Mad Max

Freaking gamer.

Jim Rome
June 20, 2019 - 10:00 am
Max Scherzer

USA Today


Baseball has long been a game riddled with some of the most bizarre injuries ever. And I’d blow right through tomorrow’s Smackoff if I sat here and ran down the list. So I won’t. But in the last calendar year alone, Salvador Perez cheese-grated his MCL carrying a suitcase, Carson Smith dislocated his wing slamming his leather in frustration coming back to the dugout, and Brandon Nimmo may or may not have missed time in Spring Training puking his guts out after eating raw chicken he didn’t cook all the way through.

So on Tuesday when Max Scherzer bunted a ball through his face and broke his nose during batting practice—you could pretty much assume he was gonna miss some time. The question wasn’t: Is he gonna miss time? The question was—how much?

And the answer came yesterday in the second game of a double-header between the Nats and the Phillies in which Scherzer was scheduled to start before busting up his beak. But apparently getting his face rearranged by a baseball and looking like he went 12 rounds with Tyson didn’t change a damn thing for Mad Max.

Because after the day game, Scherzer began to warm up for the night game. His teammate Brian Dozier saw that and told the Washington Post that he started teasing Scherzer about bluffing like he was gonna start the second game. According to Dozier, “He kind of gave me the go-to-hell look.”

And then—sure enough—Scherzer started the damn game. Broken nose and all. And if you saw this dude yesterday, he looked like a Bob Ross painting. Every hue of the pallet brushed on his mug. Black, blue, red, brown. And this a guy who already has two different colored eyes.

That guy—the dude with a busted beak and a shiner and a swollen face—not only started the game but absolutely mowed down the Phillies.

7 innings. No runs. 10 strikeouts.

And the Nats won the game 2-nothing.

Look, this dude would have gotten all the credit in the world just for attempting to take the bump. Not a lot of guys are going to go out there 24 hours after breaking their face. Especially when they’re standing 60 feet away from major league hitters who could turn one around and smash it up even further. But Mad Max didn’t just show up from the glory of it. He showed up and showed the hell out.

That line of 7 frames, no runs, and 10 K’s is impressive on any fifth day. But doing after bunting a ball through his mug is legendary.

And save the crap about how it was his face that hurt—not his throwing arm. Or his plant foot. You’re really gonna try to take away anything from that guy after yesterday? Hell no. It’s tough to see straight when your head is swimming in blood throbbing behind your eyes. And this guy sat down 10 big league hitters last night with all going on.

So for once—this is a bizarre baseball injury that turned into an ultimate bad ass moment. And I’ve nothing but shine for the dude who’s got nothing on his grill except a giant shiner.

Mad Max. Freaking gamer.