Max Scherzer threw just 12 pitches in his start against the San Francisco Giants tonight in Nationals Park before he felt something was off.
Scherzer stretched a bit on the mound, but the dugout noted his odd reaction after that 12th pitch.
Team trainer Paul Lessard and manager Davey Martinez walked out to the mound, and after a test pitch under their guidance, Scherzer left the hill, walked off the field, and went down into the tunnel leading to the Nationals’ clubhouse.
Last time out before tonight, Scherzer held Philadelphia’s Phillies to a run on five hits in 7 2⁄3 innings pitched on the road.
“He had a great outing, mixed in all his pitches, he threw some really good changeups when he needed to, but all his pitches were electric tonight,” Martinez said after the Nationals’ 2-1 win in Citizens Bank Park.
It was Scherzer’s longest outing of the season, in terms of innings pitched, and he did it on a relatively efficient 108 pitches.
Following that series, Scherzer traveled home to prepare for tonight’s start while the rest of the team went on to Tampa Bay for a two-game set with the Rays.
“Max came home on the day off,” Martinez explained before the planned series opener with the Giants on Thursday night was postponed.
“And he stayed here. There was no need for him to go, because we had the night game, and he would have had to come back early yesterday afternoon. So, I just talked to Max, and we got somebody to catch his bullpen.
“He came in, he worked out, he did everything he needed to do, and I talked to him today, he’s rip-raring to go.
“I didn’t want him flying, also because of protocol, flying back and forth to get back here to go to Tampa for one day to me didn’t make any sense.”
Before tonight’s game, Martinez talked to reporters about conversations with Scherzer over the last couple days as they dealt with inclement weather in D.C.
“So, today, we hope that we can play this game today. I mean, we couldn’t play yesterday, obviously, but we can’t control the weather, Max understands that.
“Yesterday he threw a little bit in the rain, ran a little bit, and just spoke to him today, he’s ready to go, feels fine, so weather permitting, he’ll be out there, and then if not then he knows that we’ll have to push him back.”
Scherzer did get to pitch, but didn’t last long. More information will come from Martinez’s post game Zoom call. Until then, that’s all we know...