(THIS IS OBVIOUSLY EXCLUDING SHOHEI OHTANI.)
This is a totally new thing with him this year before you go look up Scherzer’s hitting numbers. He was hitting .189 in his career with the Nationals prior to this season (2015-2017).
He did hit a home run and a double in that stretch, but that’s not saying much when you look at Jon Lester (6 doubles, 1 home run), Zack Greinke (7 doubles, 2 home runs) or Adam Wainwright (9 doubles, 4 home runs).
Not to mention the best of the best, Madison Bumgarner (11 home runs, 8 doubles).
But it’s not like any of them hit for a much better average. Greinke was at the top with a .215 rate during that span. Scherzer was ranked 9th, so he actually has not been that bad.
But this year he’s taken it to another level.
Scherzer is now hitting .310 after getting his 9th hit of the year as a pinch-hitter for the Nationals in the 14th inning of Saturday’s game.
Not only that, he scored the game winning run, all the way from first base. I don’t care where the ball is hit, you never expect that from a pitcher.
Let this serve as another piece of evidence for why the NL should continue to allow pitchers to hit.
When they suck, it’s funny (i.e. Bartolo Colon). When they’re as good as Bumgarner, it’s must-watch stuff. And when the best pitcher in the game is hitting over .300, you begin to wonder if there’s anything this guy can’t do.