As good as Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer has performed throughout his MLB career, it’s clear he’s always thinking about ways to improve. This was once again on display during a recent interview he did on the Mets’dUp podcast.
The game has gone through several rule changes in recent years, but it hasn’t mattered to the right-hander, who recently won his 200th career game. Scherzer discussed a bunch of topics on the show, some of which included his adjustment to New York, having the fans behind him, and hanging with Jacob deGrom.
He shared an interesting perspective about two things that will fundamentally change how he goes about his business on the mound every five days. After testing it in the minor leagues, MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to begin implementing a pitch clock in 2023.
You’d imagine many pitchers wouldn’t look forward to something like this. After all, everyone has their own routine and process, so having to think about getting a pitch off before the clock hits zeroes likely isn’t optimal. Scherzer isn’t like most pitchers, though. Here are his thoughts on the pitch clock:
It’s going to be interesting moving forward, especially since there’s going to be a pitch clock. Now I’m going to be able to work extremely fast, so I feel like there’s going to be unintended consequences because of that. I feel like I’m going to be able to weaponize this in a way to be able to flip it around and make the hitters hate this because it’s going to be so much easier on me.
Scherzer shared those thoughts right after discussing how he felt about PitchCom. It was interesting to hear him talk about it in a positive light because I assumed he was just going to talk about how much he hates it:
It works… it works extremely well. It takes away the mental process and part of the game that’s been there to decode…to have a sophisticated set of signs so that the other team can’t crack them. I pride myself on having a complex set of systems that you can sit there and watch it, chart it, and you won’t be able to crack it. To not have to put that mental thought into every pitch when a runner is on second, it’s a lot easier. It frees you up, allows you to pitch and you’re able to shake off multiple times a lot easier and keep the rhythm that way.
Just as quickly as I was surprised about this, Scherzer then shared his cons of having PitchCom:
But, at the same time, I also think we’re missing part of the game. Part of the game was stealing signs and having that, and we’re completely taking it away… if you have bad signs and your signs can get cracked, that was part of the advantage of being a good pitcher…now we’re all on the same playing field.
As most good pitchers do, though, Scherzer is taking lemons and making lemonade. He clearly sees a huge advantage in the combination of using PitchCom and working under the pitch clock. The right-hander is a pretty cerebral guy, so it’s not surprising to see him view it in this manner and find a way to help him get the results he wants on the mound.
More on ESNY:
• WATCH: HBO’s trailer of ’38 At The Garden’, a Jeremy Lin documentary
• Is Pete Alonso the centerpiece of Mets’ offense?
• Yankees, Mets both rolling as 2022 postseason looms
• WATCH: Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits 60th home run, ties Babe Ruth
• Tiki Barber: Giants are ‘the perfect place’ for Ravens’ Lamar Jackson