Without question – in terms of competitors – baseball might not have two better than Rich Hill and Max Scherzer. Now, the two will square off in game four of the NLDS on Monday in Washington.
While Cody Bellinger already weighed in on what facing Scherzer is like as a hitter, Hill is here to talk about what it’s like to oppose him on the mound.
In the wake of game three of the NLDS, Hill talks about what it’s like to oppose one of the fiercest starting pitchers in the game.
Interestingly, Hill said he would rather go against someone elite and at the top of their game. Indeed, Scherzer fits that billing. For instance, Scherzer has already won three Cy Young Awards; cementing him as one of the greats of his generation.
“He’s a tremendous competitor and being able to spend time around him in Spring Training 2015, knowing his love and intensity of the game; he’ll always be there. He brings his best every time out there and that’s the way you want to play. At the end of the day it’s much more gratifying to face someone at the top of their game if the outcome falls in your favor. The way he competes and his intensity out there on the mound gives me that gratification.”
Of course – directly following that quote – Hill was asked if this is his last right. Furthermore, he was asked if it was a motivating factor, knowing this could be one last shot to play for a title. This is from the MLB.com article focusing on the press conference.
“The motivating factor to come back is [that] I believe that I have something to give and I can help this team win,” Hill said. “I’m not really using any outside factors, other than the moment in what I really enjoy doing. I think that’s the main factor. I love the competition part of this.”
Still just 34, Scherzer has some time left to chase what Hill has little time left to grasp. Finally, Monday’s game in Washington will go a long way towards deciding which of these two great competitors continues to climb to their zenith as an athlete. While we’re sure to see some incredible grit on both sides, it’s kind of sad to know that one of these guys will have to call it a season in a few days. Something must give.