At Home with World Series Champion pitcher - Max Scherzer Part 2 - I just went into mom mode - Erica Scherzer
hey guys. I'm Lindsay's Arctic and this is players conversations with athletes artists entertainers about their interest in sports and vice versa. And what they've learned along the way this is part two of the Washington nationals journey to the world series win through the eyes of star Pitcher Max Scherzer and those close to him as I was covering the story and is the team continued to fight adversity and beat the odds. Sherzad kept referencing. His wife Erika so in this episode. You're going to get a closer look at who Erica. Sherzer is and how she factored into that world series win without even realizing it the night. The nationals won the world series. She talked to me on the field after and shared what I found was fascinating insight into how the wives role is just as vital as a position on the field. I think it's easy for them to give up hope at times when my who thinks get frustrating and struggle and we can see it from an outside point of view. And that's why I think I was telling you the other night like we have to be that support system and we have to be the one that absorbs everything for them and just keeps going and keeps them going and one of our closest friends that also baseball. I says you have to be cheerleader. You have to be there for them and just keep on going and keep him going. And that's what we try to do back at hard. I mean it's hard but that's why I'm here for like I love the heck out of him. I'm going to do anything for him. Let me give you a little context on Max and Erica. And I'M GONNA start with Erica because when you first meet her. She's striking. She's super tall. She's beautiful but beyond that. What hits you immediately as how warm she is. How are tickets? She is and besides being a great mom supporter for Max. She's also doing a ton of work in the community and elsewhere maximum. Erica met the first week of college her freshman year at the University of Missouri where she played softball when one of her teammates introduce them. Eric told me it was his smile. That grabbed her attention. I in fact he was really romantic. I love thinking about that juxtaposition from the Max we see with his intensity on the mound. What intrigued me about the two of them as a couple is both were athletes stellar athletes and from growing up to college to the pros. Erica told me they both came close to winning titles including when Max's Detroit Tigers lost the world series to the giants in two thousand twelve but neither had ever won a championship so this run meant something special and their bond is something fierce. We begin where we left off the morning of game five of the World Series Max. Sherzer that night starter. He was in so much pain he could barely move. Erica was just starting your day taking care of her two little girls and Max was about to change everything and it was awful. I knew we'd done some treatment in game four Tried to get ready for game five to get ready and I went to bed at night thinking I was All right let's hope that treatment works and wake up and you know hopefully I feel good him and we we just go Remember Waking Up and I could just feel in my trap that no. It went backwards. That were the arm right now. I came. Turn my head I'm mike hobbling up stairs and stuff so I knew I was in a really bad spot. You know where you try and make a star in its game five of the World Series and I've done crazy things and you know maybe there's a way to pitch through it and as I continue to you know. Try address myself because even dress myself so it was just You know it was just a real bad spot. Realizing that There's just no way I'm going to make it Not with not with this type of pain. There's no way you can. You can fight this type of pain. I mean I can't lift my arm. How am I gonNA throw a ball with the girls and everything and he walked down the stairs and couldn't even move? All he could do was walk. He couldn't do anything else and I could just see the look in his face so I drop everything and go to him and it just it was just that feeling of knowing what is at stake and this is bad and so I just. Maybe it's the the mom in me but I just went into that lake that mom mode. Okay you're going to be okay. We're into this. We have to this. I we'RE GONNA WE'RE GONNA showered. We're going to address. We're going to do this Texas Person I've got this. I'll text these people say you just went into that. That mode of here's what we have to do. And I'm taking over this and it just I don't know it. It was awful and now a good moment but then as I got closer to park like yeah it's timeless job. Ross. No HE'S GONNA. Start so some a text message out like hey I know you guys who kind of knew I was not a good spot and you know I was talking to Joe Throughout the play offs and just different things that he was working on and he was saying this whole time to get a moment. Hey pitching game too and he and he actually looked really good and so You know for me I I knew I knew. At the moment I was not better job. Ross I saw what he had done. There was no way I could do this. That it's his turn to take the ball and text messages. Say get ready. You know you're going to have it to Joe. Roth told me when he got that text message from Max Sherzer that he was obviously concerned for his teammate. He was shocked but he did say there was a sense of adrenaline. That kicked in with the news that he could end up being the guy to pitch game five. He said he didn't really believe it would happen. Though until within the hour he got a phone call from national's management saying you are GonNa be the one. Meanwhile the nationals were in the midst of calling an impromptu press conference to announce the news. Everyone was shocked to hear. If you all know Max obviously pitcher with a broken nose he's been hurt before he's gone through things and when he comes in and says that he's hurt this bad he's hurt and I can tell you now that he's he's very upset. He wants to be out there with his teammates But hopefully we can get him back here for either game six or seven. I'm disappointed as I possibly can. And beyond that pitched I mean that's game five of the World Series I. I've pitched through so much crap in my career. That would be easy to pitch at this point. This is literally impossible to do anything with. Nobody knew what to think. There was a sense of shock inside that Media Room. As thirty to forty members of the media listened to that news and as we all walk back out