Max Scherzer is set to take the mound this afternoon in West Palm Beach, FL, against the Washington Nationals’ regional rivals from Baltimore, MD.
Scherzer faces the Orioles after going up against the Houston Astros in each of his two previous Grapefruit League starts this Spring, in which he gave up a total of three hits, a walk, and two runs, one earned, while striking out five, and holding opposing hitters to a combined .250 AVG.
Scherzer faced seven batters in the first inning last time out, an ugly frame for the starter and his defense, but he said that sort of adversity is actually helpful in Spring Training.
“You don’t just want to go three-up, three-down,” Scherzer told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Pete Kerzel after the outing.
“You want to pitch out of the stretch,” Scherzer said. “You want broken-bat base hits to fall in. You want to face some adversity and have to make pitches around that. So for me, having to work out of a jam in the first, that’s exactly what you’re looking for. I was able to get so much out of today because the stuff happened in the first.”
That sort of hard work, of course, is the sort of thing you’ll go through from time to time in the regular season, so even for a veteran starter, it’s good to get used to working your way out of trouble.
“In the season, you’re going to face that,” the three-time Cy Young award-winner added.
“I don’t care who you are, you’re always going to in the regular season face lineups where you’re in big situations and have to make big pitches. If you don’t get that in Spring Training, when you get into the season, you’re not battle-tested. For me, I welcome it. You want it. You want to get battle-tested here in the spring to know how to make big pitches out of the stretch.”
Will the Orioles’ hitters test Scherzer this afternoon in the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches?