From last Monday:
Q: Max-ed Out
Do the Nats coaches keep a stat of Max's ERA, WHIP etc. with 100 pitches or fewer and for 100 pitches-plus? I don't know if it's my imagination, but keeping Max in too long does not hold good results. We know he wants to pitch as long as possible but at what point do you get diminishing results, even with a shaky bullpen?
A: Thomas Boswell
Stats can be eloquent --sometimes, unfortunately.
Here is the OPS against Scherzeer by Times Through the Batting Order.
By pitches, the same pattern of getting tired shows up.
1-25 pitches -- .922 OPS (a Max tend to have bad 1st innings)
51-75 -- .604.
The very good news is that he is excellent right UP to 100 pitches. That, to me, means he can probably be very good for years, as long as he's healthy.
But the 101+ is stark --at least this year. Hitters are 9-for-18 with two doubles and three homers. Small data sample, short season. But both the Nats and Max need to look at this hard, and honestly, as '21 unfolds. And be prepared to adjust as necessary. Maybe don;t START the season by limiting him, but don't be stubborn about it either. At SOME point in nhis career, this pattern will probably become permanent.
Thanks for posting that. Confirms what probably most of us watching the Scherzer starts have been thinking. He's getting to be a better version of Hellickson, fine for five but he needs to be pulled while he is still pitching well, not after the blow up.