Show Max Some Respect:
“Yeah, if he’s not an All-Star there’s something wrong,” Trea Turner said, after earning the first All-Star nod of his career, when he was asked about the fact that Max Scherzer didn’t have his name called when the reserves for the NL roster were announced Sunday night.
“We pulled up the stats when we found out, and I know there’s a lot of good players, I get it,” Turner added, “but [Scherzer’s] top 5 in every category and not only in just the NL, but most of MLB as well.
“I just thought they didn’t notify pitchers today or something, because that’s the only thing that would make sense to me.”
“Yeah, same thing, same way,” Juan Soto said of Scherzer, after he too was named an All-Star for the first time.
“I just see a guy like that that competes and puts up numbers every year, it’s just crazy to not see him in the [All-Star Game].
“It’s just — like [Turner] said, it’s crazy. He’s been there every time, he comes to play every day, so it’s just tough to see him out of there.”
Scherzer, 36, finished his last start with a 2.10 ERA, a 3.08 FIP, 21 walks (2.00 BB/9), 127 Ks (12.12 K/9), and a .179/.238/.330 line against in 94 1⁄3 IP on the season, with the 5th-lowest ERA amongst qualified starters in the NL, 8th-lowest FIP, 5th-most strikeouts, 3rd-highest K/9, 9th-lowest BB/9, and 6th-lowest BAA.
“Max has had an incredible first-half, and I was really shocked that he didn’t make it,” Davey Martinez said on Monday night, “but he’s done really well for us.”
Is Scherzer taken for granted because he consistently does what he’s doing again this year?
“I don’t know, the selections were difficult, I know that,” Martinez said. “There’s a lot of pitchers out there that have done well so far, but you look at his numbers, and for me he definitely should have been picked, I know he’s gone so many times now, but he’s one of those pitcher in this league that he brings it every year, and he hasn’t changed and he’s done it again this year.”
Trea, Juan, and Kyle:
While Scherzer wasn’t named an All-Star (though he obviously could — and should — be if any other pitchers bow out), the Nationals did have three others, Turner, Soto, and Kyle Schwarber (who won’t be able to play) added to the NL roster on Sunday night, and it was up to their manager to inform the players they would be going to Coors Field in Colorado.
“I found out about it and I pulled everybody together as a team. It means a lot more if I announce it in front of everybody,” Martinez said.
“It’s an unbelievable honor and an incredible accomplishment, so I told everybody in front of the team. For Trea, for Schwarber, for Soto, I mean, I’m proud of those guys and I tell them there’s still plenty of work to be done, even when they get back, so for me it’s about trying to make that second All-Star team at the end of the year, but I’m really proud of what they’ve done. Like I said, it’s an incredible honor.
“With that being said, I think we really do have one more All-Star, if not another.” - [ed. note - “He’s talking about Scherzer ... and someone else.”]
Tuesday’s Starter TBA:
Martinez made the decision before the first of three with the San Diego Padres in Petco Park to give some of his starters an extra day of rest, so Patrick Corbin, who would have lined up as the starter in Game 2 of 4, and Max Scherzer, who would go in Game 3 of 4 if he stayed on his schedule, were pushed back a day, and Tuesday’s starter was listed as TBA when the pregame notes naming the starters for the series were released on Monday afternoon.
“We talked, I talked to [Pitching Coach Jim] Hickey, and the workload that these guys have had, we wanted to just push everybody back a day, give them an extra day,” Martinez said.
“We haven’t decided who’s going to pitch tomorrow. So, I’ll let you guys know probably after the game.”
Asked who was under consideration, Martinez said, “We still got Jefry [Rodríguez] that we could use. We’re going to get through today’s game and we’ll make a decision after that.”
After the game, in which the bullpen had to cover 5 2⁄3 IP, the fourth-year skipper said he would have to take stock today and decided who’s available and who will start.
“I can tell you right now it will be a conversation for tomorrow with the pitchers. Hopefully they’ll all be good to go,” Martinez said.
“We got to make some roster moves, we haven’t decided yet [who will start], so I’ll make that announcement tomorrow.”
Trea and Yan Return:
Trea Turner (jammed finger) and Yan Gomes (bruised right arm/elbow) missed games over the course of the four-game series with the Dodgers in D.C., but both returned to the Nats’ lineup for the opener with the Padres last night in San Diego, CA’s Petco Park.
“[Turner] took some swings today, said he felt good, there’s still a teeny bit of swelling, but he’s got great strength, and he’s doing well,” Martinez said before Turner homered to left in Petco Park on the first pitch saw on Monday night.
“Yan, the same. Yan threw today, said his arm felt a lot better, so he’s back in there.”
With Turner back at short, Alcides Escobar, (who started two games with Turner out of the lineup in the series with the Dodgers), started at second, and Josh Harrison moved out to left in Kyle Schwarber’s absence.
“Escobar came in and he’s swinging the bat well,” Martinez said of the veteran infielder, who went 4 for 8 with a double in his first two games with the team, “... and J-Hay, as you know, he’s done well, so to get those two guys in the lineup, especially against this pitcher today [Joe Musgrove]. But it could be something that we see. Like I said, Escobar is a veteran player who’s played in the World Series, he’s played a lot of second base in the last few months or even in his career in Triple-A, so we’re going to try it tonight and see. I still want to get [Yadiel Hernández] out there, I still want to get [Gerardo] Parra out there, but tonight I thought having these two guys in a lineup will help us win a game.”
Harrison’s versatility also gives Martinez another right-handed hitting outfield option, which the manager said he’s going to take advantage of when he needs to.
“It’s great, and I’ve always said this about Josh, is that he can play multiple positions and play them really well,” Martinez said. “Having Escobar allows us to do that, because he can play three positions in the infield, and we even talked to him about possibly playing some first in a pinch if we needed him as well. But it’s nice to have him and it’s nice to be able to do some different things, move some guys around and they can help us in big ways.”
Escobar went 3 for 4 in the win over the Padres, hitting in the leadoff spot, and he’s now 7 for 11 in three games since he was acquired from the Royals.
“He’s playing really well,” Martinez said after the game. “He’s one of those players, like I said before, I watched him play for a lot of years, and he’s just a good smart baseball player, he really is. I talked to him about playing some second base and he accepted it, and he played well over there, and I’ll talk to him about leading off, because I know he’s done it, and he did it well tonight, so I’m glad he’s here, we were able to pick him up, and he’s helping us right now.”