onto the field. I remember thinking. Did that really just happen? And what's going to happen next? I was there covering that. Game for. Nbc in Washington. I had seen my former ESPN colleague. Tim Kurkin there on the field just prior to that press conference in Iran to Tim. Because I wanted to find out what were his thoughts. A guy who's covered major league baseball for forty years his thoughts on what we just saw. Hap what is your take on what we saw happen tonight. What magazine before this drug just goes to show you how difficult it is to play? Major League baseball if you're injured and he is really injured. Mark Sharon told us he's had that exact thing and it takes a good three days to get better and he said in the meantime. You can't do anything you can't shave. You can't move your head nothing all you WanNa do is just lie down and stay still. I think he's GonNa Pitch Game Seven if there is a game seven now. Obviously a lot has to happen before then and he's going to have to recover but knowing Max Scherzer. There's any chance he can pitch he's going to pitch. Did you think he was going to be able to play? I kept asking him. What did the doctor say and he said they told him he would be ready in forty eight hours that he just needed the shot to kick in and so I said just trust. The doctors trust the process and I mean he seemed really bad. I never seen him in that much pain before but at the same time a lot can happen in a short amount of time and so. I don't know if I would say I did think he was going to. But there was also a part of me that just thought it wasn't going to end that way that there was more to it and if if we can get through game six stress can do it like. He's going to throw the baseball on what I had just heard Max and manager Davey Martinez share inside that press conference going from where the nets were before the start of game. Five two now thinking about Max possibly being able to pitch again in this series and the national still having a chance to win it all. That was a tall order. Confidence in the team's chances took a hit. But that's where the theme of Eric Has. Confidence became most evident to me message shared during the playoffs that Erica kept telling him this is the team. This is the nationals team that is destined to win the world series. She felt it she felt it with the Camaraderie beginning back in the summer even though she was with the rest of the nationals fans having doubts as the team struggled it nine thousand nine hundred thirty one nineteen thirty one or whatever it was the calls to fire TV. And the now look him. It's nine hundred thirty one by the way what we're thinking. If I'm being honest I was like not fire David but I was thinking well. We're not going to the playoffs. I mean right I hate to say it but nobody was thinking we were at that time and very few people were hanging in there. And that's probably credit to. David is still keep that positively all of it but it was a long shot. It was a really big long shot. But that's where his WanNa know really does and there's something to that. You just got to win one game win another and next thing you know you take off But I think there was just so much to it. It was a great group of guys it was the dancing in the dugout. It was you know the sunglasses it was the baby shark like. It's just so many fun stories and such a great group that you can't put your finger on one thing it just fit it just worked and I think people are GonNa try to analyze it so long. You can't but back to the issue at hand Max. Scherzer was out Joe. Roff getting the call that night in Washington the nationals lost game five which meant they were headed back to Houston down three games to two in the best of seven series. And what were you thinking? At that moment that night after you guys got that loss. Where's your mindset? We still had a path here that look one my neck with the cortisone shots you know. Try and make those work. Well I was really taken away. Yeah because what happened was the do the treatment with my nerves. Got Pinched and muscled wasn't spasm. And what is even worse was the nerve in my neck was actually pinched up to and so it was a double whammy effect and so If he alleviate nerve than you could release spasm and so you know that's where all treatment options are on the table at this point so as much as you want at took about twenty four after the next day realize okay this headquarters on shots in the past and I know they work and I know it's usually that forty eight hour seventy two hour window that three day like you feel pretty darn good in that time for him and then what was that process like of of Max getting himself right like what did what was that. Like for you guys. Just lots of treatment. Lots of sleep. Lots of US me and family and everything just trying to take care of everything here so that all he had to worry about was resting and taking care of himself and two. Isn't that hard for you like when you got your stressed and you want something to work but you've got your whole family. I mean like that stresses me yeah. That's it definitely amendable and fascinating. I think I'm sure a lot of the other. Women would probably feel the same or say the same like we definitely during the playoffs. Take on a lot so that the guys don't have to worry about what they're doing on the field Once it was all said and done and the partying was done definitely cut hit my breaking point of like. I can't take on it just absorbed so much. I need a break too. But it's all worth it but the question in the minds of nationals fans was. Is it GONNA BE WORTH IT? Because all they knew was they were heading for the access and now looking at a situation where the nationals had to go back to Houston and went to on the road in order to win a championship. And that never happens. Never before had it been done that every single game in a world series was one on the road. This is where we leave you. The next episode will pick up here. I can't wait to share it with you. There's so much insight and the stories behind the scenes are where I think all the the fun really is all right. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of my podcast. Thank you also. To Ray affectionately. Known as railway scrambles editor and musician extraordinaire but thank you and if you like this episode please tell your friends better yet till like five hundred of your friends and you can get the next episode anywhere you. Listen to your podcast. Thanks for listening right now players and I look forward to seeing you next week bye.