Mad Max demands 1 more out; skipper listens
Nationals' ace delivers after refusing to come out of game when Williams makes mound visit in 7th
WASHINGTON -- Don't even think about trying to take the ball away from Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer. Manager Matt Williams found that out in the bottom of the seventh inning of Washington's 5-4, 10-inning victory against the Marlins on Friday night.
With the score tied at 2, two outs and Miguel Rojas on second base, Williams came out of the dugout to talk to Scherzer, but he never made the call to the bullpen. Scherzer made it abundantly clear that he wanted to get Dee Gordon for the final out of the inning, using an expletive a few times to get his point across.
Williams quickly went back in the dugout, while Scherzer stayed in the game and got Gordon to ground out to end the inning. Excited as he was, Scherzer was done for the night and gave his teammates high fives after the inning ended.
Yelling at a manager is nothing new for Scherzer. Ask Jim Leyland and Brad Ausmus, who managed Scherzer when he was in a Tigers uniform.
"I've done it to some pitching coaches, managers in Leyland and Ausmus in the past," Scherzer said. "So you have to have the belief in yourself when those situations arise. I know I still have my best bolt left. I'm good to go. I'm ready to face anybody in the league in that situation. I'm not going to get everybody out. I have the attitude I can succeed in those situations."
Williams didn't take it personally that Scherzer wanted to stay in the game. Williams said that he simply wanted to look Scherzer in the eye and make sure he wanted to stay in the game.
"I just wanted to make sure he was good to go for the next guy, and I knew he was," Williams said. "He was fired up to get the out. He is a horse. ... I asked him if he [wanted Gordon], and he said yeah, among other things."
Scherzer ended up with a no-decision, allowing two runs -- on Christian Yelich's home run in the first inning -- and five hits, while striking out six over seven innings.