no'd, it came back in spades for them in Game One against Colon: none of the first-inning damage was the result of well-struck balls, as a flared double, a blooper and squibber accounted for all of the Tigers' runs against Colon.
So maybe the A's finally get some postseason charm coming their way in Game Two and beyond, and the sure-sellout crowd at the Coliseum on Saturday night will be very welcoming of it.