Max Scherzer notched his first career stolen base thanks to a giant lead
Max Scherzer has been in the Major Leagues for over 10 seasons and has spent over half that time pitching in the National League. Despite that, he has never stolen a base in his career. In fact, he hasn't even attempted one.
So, you can't blame the Braves for not keeping a close eye on the Nationals' ace standing at first base Monday night. But, maybe they should have kept tabs on him all the same:
We'd say the element of surprise was definitely working in Scherzer's favor:
How did Max Scherzer's steal second base just now?- Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) April 10, 2018
A 33.6 ft secondary lead certainly helps. That's huge. Avg. on a steal of 2B is ~20 ft.
Manager Dave Martinez said Scherzer had been itching to steal a base for some time. "We've talked about it for a week now," he said. "[I] said ... please, don't get hurt sliding," Martinez continued. "He said 'I've got the best pop-up slide in baseball.' And he showed it."
Scherzer confirmed his eagerness to steal a base. "Finally! I've been yelling at Matt Williams and I've been yelling at Dusty Baker, like, 'Let me go," he said. "There's obviously situations where I feel like I'm fast enough."
In addition to his work on the basepaths, Scherzer was dealing on the mound in the 2-0 Nationals win. He gave up only two hits in a 10-strikeout complete game. With the performance, Scherzer became the first pitcher to pitch a complete game shutout with 10 or more strikeouts and a stolen base since Nolan Ryan did it on May 16, 1984.
Congratulations to Scherzer on his first stolen base!