Clayton Kershaw supports Max Scherzer over reaction to foreign substance checks
A wild scene played out during Tuesday’s Washington Nationals-Philadelphia Phillies tilt when a flabbergasted Max Scherzer was checked multiple times by umpires for foreign substances. The outrageous spectacle led Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw to demonstrate a show of solidarity with his fellow pitcher.
Scherzer was inspected for foreign substances three times as part of the MLB’s crackdown, and it was clear the Nationals ace was not pleased with the repeated scrutiny.
The ugly situation devolved even further when Scherzer got into a stare-down with Phillies manager Joe Girardi, which led to the latter’s ejection over his antics during the confrontation.
After the Nationals’ 3-2 win — in which Scherzer pitched five innings, striking out eight while allowing only two hits and one earned run — the superstar pitcher sounded off.
“I’ll take off all my clothes if you want to see me. I’ve got nothing on me,” Scherzer told reporters.
“These are (MLB Commissioner Rob) Manfred rules,” Scherzer added regarding the league’s sudden crackdown. “Go ask him what he wants to do with this. I’ve said enough. Go ask Alec Bohm how he feels about 95 (mph) at his face. I don’t need to say any more about this.”
Later, Kershaw weighed in on the situation from afar, specifically concerning Girardi’s role in the substance checks on Scherzer.
“I think there should be a punishment if they don’t catch anything on the guy,” Kershaw said, per Yahoo Sports. “Scherzer is one of the best pitchers of our generation. To see him get checked, I think it was a first and third situation or guys on base, and mess up his rhythm. I think he ended up getting out of it, but you better find something if you’re going to call him out like that.”
There has been no shortage of confusion and even outrage among MLB pitchers over the rushed implementation of the foreign substances checks, so it’s not surprising to see Scherzer’s reaction as well as Kershaw’s statement support. Odds are such spectacles will continue in the short term as pitchers adjust to the new policies and procedures.