Reporters like to talk to scouts before games. They’re more available than front office people, usually just sitting out in the stands or walking around the ballpark before games. They’re less guarded, too. Like the reporter they’re kind of out there on their own on the road a lot, and when you engage them they’re eager to share. Share stuff like this, which one scout told the Daily News’ Bill Madden:
“But in my opinion the next catcher for the Yankees will be Joe Mauer. Imagine if the Twins don’t sign him and he goes out there on the market next winter with both the Yankees and Red Sox
in need of a catcher? That will be the wildest bidding war in baseball
history, and don’t think his agent doesn’t know it. And if they (Twins)
decide to trade him, the Yankees have the better pieces to get him.”
Not that everything scouts say is stuff you want to hear.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.