Max on Stras: 'I have a great deal of respect for how hard he worked'

August 28th, 2023

NEW YORK -- Max Scherzer, a teammate of Stephen Strasburg for six-plus seasons in Washington, often had the best seat in the house to witness the hard-throwing right-hander at his peak.

During their time together, they formed one of the best pitching duos in baseball, winning a combined 162 games. They took home a World Series title in 2019, with Strasburg being named the MVP. Strasburg has not pitched since June 9, 2022, when he made his only appearance of the season for Washington. He underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in 2021 and has not been able to make a full return. He's expected to announce his retirement next week.

Scherzer loved being Strasburg’s teammate.

“[I have] a lot of feelings there because of how great of a pitcher he is. You only want health for him so he could go out there and pitch. Obviously, his body is not cooperating,” Scherzer said. “It just sounds like pitching has taken a toll on his body. He is just not able to get his body in the right spot to be able to go out and compete anymore. For him to make that decision, that’s got to be one of the toughest decisions of anyone’s life.”

Even though Strasburg is known for being injury-prone, Scherzer called Strasburg a hard, diligent worker.

“He worked his butt off to put himself in the position to be out there,” Scherzer said. “His body didn’t cooperate to be out there consistently. He always wanted more. I have a great deal of respect for how hard he worked. That’s what I will always remember.”

During his 13-year career with the Nationals, Strasburg was a three-time All-Star, with a 113-62 record, a 3.24 ERA and 1,723 strikeouts. He became the fastest pitcher by innings to strike out 1,500 when he reached the mark in 2019.