Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw was just as frustrated as Max Scherzer.
After the Nationals ace was checked three times for sticky stuff Tuesday against the Phillies, the last of which was requested by Phillies manager Joe Girardi, Kershaw also thought it wasn’t right.
“I think there should be a punishment if they don’t catch anything on the guy,” Kershaw said after watching what went down in that game. “I think Scherzer, you know, he’s one of the best pitchers of our generation. To see him get checked… and mess up his rhythm… you better find something if you’re going to call him out like that.”
Tuesday night, Girardi asked umpires to check Scherzer after he saw him swipe his hand over his head. Girardi’s explanation after the game: in all the years he’d seen Scherzer pitch, he never saw him wipe his hand over his his head in the middle of a game and that made him suspicious.
By the time umpires signaled the third check — which happened in the middle of the fourth inning with one batter on and one out — “Mad Max” was annoyed. He took off his hat, chucked his glove toward the umpires’ feet and unbuckled his belt to start taking off his pants. Nats manager Dave Martinez rushed out to the mound to argue with the umpires and yell at Girardi, who made his way to stand at the stairs of the Phillies dugout.
Nothing was found. Scherzer was just wheeling and dealing the way a two-time Cy Young winner knows how to. Girardi was later ejected for inciting an argument with Scherzer after he walked off the mound and stared down the manager. After the game, Scherzer explained he was trying to get a better grip on the ball by using the sweat from the top of his head to help better activate the rosin pitchers are allowed to use. Girardi indirectly apologized for offending Scherzer.