Max Scherzer was already reeling after surrendering a hit to the Phillies in the sixth inning of Friday night’s start at Citizens Bank Park, ending his bid for a perfect game, which would have doubled as the back end of back-to-back no-hitters. That would have paired him with Johnny Vander Meer as the only pitchers to have tossed back-to-back no-hitters.
Then Scherzer relented a run in the seventh on a Domonic Brown RBI double to left-center, which ended the Nationals’ streak of 48 consecutive scoreless innings pitched by the starting rotation.
Ahead 5-1, manager Matt Williams opted to have Scherzer start the eighth inning, which was a bit questionable considering the right-hander’s recent workload, his pitch count nearing 100, and the fact that the Nationals were comfortably ahead. Freddy Galvis helped Scherzer out, though, popping up a bunt attempt on the first pitch to bring up Ben Revere.
Revere, if you aren’t aware, is not exactly known for his power. He memorably had baseball’s longest active home run drought, at 1,466 at-bats, before ending it in late May last year. He homered again in September for good measure. Revere hadn’t homered since then. Scherzer hadn’t allowed a home run since Stephen Drew took him yard on June 9. Revere had 304 homerless plate appearances on the year coming into Friday’s action; Scherzer had thrown 1,449 pitches and yielded only six home runs (0.41%). And yet, as baseball is wont to do, the statistically improbable happened:
Steve Berman of The Athletic — known to some as Bay Area Sports Guy – reported overnight that Major League Baseball is likely to hand down discipline to Giants CEO Larry Baer today. Possibly as early as this morning.
As you’ll recall, on March 1, Baer was caught on video having a loud, public argument with his wife during which he tried to rip a cell phone out of her hands, which caused her to tumble off of her chair and to the ground as she screamed “help me!” After a couple of false-start statements in which he seemed to dismiss and diminish the incident, Baer released a second solo statement, apologizing to his wife, children and the Giants organization and saying he would “do whatever it takes to make sure that I never behave in such an inappropriate manner again.”
On March 4, Baer stepped away from the Giants, taking “personal time” and relinquishing his CEO role, at least temporarily. Given Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy, which does not require criminal charges to trigger discipline — and given how bad a look it would be for Major League Baseball not to take any action against Baer when it is certain that it would take action against a player in a similar scenario — it was only a matter of time before the league added to whatever discipline Baer and the Giants had decided to do on their own accord.
At the time of the incident I detailed Major League Baseball’s history of disciplining owners. As discussed in that post, it’s a tricky business, as owners don’t typically rely on salaries from their team and thus it’s hard to distinguish a suspension from a vacation. The examples cited there, however, at least begin to outline the tools at MLB’s disposal in taking action against Baer, and the league has no doubt been thinking about how to approach the matter for the past month.
We’ll see what they came up with some time today.