Max Scherzer had himself one heck of a game on Wednesday against the New York Mets, but he did not get the recognition some felt he deserved.
Scherzer threw 7.1 scoreless innings on Wednesday allowing only one hit. That's a good game by any standard. Even the Mets announcers recognized it and thought the Nationals fans didn't give him enough of an ovation late in the game.
Were they referring to how the fans reacted when he struck out his tenth batter of the night? No. Were they referring to when Dusty Baker pulled him in the eighth inning and he was walking off the field? No. They were referring to when Scherzer, the pitcher, batted in the seventh inning.
As you can see, baseball announcers are just like baseball players in that they find dumb things to complain about. Apparently you can add "cheering the pitcher when he bats late in the game" to the never ending list of unwritten rules of baseball. The Mets announcers verbally beaned the Nationals fans over something no one but them really cares about.
Scherzer is a pitcher. His main job is to pitch. In the American League, the pitchers don't bat at all. He is judged on how well he pitches, not on his at bats and the fans know that. Had Scherzer hit two home runs and given up 12 runs, it would have been a bad game.
Perhaps the Nationals fans were so into the game, they were uneasy with the fact that Scherzer was batting in the seventh with Washington leading only 2-0 at that point. Maybe they were thinking strategy and wondered why Baker didn't pinch hit for him. He was pulled the following inning after all.
Or maybe they just didn't think they would be judged by the ovation they gave to a pitcher batting in the seventh inning by overly picky visiting announcers.
When Scherzer left the game in the eighth inning, he deservedly received a standing ovation from the crowd and it was because of what he did on the mound. The fans certainly were paying attention at that point.
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NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals has edged out Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers to win NL Manager of the Year.
Shildt earned the award in his first full season on the job. Counsell received more first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America revealed Tuesday night, but Shildt got more second-place votes and appeared on more ballots.
Shildt teared up upon learning he'd won, saying he was already in an emotional place after his mother died last Wednesday.
Shildt replaced Mike Matheny as Cardinals manager during the 2018 season, and St. Louis has been among baseball's best teams since. The club won 91 games and the NL Central crown this year, ending the franchise's three-year postseason drought.
The 51-year-old Shildt became the first manager of the year who had never played pro ball at any level. Last week, the Cardinals gave him a contract extension through the 2022 season.
Atlanta's Brian Snitker was third after winning the award last year. The Dodgers' Dave Roberts finished fourth, and Nationals manager Dave Martinez was fifth. Washington won the World Series, but voting concluded before the postseason began.
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli won the AL prize in a tight ballot over Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees. Both received 13 first-place votes, but Baldelli got more second-place nods. The 38-year-old is the youngest to win the award and the eighth to take it in his first full season on the job.
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On the heels of a historic run to their first World Series championship, the Washington Nationals will remain at the center of the baseball universe with Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon hitting free agency.
Rendon figures to be the top position player available, and if he doesn't return to DC, it appears the Nationals already have their eyes on a potential replacement.
According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Nats are one of four teams showing the most interest in former AL MVP Josh Donaldson along with the Phillies, Braves and Rangers.
Rendon, Donaldson, Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier highlight a deep free-agent class at the hot corner, and Feinsand adds that teams who miss out on Rendon or don't want to wait for him to make his decision can turn to Donaldson.
Donaldson is coming off a one-season stint with the Braves where he posted a .259/.379/.521 slash line to go with 37 home runs and 94 RBI. Entering his age-34 season, Donaldson isn't quite playing at the MVP-level he did with the Blue Jays, but it's clear he can still produce.
If the Nationals aren't comfortable with committing long-term money but still want some production and a veteran presence at third base, Donaldson could be the perfect fit.
The Braves signed Donaldson to a one-year, $23 million contract last November, so there's a decent chance he'll make a decision sooner rather than later.
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