Although Scherzer himself is having another outstanding campaign, being a part of a losing (or mediocre) team is often a miserable experience.
On Tuesday night, Scherzer’s frustrations boiled over, but it was something else entirely that made him crack.
MAX SCHERZER HAS HAD IT WITH THE FOREIGN SUBSTANCE CHECKS pic.twitter.com/87dCMhjr9A
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 23, 2021
As most MLB fans know by now, the league decided recently to crack down on the use of foreign substances, specifically by pitchers.
As part of the new rules, opposing managers are free to ask the umpires to check a pitcher for foreign substances at any point throughout the game.
In the video attached above, Scherzer was in the midst of being checked for the third time that night.
He was very obviously displeased, and he made a big show of it.
Was he right to do so?
On One Hand, Yes, He Was In The Right, Because The Checks Were Becoming Excessive
To be checked three times over the first four innings of a game does seem like a bit much.
At a certain point, we have to make the flow of the game our top priority.
Between mound visits, video reviews, commercial breaks and more, the average game already has plenty of interruptions.
And now, with this new factor at play, games could become even more choppy.
The league has been extremely vocal about its pace of play concerns, but it’s going backward in that regard when it comes to these new foreign substance checks.
On top of that, no pitcher wants to be interrupted in the middle of an inning for any reason.
Athletes are creatures of habit, and when those habits are interrupted, you’re bound to see Scherzer-esque reactions.
On The Other Hand, Scherzer May Have Been In The Wrong, Because He Contributed To The Reason We Got Into This Mess
Many fans believe that pitchers like Scherzer are part of the reason we even got to this point.
Thank you. Please stop defending Max. He’s one of the guys thats responsible for where we are. Ask Bubba https://t.co/ynGd4yRuDk
— Lou Merloni (@LouMerloni) June 23, 2021
There is evidence that suggests that Scherzer did use sticky substances prior to the ban, like the fact that his spin rate has dropped significantly since the new rules were put in place.
Big spin rate drops for Gerrit Cole and Scherzer tonight. Cole at lowest levels since 2017, his final year in Pittsburgh. Scherzer well below average rates of recent seasons. pic.twitter.com/6EiWaWK9KD
— Travis Sawchik (@Travis_Sawchik) June 23, 2021
With all of this in mind, there is a very valid argument to be had that Scherzer was in the wrong to make such a scene on Tuesday night.
That argument goes something like this: If Scherzer didn’t want things to get to this point, then he shouldn’t have pushed the envelope too far.
At the end of the day, most fans seemed to get a kick out of Scherzer’s reaction.
Whether you agree or disagree with his decision to make a scene, one thing is clear: Scherzer isn’t a guy you want to tick off.
He went on to toss five innings of one-run ball, striking out eight in a win.
For the 2021 season, Scherzer has a 2.19 ERA, 3.13 FIP, and 0.83 WHIP.
He has fanned 112 batters in 82.1 innings, and the Nationals (who are 36-36 overall) are 8-6 when he gets the ball.
The future Hall of Famer may very well be traded at the upcoming deadline as a rental to a World Series contender.