After his seven-inning, 12 strikeout performance on Friday night, it is clear Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer is ready for Opening Day.
It is hard to believe we are finally just four days away from the Washington Nationals opener against the New York Mets. Washingon has all their players warmed up and ready to go, but starting pitcher Max Scherzer is a rare breed.
Friday night while facing the St. Louis Cardinals Scherzer became the first pitcher to strike out 12 batters in a spring training game since Tyson Ross did it back in 2015. Scherzer looked as good as we have seen him this spring, and looked more than ready to face Major League hitters in games that matter.
It usually takes a little while for starting pitchers to find their groove in spring training. Usually, most pitchers come into the regular season feeling good and prepared, but still not as good as they will feel say a month into the season.
For Scherzer, this does not seem to be the case. Friday night there was grunting, stalking, and all the little things about Mad Max that we have grown to love, all in a meaningless spring training game.
This just shows the kind of competitor Scherzer is. On a team that lost a player who always brought emotion to the ballpark every day in Bryce Harper, it is even more important that Scherzer supplies that same energy this season.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez has talked about giving Scherzer and his other big-time starters more days rest at the beginning of the season, but with Scherzer looking this good this early that may be a hard thing to do.
The bigger the stage is, the better than Scherzer preforms, and Opening Day is one of the biggest days of the season. Look for lots of grunting, mound-stalking, and classic dominant Max Scherzer when the Nationals take the field on Thursday.