Despite a less-than-stellar start by Max Scherzer, the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied late to earn a 7-5 win in 10 innings to take the rubber match from the Colorado Rockies.
Scherzer, who had allowed a total of five earned runs over his first nine games with the Dodgers, matched that total in five innings at Coors Field. “I just wasn’t able to get good grip on the ball,” the right-hander said of his performance.
“I was constantly searching for how to get good grip on the ball, I was licking my hands a ton. I just felt like I was making adjustments to try to get grip and I was kind of flying open to try to find a way to grip the ball a little tighter.
“I didn’t have a good feel for the baseball. I wasn’t able to land curveballs the way I normally can and it just kind of got sideways for me. I wasn’t able to execute the way I normally execute.
“You learn from these outings. This is the toughest place to pitch, so you learn from it. If you can learn something from here, even when you fail, then when you go somewhere else, these lessons can be applied to other outings.
“Sometimes when you get punched in the face that’s what it takes to go out there and learn how to do something new.”
Scherzer’s start on Thursday was his first at Coors Field since 2016. He entered the day with a lifetime 0-3 record, 5.88 ERA and 1.65 WHIP at the Rockies’ home ballpark.
“I didn’t have a problem with the shape of my pitches,” Scherzer further explained. “I had a problem with the grip. I was constantly searching with how to get grip, especially on my curveball. I didn’t feel like I had a good curveball. I wasn’t able to land it for strike.
“Once you lose the feel for one pitch, you’re constantly searching for what you want to do mechanically, what you want to do to execute, and I got out of wack. This happens. You’re never perfect. Stuff like this happens, especially if you pitch here.
“For me, it was the grip, it wasn’t the shape of the pitches. You just learn from it. You learn what you need to be able to do in these situations and how to mechanically stay within yourself to be able to execute.
“As much as it stinks to go out there and give up five runs, especially when the offense puts a three-spot on there, you feel good if you can put a zero up and get deep into a ballgame. Unfortunately that’s not how it worked.
“The bullpen was able to go out there and do a better job. They did a great job of going out there and throwing up zeros, even when we were losing, to keep it a two-run game. That’s what makes it a team win and why it feels good.”
Roberts thought Scherzer had ‘great gameplan’
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts agreed with Scherzer’s assessment and felt his curveball was most affected by his grip struggles. “I thought he and Mark Prior had a great gameplan,” Roberts began.
“The curveball just couldn’t finish and get to the plate. It kept backing up just a tick. He just couldn’t finish that pitch.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!