BY PETER HAILEY
During the Nationals off day Monday, and before he makes a start in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Max Scherzer made the rounds at ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.
— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) June 8, 2015
As a part of his visit, Scherzer stopped in and talked with Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo on their radio show.
Max Scherzer joined us in studio. pic.twitter.com/2yB4SYkkfg
— SVP & Russillo (@SVPandRussillo) June 8, 2015
The hosts talked to the Nationals' ace about many things over the course of the interview, but perhaps the most interesting part came at the beginning, when Van Pelt asked Scherzer to evaluate Bryce Harper now that the two have been playing together for a couple of months now. The NL Cy Young candidate was very complimentary of the NL MVP candidate.
"He's a great teammate," Scherzer said. "I mean, guys, he plays his absolute butt off every single time. He competes just as hard on defense as he does at the plate, and that's something as a pitcher you respect. Somebody who goes out there and tries to do everything to help the ball club win. So every time you see him in a game, he's playing the game at the highest level, and that's what's fun to watch."
Van Pelt then brought up Harper's recent hot stretch in May, which he called "preposterous." "Is that as hot as you've ever seen a guy?" Van Pelt asked.
"That's about as hot as you can see a guy," Scherzer responded. "Miggy [former Tigers teammate and another destroyer of baseballs Miguel Cabrera] can get hotter. Miggy can do some really stupid stuff at the plate. But what you said was right. He's starting to understand the game better. From where he was at the beginning of the season to where he is now, he's a better player. He's just doing more things at the plate and understanding the game better in different situations that allow him to have more success."
Scherzer wasn't quite done though. He finished his thoughts on Harper by saying something that many MLB pitchers who have faced Harper may think is impossible.
"And the thing is -- the scary thing is -- he can get better. There's room in his game to continue to get better, and that's what you hope for and what you're looking for the rest of the season, is to continue to execute like this and continue to have this type of success."
[MORE NATS: Previewing the 2015 MLB Draft]