On the day Max Scherzer is pitching, just steer clear of him.
A lot of people in Washington D.C. already know this about the ever-intense three-time Cy Young award winner, but his new Dodgers manager had to learn that lesson the hard way.
Dave Roberts revealed that during a recent Scherzer start, he dared to lay his hand on the right-hander to give him some words of encouragement. It turned out to be a big mistake.
"I remember a start against the Astros, I think maybe his first start at home for us," Roberts said on ESPN. "I pat him on the butt like, 'Hey, nice going.' And he mumbled something under his breath, and I'm like, did he just say, don't f-ing touch me? And then I got the scoop from our players like, 'Hey, doc, make sure you don't touch him. He doesn't want anyone to touch him."
Later on, Roberts went up to Scherzer to get an explanation, and he certainly did.
"I go, 'Hey man, did you just mumble something like, don't f-ing touch me?'" Roberts said. "And he goes, 'Yeah, and I gave you the tempered, most respectful way I can say it because this is my job. I don't need any kind of congratulations or support because that's my job.' So we got a little kick out of it."
Scherzer may be a bit more intense than the normal human on a day he's pitching, but it's what makes him such an overwhelming force on the mound. He stares you down, lets out a huge grunt when he throws and then delivers nasty stuff over and over again without any fear of challenging the league's best hitters.
So far, Scherzer's been every bit of himself for the Dodgers. In three starts, he has a 2.20 ERA with 23 strikeouts, proving to be the ace Los Angeles traded for at the deadline.
Hopefully, Roberts doesn't try anything like this again, for his own sake.