March 28th, 2011

Scherzer: “I’ve got to fix things”

Today had all the makings of a throwaway outing for Max Scherzer: Last outing of the spring, overcast day, roster set, team heads north tomorrow, Orioles hitters strike early. But it sounds like something more to Scherzer.

Instead, it sounds like a mechanical issue, the kind he had to fight through last year.

“I’m not going to write anything off,” he said after giving up more runs (11 earned) and hits (9) than he recorded outs (7). “I wanted to be dialed in today, and I wasn’t. I look forward to making the adjustments I need to make going into my first start.”

Asked what it was, Scherzer said it was mechanical.

“I was really flying open today,” he said. “Everything was finishing off onto the first-base side of the mound. I just couldn’t make the necessary adjustment during the game to fix that. I definitely didn’t have it today.”

He obviously doesn’t have any spring training starts to get it, but he has an extra day of rest before his first start of the regular season Sunday at Yankee Stadium. That should be key for him.

“I think I’ve got a couple things I’m doing wrong,” he said. “Fortunately, I’ve been in this situation before, and I know it only takes one bullpen [session] to fix it.”

That side session, Scherzer indicated, comes Wednesday, when the Tigers have their workout at Yankee Stadium. Until then, he’s going to watch video.

“I’m going to have a long bullpen here,” he said. “I’m really going to work on some things, so that’s going to help.”

The tone in his voice sounded very much like somebody who’s already in regular-season mode, not somebody getting his work in. That’s the Scherzer intensity we came to expect last year. It can lead to him being really tough on himself, and it can lead to him becoming very focused.

“It is what it is,” Scherzer said of the outing. “Spring Training’s over. Now it’s the season. I wish I could’ve had a better Spring Training. I didn’t. But at the end of the day, it’s the season. That’s the only thing that matters now is how you pitch during the season. My slider is better than it ever was last year. I’m very confident in that. So going into the season, I’m confident that I can pitch well.”

Monday: Tigers at Orioles

I know I’m a little late on this, but Sarasota and the Orioles did an amazing job renovating Ed Smith Stadium. Looks kind of like what Lakeland did with Joker Marchant Stadium back in 2002. Totally different place.

Nothing big on the lineups today, even though the Tigers face another lefty starter. Ryan Raburn slots into the fifth spot with Victor Martinez off, while Ramon Santiago gets a start at short.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Will Rhymes, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, DH
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Ryan Raburn, LF
  6. Casper Wells, RF
  7. Brandon Inge, 3B
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Ramon Santiago, SS

Starting pitcher: Max Scherzer

ORIOLES

  1. Brian Roberts, 2B
  2. Nick Markakis, RF
  3. Derrek Lee, 1B
  4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
  5. Luke Scott, LF
  6. Adam Jones, CF
  7. Mark Reynolds, 3B
  8. Jake Fox, C
  9. J.J. Hardy, SS

Starting pitcher: Zach Britton

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