23 Oct Getting to Know Max Scherzer
Name: Maxwell M. Scherzer
Nick name: Mad Max
Born: July 27, 1984 (age 35) in Chesterfield, Missouri
MLB Debut: April 29, 2008, for the Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB statistics (through 2019 season): Win–loss record: 170–89 Earned run average: 3.20 Strikeouts: 2,692 Teams: Arizona Diamondbacks (2008–2009), Detroit Tigers (2010– 2014), Washington Nationals (2015–present) Career highlights and awards: 7× All-Star (2013–2019) 3× Cy Young Award (2013, 2016, 2017) 4× wins leader (2013, 2014, 2016, 2018) 3× NL strikeout leader (2016–2018) Pitched two no-hitters in 2015 (June 20 and October 3) Pitched two immaculate innings (May 14, 2017, and June 5, 2018) MLB records: Tied MLB record for strikeouts (20) in a 9-inning game (May 11, 2016) Tied MLB record for 250 strikeouts in 5 straight seasons 2019 Salary: $37,505,562
Who is the biggest influence in your life? My parents Whats the best advice anyone has ever given you? Everyday of your life do something to get a little better. Even its just a little do something to improve yourself as a person and as a player.
What drives you from one year to the next? Just to get better. Get better on the mound and what I’m able to do with the baseball. You can’t get caught up in results. Home runs are a bad result. I can’t focus on bad results. I can only focus on how to make better pitches. How to improve my offspeed pitches. How to better locate not only my fastball but my off-speed pitches as well. That’s something that I feel like I made strides with again this year in terms of what I’m able to do and how I’m able to execute pitches consistently.
What’s your secret to longevity? I just work hard year-round. Off season and in-season. Lifting weights. Making sure I go out and run and take care of my cardio. It’s just having a plan for what you want to do each month of the off season, as well as the other four days of the five-day cycle for us. Make sure you plan on what you want to accomplish in the weight room. That’s been kinda my secret. You use everything off the field to help make you better on the field.
How many pitches do you throw? Four. A four seam fastball, the curve ball, slider and change up. It’s know that you use sabermetrics.
Can you give me an idea of how sabermetrics have helped you over your career? They kinda show you what you have control and don’t have control over. You can look at it two different ways. There’s this whole sabermetric way of looking at baseball and there’s obviously the old-school way of what your eyes see in the game. Both sides of that equation have their moments where they’re both right. So I try to blend both of them. I try to bring numbers into the game where I think it fits. But I also understand there’s a lot of things that sabermetrics miss, where you really have to have a mind and some instincts and a baseball IQ to be able to go out there and compete at the highest level.
What do you think about having an automated strike zone? I think we all like in concept and theory that every ball that’s within the strike zone called a strike and not a ball. There’d be some different pitches that would be called strikes, though. I think you’d see the higher, elevated strike called more than what the guys behind the plate call. And the curveball at the knees, I think they’ve also shown that pitch would get called a lot more frequently than it’s ever been called. Look, the umpires behind the plate are human. They’re doing the best they can to try to call balls and strikes. I understand that there’s a lot of calls that kinda are 50-50. They can go either way. As a starting pitcher, you try to manage, “Alright, if you didn’t get that call, maybe you’ll get it again here a few innings later.” I think with hitters, because they’re only getting five or seven calls a game, they’re living and dying by all those calls, and it just leaves them to be more frustrated. And I understand that. That’s part of the game. When you’re playing this game and a call doesn’t go your way in a big spot, everybody’s frustrated. I get the sentiment. I understand why there is a push for an automated strike zone. However, I do think there would be some unintended consequences of having it that I think need to be addressed first before we would go down that road.
Favorite ball player growing up? Ozzie Smith Favorite baseball team growing up? St. Louis Cardinals
Favorite non baseball professional sports team: Baltimore Ravens
First Job? Abercrombie and Fitch
Most embarrassing moment? Wearing the wrong jersey color and showing up to a game.
Is there something about you that most people do not know? I love to scuba dive
What is heterochromia iridum? It’s something that I was born with. It means that one iris in my eye is a different color from the other. In my case my right eye is blue and my left eye is brown.
With a name Max Scherzer people must ask you all the time if you are Jewish. To set the record straight are you? No