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Dodgers: Max Scherzer’s High Praise For Will Smith Continues

Mad Max really likes his guy behind the plate.



Dodgers fans have got to love what they have seen out of Max Scherzer so far. Making his third start with Los Angeles on Sunday, Max battled through defensive miscues and tossed 6 solid innings when they really needed it from him. 

Even Dave Roberts noted that it was more like 7 shutout innings from Scherzer given the lack of defense behind him. But the Dodgers took the game swept the Mets in the 3-game set behind Max’s great outing. 

After the game, Max was once again asked about the relationship with batterymate Will Smith. And once again, Scherzer had some of the highest praise imaginable for the young catcher. 

It’s just going to keep evolving and obviously keep getting better as we continue to get more on the same page. He does a great job of framing that low pitch, and it’s real easy to throw it to him. He does a great job of framing it too. He’s excellent behind the plate, really enjoy throwing to him and it’s only going to get better. 

Aside from what Smith does with the bat for the Dodgers, his defensive prowess often gets overlooked. That was a little easier to do with a few miscues this weekend behind the plate. But he has greatly improved his framing and seems to work very well with Scherzer early on. 

Dodgers Related: Will Smith’s Improved Play Keeps LA Alive

The Dodgers are always hesitant to say that a pitcher prefers a certain catcher, but Smith is the main guy behind the dish. It’s very important that these 2 guys continue to grow this relationship and carry it into October. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I noticed that more than once when Max shook Will off the batter then got a hit. Maybe Max will learn to trust Will more going forward.

    • Saw that too! Happened at least 2-3 times. Will did make that mistake trying to nail the runner going to 3rd even though Turner motioned him to go to first to get the sure out. Max is a total beast.

    • Smith needs to learn as much as he can from Sherzer. Will Smith is the real deal. He needs to take this time with Sherzer to further enhance his defensive skills. Everything is an opportunity to improve. For a catcher, working with a future HOFer like Sherzer is a great opportunity to learn and grow. The sky’s the limit for Smith as long as he stays in a permanent learning mode. Catchers are natural team leaders.

  2. Watching the game, I did see Scherzer shake Smith off a bunch, but I suspect that Scherzer does that with every catcher. Mad Max seems to have strong opinions! Seriously, Smith is doing a great job for some one who is 37th in the league in “pitch framing.” The experts say he has cost the team exactly one run this year through his mediocre pitch framing. LOL.

    • Is “pitch framing” over-rated? You still Need to score runs and If Will Smith can drive-in runs via homeruns or base-hits, I’ll take that. Besides Smith Is a Better Hitter than “automatic-out Barnes.

      • Robin, you are right on about Smith offensively. Too bad the NL doesn’t have a DH this year because when Barnes catches the lineup is weaker without Smith in there. That’s especially true when a couple other key players are already on the IL.

      • Just a bit of humor here. Love that Max is a Dodger and he can say anything he wants but just for fun read his statement again on Smith. Possibly the most repetitive statement ever quoted. ?
        Go Dodgers and congrats on the bullpen night and Billy M.’s big breakout game with his bat and arm!

    • Sometimes shaking off the catcher is used to keep the hitter off-balance and unsure of what he thinks is coming is really coming.

      • Have you posters seen the batting order tonight? Pujols batting 3rd, J.Turner 4th and Barnes catching. Personally, I would bat J.Turner 2nd or 3rd Muncy 4th or Smith 3rd then Pujols. I guess Barnes needs to get his 4-Ks. Dodgers will not catch giants.

  3. None of us doubted Smith’s ability from the first time we saw him.
    It was media shoving that traded Latino fellow down our throat’s.

  4. Another Dave Roberts boner: As long as speedsters Trae Turner or Mookie Betts is leading off, Seager needs to bat 2nd. Seager is a doubles machine. That scores either Turner or Betts from first base, if they hadn’t already stole second. A quick 1-0 lead is demoralizing to the other team…

  5. I have always said Smith is a great catcher. I actually don’t like him out of the line up. I wish he could pass information on how he is getting it done.. A catcher has a unique opportunity on seeing how these pitcher throw. Transfer that info and you will get a great batter

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