How being forced to hit has dialed Max Scherzer’s game and propelled him to become baseball’s best.
Annie Savoy: What do you believe then?
Crash Davis: Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.
Annie Savoy: Oh my.
At the beginning of the season, the NL’s best offseason acquisition, starting pitcher Max Scherzer, compared his new role as number nine hitter to someone swinging a wet newspaper, then added a handful of missives about the art of hitting:
• “If you look at it from the macro side, who’d people rather see hit—Big Papi or me? Who would people rather see, a real hitter hitting home runs or a pitcher swinging a wet newspaper? Both leagues need to be on the same set of rules.”
• “Those kids don’t want to see me hit. No one want to see a pitcher hit. No one pays money for that.”
Later, Scherzer said the quotes were taken out of context and he was responding informally to the season-ending injury Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright suffered while batting.
Later meaning after Scherzer seemingly became unhittable…after being forced to hit.
Since the comments, Scherzer’s ERA has dipped to 1.84, he’s won five games (8-5 overall but you can thank the Nats’ bats for not waking up till June) and his WHIP is 0.65.
His last three games, Scherzer has outpaced history, pitching 26 innings, allowing six hits—five of them Friday night. His two previous starts include a no-hitter (June 20) and a one-hitter (June 14) in which he struck out 26 total.
These last three outings are unparalleled. His June 14 and 20 gems are one dribbler away from joining Johnny Vander Meer, the only pitcher in MLB history to throw back-to-back no-hitters (June 11 and 15, 1938). Scherzer also came just one inning shy of being the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1998 (Curt Schilling also did it that year) to throw back-to-back-to-back complete-game shutouts.
On the day the Supreme Court’s position on same-sex marriage evolved to allow binding love, site fees, $5k/day photogs, fondant frosting, tax breaks and no-fault divorce for all who love and want to be loved across the land, the pitcher’s stance on batting also crawled from the swamp.
Scherzer now claims he loves “to hit and enjoy(s) all of it…to help our team any way to win a game.”
He also dismissed his earlier comments saying he was trying to make a simple statement for “both leagues to have the same rules.”
Of course, there are other compelling reasons for pitchers to hit.
How bout…reigning World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner…
…Hitting a grand slam:
…Going yard in a showdown with Clayton Kershaw.
Nine-game winner Bartolo Colon…legging out a double:
Remember fellas: Michael Jordan played great defense, punters need to know how to tackle and even Brad Pitt changed diapers from time to time.
Real men (like Crash Davis) know life is about learning how dig in, stare down the barrel of a gun and say…bring it. Give me all you got. Even if you’re only holding on to a piece of flaccid newsprint and a little bit of hope, at least you’re in the game. At least you’ve got a chance to swing.