Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer was one of the first pitchers to appear bothered by Major League Baseball's new policy to check players for foreign substances during games.
At one point during Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Scherzer appeared ready to take off his pants after being checked for sticky substances in the middle of an inning.
This is incredible.— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) June 23, 2021
Joe Girardi asked the umpires to check Max Scherzer for sticky stuff again.
After the game, he blasted the league for substance checks, saying, "This is not the answer," according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
Max Scherzer: "What we're doing right now, this is not the answer.''— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 23, 2021
The 36-year-old laid most of the blame on commissioner Rob Manfred.
"These are Manfred rules. Go ask him what he wants to do with this. I’ve said enough. Go ask Alex Bohm how he feels about 95 at his face. I don't need to say any more about this." --Max Scherzer on Joe Girardi's mid-inning check for foreign substances.— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) June 23, 2021
Scherzer was checked for foreign substances three times during Tuesday's game. One of the searches followed a request by Phillies manager Joe Girardi, who was later ejected for yelling at Scherzer.
The three-time Cy Young winner also admitted after the game that he had "zero feel of the baseball" and needed to use sweat to get a better grip, according to The Athletic's Jayson Stark.
Scherzer said it was so cool out he "had zero feel of the baseball tonight whatsoever," so he was forced to rub his hands through his hair to help get some grip— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) June 23, 2021
"I like to lick my hands..but I was literally eating rosin. I said, `I don't want to eat rosin. That's pretty gross.'"
Despite his frustration surrounding foreign substance checks, Scherzer allowed just one run on two hits and struck out eight over five innings.
Foreign substance checks began earlier this week as MLB tries to crack down and eliminate the use of sticky substances. The use of foreign substances hasn't been allowed in decades, but the league is just now beginning to enforce it.