Scherzer: Dave Martinez criticism was just 'outside chatter'

Chris Lingebach
July 03, 2019 - 2:58 pm
Scherzer: Dave Martinez criticism was just 'outside chatter'

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

As the Nationals head into July in a dramatically better place than where they were a month and a half ago, it's worth asking whether manager Dave Martinez deserves some credit for their turnaround.

At their lowest, the Nats were 19-31, 12 games under .500 and 10 games out of first place in the NL East. That was rock bottom: May 23. When the daily calls for Martinez's head -- from fans and media, and people 'in the baseball world' -- were growing to a deafening tone. That same day, it's worth noting, is when Martinez got tossed for his fiery rebuke of home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman.

Since then, they've been on an absolute tear, going 24-10, starting with a 5-2 stretch to close out a dreadful month of May, and followed by an 18-8 record in June. After Tuesday's win against the Marlins, they look to carry that trend into July.

"I think that was a lot of outside chatter when we were struggling, and everybody wants to point the finger at the manager," Max Scherzer told 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Wednesday. Scherzer joins Grant & Danny each and every Nats homestand, presented by F.H. Furr. "And he was calm, cool and collected."

"We never started pointing the finger at each other," Scherzer said. "We never started to point the finger at the manager or anything like that. Really, it was just us just listening to our coaches to just start playing better baseball. I mean, it was right in front of us to play better baseball.

"We didn't have to try to hit more home runs, or try to do anything that we weren't capable of doing. It was just trying to eliminate mistakes. And everybody had a hand in it -- pitchers, hitters, defense. I mean, I was making mistakes. So everybody had a hand in it. It was just us collectively as a whole just making better decisions and playing better baseball."