There will certainly be some mixed emotions for Max Scherzer when he takes the mound on Wednesday to face the Detroit Tigers, his former team whom he spent five years with. He has good friends that still play for Detroit and has great memories from his time there.
“It’s going to be fun. These are all my friends, played with them for five years there. They’re all talking trash with me and I love it. They’re all talking about hitting bombs off me. I wouldn’t expect anything else," he said.
There is a specific aspect of the matchup, however, that Scherzer is looking forward to, and that's the opportunity to face Miguel Cabrera, the two-time MVP and future Hall of Famer. Scherzer considers him the best hitter in the world.
“Love it. I love it. I’m facing the best hitter [Wednesday]. He’s the best hitter on earth and he knows so much. This is what you dream of, you dream of facing the best. I want to face the best. This is who you measure yourself against. You don’t measure yourself against the nine hole hitter. You measure yourself against Miguel Cabrera. And if your able to go out there and have success against him that’s a notch on your belt. I know it’s a heck of a daunting challenge to try to do that and I really got to be on my game to have any type of success against them. But that’s what makes it fun. That’s what makes playing in the big leagues the best thing there is,” Scherzer said.
Scherzer has spoken glowingly about Cabrera in the past, including in an interview with CSN last summer where he compared Bryce Harper and the Tigers slugger as hitters. This week he went into more detail about the other parts of the game Cabrera should get credit for.
“Honestly, how hard he competes in all phases of the game. I know he’s a big guy but he competes defensively as hard as anybody on the field. And on the bases, he’s looking to take every last bag possible that he can. He’s very smart about all of that. That’s the part of him that I think gets sometimes under recognized, that doesn’t get enough attention is how smart and competitive he is. We can all see him hit a 500-foot blast and talk about how great he is but it’s all the other little things that he does that really make him a just a special, special player," Scherzer said.
Scherzer will also face his former teammate in Jordan Zimmermann. With the game taking place in Washington, both will face each other as hitters, as well.
"He asked for a fastball right down the middle and I definitely said, ‘no, you’re not getting that,'" Scherzer said.