Max Scherzer careful to not show too much (Marlins win 2-1)


Score: Marlins 2, Nationals 1

Recap: Max Scherzer gave up one run on six hits with three strikeouts in three innings against the Marlins. He threw 47 pitches, 33 for strikes, in his second outing of the exhibition season. Taylor Jordan pitched two scoreless innings in his second appearance of the spring. Jerry Blevins, Heath Bell and Rafael Martin each tossed a scoreless inning. However, Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich hit a walk-off homer against Bruce Billings in the ninth. Dan Uggla had tied the game at 1-1 in the sixth with an RBI double.

Need to know: Danny Espinosa smacked a double into the left-center gap for his first hit of the spring while batting from the right side against a right-handed pitcher. Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, facing Scherzer twice and Jordan once. Jordan Zimmermann is scheduled to start tomorrow when the Tigers visit Space Coast Stadium.

On deck: Wednesday vs. Detroit Tigers in Viera, 1:05 p.m.

JUPITER, Fla. - Max Scherzer’s spring training workload increased in today’s outing against the Marlins. The right-hander threw 47 pitches, 33 for strikes, in three innings while surrendering one run on six hits, two in the infield, with three strikeouts and no walks.

“I felt good,” Scherzer said. “Threw strikes, no walks. Got three innings in there. It was great that they actually got a bunch of singles, so I got to work out of the stretch. That’s something that you need to work on for the year when you’re pitching with runners on base. I still thought I was able to execute pitches with runners on base, so that’s a huge thing going into the year.”

scherzer-red-spring-sidebar.jpgTwo games into the exhibition season and Scherzer says he’s throwing all his pitches while being cognizant of the fact that he’ll most likely face the Marlins multiple times in 2015.

“I’m using the whole arsenal, but I’m trying to pick my spots,” Scherzer said. “That’s a team you’re going to face during the year, so you’ve got to be careful on not to try to overexpose certain pitches.”

One of the Marlins he faced was Giancarlo Stanton, whose contract combined with Scherzer’s exceeds a half a billion dollars.

“I didn’t think about it like that,” Scherzer said. “But no, he’s probably the best hitter in the National League. My god, what he did last year was unbelievable. I have a lot of respect for what he does and what he can do at the plate. It’s really fun competing against guys like that. That’s who you measure yourself up against. You don’t measure yourself up against the worst, you actually measure yourself against the best. Those are the at-bats you remember.

“I respect him. I know what he can do. I watch Sportscenter.”

Scherzer made a point to note that he still feels like former Detroit teammate Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in the majors. He’ll get a chance to see the two-time American League MVP when the Tigers visit Space Coast Stadium on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, I’m able to sit on the bench and talk a little smack to them,” Scherzer said. “I’ll be in Miggy’s ear. I think he’s playing first and we’re on the first base line. He talks all the smack to everybody else in the game.”

Danny Espinosa collected his first hit of the exhibition season batting from the right side of the plate when he smacked a double in the left-center gap off former Nationals pitcher Dan Haren. Espinosa is 1-for-2 on the day.

The Nationals evened up the game in the sixth when Dan Uggla doubled home Kila Ka’aihue. The teams are tied 1-1 in the eighth.

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