Friday's emotional display from Max Scherzer in reaction to Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams' mound visit created quite a stir, but to one of his former managers, it came as no surprise.
“That's just Max,” said Brad Ausmus, Scherzer's manager with the Detroit Tigers last year. “Max has done that with me, too.”
The talked-about incident came in the seventh inning of the Nationals' win over the Miami Marlins on Friday, in which Scherzer was on the hill with the scored tied 2-2 and two outs with a runner on second base.
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Williams came out to the mound and asked Scherzer if he wanted to face the next batter, Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon.
Instead of supplying Williams with a simple answer, Scherzer got caught up in the moment and passionately yelled at his manager repeatedly, “I want it. I (expletive) want it.”
The 31-year-old ace retired Gordon and was overflowing with adrenaline as he entered the dugout at the end of the inning.
“With Max, it's very easy, because Max is honest with you,” Ausmus said. “If he wants to be in, he's going to be emphatic and emotional about it. And if he thinks he's done, he's going to say, 'I kind of emptied the tank here.'”
While Scherzer didn't pick up the win on Friday, he pieced together another solid outing after a recent rough stretch in which his ERA jumped from 1.82 to 3.03.
The right-hander is now 12-11 on the season with a 2.90 ERA and 237 strikeouts in 205 innings.
“He's emotional on the mound,” Ausmus said. “When he wants to stay on the mound, he's very emphatic about it. He wasn't yelling at Matt about anything.”