30 Nov GETTING TO KNOW NEW YORK METS – NEW PITCHER MAX SCHERZER
Name: Maxwell M. Scherzer
Nickname: Mad Max
Born: July 27, 1984 (age 37) in Chesterfield, Missouri
MLB Debut: April 29, 2008, for the Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB statistics (through 2021 season)-
Win–loss record: 190-97
Earned run average: 3.16
Teams: Arizona Diamondbacks (2008–2009)
Detroit Tigers (2010–2014)
Washington Nationals (2015–2021)
Los Angeles Dodgers (2021)
Salary: Just signed with the NY Mets for three years, $129 million
Max Scherzer, 37, has joined the New York Mets this week, making this his fifth team in 15 years in the majors. He came up with the Diamondbacks, was traded to the Tigers, signed as a free agent with the Nationals and was traded to the Dodgers last season. In his career, he’s 190-97 with a 3.16 ERA (134 ERA+), 1.08 WHIP and 3,020 strikeouts in 2,536 2/3 innings. The eight-time All-Star has won three Cy Youngs.
Last season, Scherzer finished third in NL Cy Young voting (his sixth top-three finish and eighth top-five finish) when he went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 236 strikeouts against 36 walks in 179 1/3 innings. After the trade, the Dodgers went 11-0 in his starts while he had a 1.98 ERA. In the playoffs, he had a 2.16 ERA, though the Dodgers lost two of his four starts.
Congratulations on becoming a New York Met!! How does it feel to be a New York Met?
I’m very excited. Can’t wait to start.
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 off-speed 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.
Please give everyone a scouting report on yourself.
I’m a strikeout pitcher; I’m a power pitcher. That goes along with having a fastball, but it’s more than that. There is more to pitching than having a fastball and I’ve learned that fast over the past, really, two years I’ve been in the league. It’s how you establish your off-speed pitches, when you throw your off-speed pitches out of the zone to try to induce a swing and miss, how you pitch certain types of hitters— whether it’s inside or outside—so it’s a combination of everything. It’s being able to understand what you do—what your strengths are—and being able to read situations when you should pitch to a hitter’s weaknesses.
Is pitching simple, or is it complicated?
It’s extremely complicated. I think that the best [way] to put it is that hitting is the hardest thing to do in baseball, and pitching is the most complicated. There are so many little things that can just throw off your whole mechanics and make you just a little bit off, instead of executing your pitches at the maximum. Maybe it’s a little something that you do with your foot—where your balance and weight are on your foot—can alter so many different things throughout your mechanics. I was playing with that early in the season, where my weight was on my foot. A bigger fix for me was where my arm slot was. I realized that I couldn’t fix my arm slot, so I had to fix my arm action. My arm action was long and [causing] my arm slot to be lower, and so once I shortened up my arm action I was able to get back on top of the ball and be able to generate the same type of velocity that I was last year, and be able to get on top of my slider and my changeup.
What do you do when preparing for your next game? Do you go over scouting reports?
I’ll want to know hitters’ tendencies, how my pitches match up with their hitters, which pitches I might want to throw in certain situations. That goes into the game itself. Throughout the game, you’re going to know which pitches you have better feel for that day. Some days I might have a great feel for my changeup and a terrible feel for my slider, and that has happened to me. Other days, I’ll have a great feel for my slider and I don’t have a good feel for my changeup. That’s where you have to be able to read and make adjustments with what is going on throughout the whole game. A lot of it comes down to execution. I really believe that is how you give up a lot of your home runs, when you don’t execute. If you do execute the pitch, you’re usually able to get the results that you want. That’s the way I look at it on the mound. All I’m trying to do is go out and execute. It’s the only thing I’m thinking about out there.
Do you think about your mechanics when you‘re on the mound?
Not during a game. During the game you’re out there to compete and there’s no room to worry about mechanics or anything like that. It’s just trying to be able to make fine-tuned adjustments on what you want to do out there. If you miss on a certain side of the plate, your object is to get back to the right part of the plate. That is the type of adjustment you make on the mound.
Favorite ball player growing up?
Favorite baseball team growing up?
St. Louis Cardinals
Favorite non baseball professional sports team
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.
Who would you say is the biggest influence in your life?
What’s 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.