Joe Girardi explains why he wanted Max Scherzer checked
Joe Girardi sparked a great deal of drama during Tuesday night’s game between his Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals when he asked the umpiring crew to do a foreign substance check on Max Scherzer. After the game, the manager said he was simply trying to do what was best for his team.
Girardi told reporters after his team’s 3-2 loss that he has watched Scherzer pitch for a long time but never seen him wipe his head the way he did during Tuesday’s game. He said he didn’t intent to offend anyone but found it “suspicious.”
Joe Girardi: "I’ve seen Max a long time. Since 2010. Obviously he’s going to be a Hall of Famer. But I’ve never seen him wipe his head like he was doing tonight ever. … It was suspicious for me. … I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I’ve just got to do what’s right for our club."
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 23, 2021
Girardi requested the foreign substance check mid-inning during the bottom of the fourth. Scherzer was extremely annoyed and even responded by partially undressing in front of the umpires.
The following inning, Scherzer blew a 3-2 fastball by JT Realmuto for an inning-ending strikeout. Scherzer stared down Girardi on his way to the dugout. Girardi responded by verbally challenging Scherzer to a fight, and the manager was ejected. You can see the video here.