Nationals

Zimmerman shares the advice he withheld from new teammates

Nationals
Ryan Zimmerman high fives Max Scherzer

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently learned a valuable lesson about talking to or touching Max Scherzer while he's pitching and it's an experience a few of Scherzer's former teammates in Washington probably share. 

Scherzer cursing at someone like his new manager because of a few words of encouragement isn't anything new. Ryan Zimmerman has been aware of Scherzer's preferred isolation on days he's pitching, but the long-time Washington infielder still liked to let new members of the Nats figure that out on their own. 

"One of our favorite things to do is if we ever traded for someone or called a young guy up, just don't tell him and watch the awkward exchange between the new guy and Max as he comes in the dugout," Zimmerman told The Sports Junkies Thursday. "And just watch Max kind of either just not even acknowledge him or kind of look at him like probably what he did to Dave."

Zimmerman didn't specify any players who fell for that trap, but getting a death stare from Scherzer in your first few days on a new team can't be the most pleasant experience. 

"He did not like high fives, fist bumps, anything like that," Zimmerman said. "He's not interested in any of that stuff."

Fortunately, that only happens every fifth day during the season. On off-days, Scherzer was loose and talkative, but still intense in his own way. 

"When he's not pitching, he's in the dugout talking trash and yelling at the other team," Zimmerman said. "He's out there every inning. I mean, the guy will take an energy drink on a day he's not pitching just to come out there and be crazy on the bench."

 

As difficult as he may be to deal with on pitching days, you can't argue with the results. In his first four starts with the Dodgers, Scherzer has a 2.11 ERA, 31 strikeouts and LA has won every single game he's taken the mound.