Nats fans know that Max Scherzer has been struggling for weeks and Max himself knows that. It’s no secret, and Max has been talking for 2 starts about fixing his changeup and now getting back to better mechanics.
While Max believes it’s his mechanics that need tweaking, others believe those 132 first half innings have taken its toll on the human body. The other theory discussed is classic fatigue and over-throwing to maintain velo causing mechanical problems on release points leading to dire location misses. The other issue we’ve seen is the flattening of Max’s fastball which generally comes from creating more arm action as you see in his reachback fastball where velo is the objective, and you sacrifice movement to blow the batter away, but lately the batters haven’t been blown away .
In Scherzer’s last start he threw in limited work 8 mistake pitches, and while the Giants didn’t capitalize on all, they barreled up many and it led to an early hook for Scherzer and a lopsided loss.
The good news is Max will be pitching tonight on an extra days rest, and coming off that short start in San Francisco you would hope Max has a fresh arm tonight. If there is other good news is that Max is tweaking his mechanics, and in mind over matter if Max believes that’s the key than that will help.
Scherzer talked arm slot and mechanics, “Literally every frame, my body was in the same position. My legs were there, my front shoulder wasn’t flying open too early, my glove was in the right spot. Everything in my body was working right. There was just a little tick in my arm action that was causing my arm to get a little lower and get on the side of the ball instead of just being on top of the ball and being down through it.”
This is a great quote to download from Max, “Just one little tick can alter it. That’s why I always say, hitting’s the hardest thing to do in sports, pitching’s the most complicated.”
“I probably raised [my arm] a couple more inches. I mean we’re talking split-seconds. Last time I did this, 2010, I came out guns a blazing. I don’t know. Who knows how this will fix, but I do like the way the ball comes out of my hand. It’s hard for me to say because I’ve got to pitch in a game before I can really validate where I’m at. This is what feels right, what it feels when it comes out of my hand. It feels crisp. When that’s what it feels like, hopefully that’s the only change I need to make to get back on track.”
Lineups to follow and don’t be surprised if the lineup is the same with just Rendon back at 2nd base.
- Werth LF
- Rendon 2B
- Harper RF
- Escobar 3B
- Desmond SS
- Zimmerman 1B
- Taylor CF
- Ramos C
- Scherzer P