Max Scherzer faced the St. Louis Cardinals in each of his first three outings this spring, but he said he wasn’t too concerned about the Cards’ hitters seeing too much of him early and picking up on the adjustments the three-time Cy Young award winner has made this winter and spring as he’s prepared for his seventh season in D.C. and 14th in the majors.
“That’s just something you’ve just got to deal with. We’re going to see these guys early in April, so get familiar with them right now,” Scherzer said, finding the positives in seeing a single team in each of his outings in Grapefruit League action thus far.
“I haven’t seen any other team,” he continued, “I’ve seen the Cardinals three times now. It’s not as big of a difference when you’re talking about coming from two innings, three innings, four innings, as if you were saying four innings, five innings, then you’re getting more ABs against the same hitters. So, it’s probably less pronounced early in spring.”
If it was one of Washington’s NL East rivals, however, the Nationals’ ace said, he might try to get his work in a different venue.
“If it was probably the Mets, I’d probably feel differently. But the fact that the Cardinals are in the central and that’s it’s early in Spring,” Scherzer said, “I think these guys — four ABs, I think we’re talking about something different.
“I’ve only got about four ABs against them that’s fine.”
In his three outings against the Cards, Scherzer has given up three hits and two earned runs in 8 2⁄3 innings pitched, walking two, and striking out 14, while holding hitters to a combined .103 AVG.
This afternoon, Scherzer finally faces a different team, as the Nationals take on New York’s Mets in West Palm Beach, FL’s FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches at 1:05 PM ET.