Max Scherzer started Spring Training like he always does, throwing bullpen sessions with an intensity that his manager said everyone in camp with the Washington Nationals should try their best to match.
“I really believe, and I’ve said this multiple times,” Davey Martinez told reporters after he got a chance to watch the first bullpen session of the Spring that Scherzer threw, “... every time he’s on that mound he’s competing and he showed it again. First day, he’s out there and he’s getting guys out, he’s calling guys out, and getting guys out, going through sequences, and working on different things, and you watch him and every pitch, he’s engaged, and if I’m a young pitcher, I’m watching him and I’m taking notes and I’m studying what he does, because like I said, not every fifth day, but every day that this guy puts a uniform on he’s competing.”
So before he even threw a pitch this Spring, it was safe to assume that the 34-year-old right-hander is going to be the Nationals’ Opening Day starter, right?
“Right now, the way it looks, of course, we’ve got our guy,” Martinez said, without saying the starter’s name.
“If I said anything different, he might be waiting for me out the door right there,” the skipper joked.
The announcement on the starter for Game 1 of 162 will be made eventually, but we know that Scherzer is scheduled to go tonight in the Grapefruit League opener tonight against the Houston Astros in FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Scherzer told reporters, as quoted by MLB.com’s Jamal Collier, that he was excited to get on the mound in a competitive environment.
“There’s nothing like getting on a mound and having a hitter up there who’s ready to swing the bat, and you’ve got to try to execute some pitches,” Scherzer said.
“It’s fun to get out there, spin the ball and just face hitters.”
Tonight’s game is being broadcast on MASN, so tune in and watch Scherzer and the Nats take on the ‘Stros in real live baseball. What else are you going to do on a Saturday night?
Here's how we're lining up for OPENING DAY at FITTEAM Ballpark of #ThePalmBeaches:— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) February 23, 2019
Adam Eaton RF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Juan Soto LF
Anthony Rendon 3B
Matt Adams 1B
Yan Gomes C
Michael A. Taylor CF
Wilmer Difo SS
Brandon Snyder DH
Max Scherzer SP
️ // https://t.co/ePes669VN1 pic.twitter.com/e4gjCsL1Fm