It’s certainly rehashing old news that most have moved on from by now, but Max Scherzer was recently asked to respond to the comments he made at his New York Mets signing press conference where he put a fair amount of blame on the Dodgers for his inability to get it done in October.
As you may recall, Scherzer said back in December that his “overcooked arm” issue stemmed from a lowered pitch count while the LA coaching staff was trying to “keep him fresh” for the postseason. A simple look at Mad Max’s Baseball-Reference page will tell you that his story didn’t add up.
Dodgers insider Dave Vassegh hit on it here in a series of tweets.
Not to mention Max Scherzer was VERY open about his right hamstring tightness which shortened at least 3 of his starts. This sounds like revisionist history. #Dodgers
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) December 1, 2021
At any rate, with more time to think about his response, Scherzer took time with Jorge Castillo of the LA Times to look back on his comments. With that, he clarified something for fans who questioned his intent in the postseason after he asked to not pitch game 6 of the NLCS
“It wasn’t about a contract situation. It’s literally my arm’s health. When you can’t throw, you can’t throw.”
Of course, last October, Scherzer appeared in just 4 games, starting the Wild Card game, game 3 of the NLDS and relieving in game 5, then starting game 2 of the NLCS. He did that over a span of 12 days. A countless number of times, the right-hander has pointed to his workload with the Nationals during the club’s 2019 World Series run. He pitched on short rest twice that postseason and was hoping he could get similar results with the Dodgers last postseason.
Instead, he hit a point where he was worried that he could be putting his career on the line if he made that NLCS game 6 start.
“If I pitch in that game, I blow out and I could be out for a year and jeopardize my career … Throwing in Game 6, I would’ve been rolling the dice on sustaining a substantial injury. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about that.”
By now, it’s all really a moot point. The Dodgers lost that game 6 started by Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer left to sign with the Mets, and now it’s January 2022 and LA is looking to build for another title run. But, if you were still wondering why Scherzer didn’t take the ball in that game, it wasn’t about a contract.
Max Scherzer Sets Record Straight on Dead Arm With Dodgers, Is That Why He Didn’t Re-Sign With LA?