Wow. I think it’s safe to say that Max Scherzer is the equivalent of a ravenous animal whenever he has a baseball in his hand. There have been many times where Scherzer has pitched and showed some of the most extreme emotion seen on a professional baseball field. And to this point, even more stories about how he is a madman off the field too.
But today was different and if anything, more proof that is this statement is true. Max Scherzer is absolutely terrifying.
Setting The Scene
I’m not sure thousands of dollars would even warrant me taking a single AB from this guy. I feel like I could personally maybe make contact off of a couple of current big league pitchers, but against Mad-Max? Not a chance. Scherzer has absolutely NASTY stuff and staring into those multi-colored eyes of his 60 feet away is complete nightmare fuel.
Aside from my own opinion on facing him, let’s take a peek at the brave soul who actually faced Scherzer, 6-time all-star, Joey Votto.
Votto has been having a pretty “meh” season so far as he’s currently riding a .247/.342/.369 slash line with 4 home runs and just a 0.1 WAR. Nothing to really ride home about, and definitely not playing enough to warrant $25 million dollars a year he is currently making. However, Votto has a .922 OPS against Scherzer and has taken him deep once before. This wasn’t some mediocre batter on-deck, this was a guy who had been getting on base against Scherzer 4 out of every 10 times he faced him. Either way, Votto was the man coming to the plate in the bottom of the 8th inning in Cincinnati.
Scherzer on the other hand, has an MLB leading 117 K’s, (including this performance) 1.9 BB/9, and a 3.06 ERA. Max has also been selected as an all-star 6 times, all of which has happened in the previous 6 consecutive years. It’s safe to say, that this matchup is a pretty interesting one and one that is even more intriguing considering Scherzer had already struckout 14 batters this game and was well over 100 pitches.
According to Dave Martinez, this matchup was intriguing enough to take Scherzer out of the game and close the books on his incredible afternoon outing… Until Max decided otherwise.
Scherzer Being Scherzer
Max Scherzer immediately stared his manager dead in the eyes and screamed, “NO” the second Martinez left the dugout. This was not only an act of confidence, but also complete badassery. I have not ever seen someone scream in the face of their manager just to get the opportunity to throw to one more batter. Scherzer had zero doubt in his mind that he could get Votto out and he somehow convinced his manager that he could stay in the game to face him. Scherzer at this point was foaming at the mouth and was more fired up than ever to pitch this AB. Votto did not even get a chance to swing the bat during this sequence of 3 pitches.
77 mph curveball. Strike
95 mph fastball. Strike 2.
97 mph fastball. Strike 3, looking.
[embed pitching ninja tweet)
Okay, so what does this all tell us about Max Scherzer? Yes, he obviously is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now. But I think there are 3 bigger takeaways from this specific altercation that we can identify…
- No batter, including Votto, could have stood a chance against Scherzer when he had enough rage and adrenaline in him to kill a gorilla.
- Scherzer is the skipper, GM, owner, and MVP of the Nationals. Cut and Print.
- Every single parent who has a kid playing baseball should 100% show this clip to their child because it is one of the best examples in baseball history of courage, willpower, and confidence.
It is very difficult to find this amount of swagger and confidence nowadays with the generation of baseball players that are coming up into high school, college, and eventually the majors. In an age where depression is rampant and self-confidence is very rare, I think it’s important to teach our kids that they should try and play with a fire in their soul when competing. Confidence is key on the mound, and giving children prime examples of big league players that personify this is crucial to their athletic and personal development in my opinion. Scherzer proved yesterday to everyone watching that he could get out of that inning.
Thank you Max Scherzer for giving us this moment in baseball.