In the fourth inning of last Sunday’s night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Washington, D.C., Max Scherzer took a line drive back to the mound off his left knee.
Scherzer starter tried to walk it off, but he collapsed to the ground eventually, in obvious and significant pain.
He stayed in the game, however, completing six innings on 105 pitches, once again impressing his manager with determination. Baker wasn’t sure Scherzer could keep going after the liner, but he let him stay on the mound.
“He walked it off,” Baker said. “I looked at him in the face and Max said he was fine.
“I said, ‘Well, it’s going to get stiff.’ And he goes, ‘I’ll let you know if it gets stiff.’ But you know Max is a man. He’s a warrior.”
“The average guy would have just taken it in,” the Nats’ skipper continued, “but Maxy wanted to, you know, he wanted to pitch and that motivated the other guys to see how badly he wanted it.”
There were apparently no lingering effects either. Two days later, Baker told reporters he was “very confident” that the right-hander would be fine to take the mound in his next outing.
In spite of the fact that he took a 100+ mph liner off his knee, Scherzer appeared to be fine.
“I’m telling you, Max might be what they call a medical marvel,” Baker said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“Modern medicine. They put some kind of patch on his knee. He still has the stitches from the ball. But he came out, he said he was a little sore. He couldn’t do his normal running, but he did some jogging. Max will be fine.”
Scherzer received no decision in that outing.
Through eight starts, he’s (4-2) with a 2.80 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 13 walks (2.14 BB/9), 70 Ks (11.52 K/9) and a .196/.257/.340 line against in 54 2⁄3 innings.
Scherzer held the Braves scoreless over seven innings earlier this season, in his first start in Atlanta’s new ballpark. He makes his second start in SunTrust Park today.