Oftentimes after historic pitching performances — no-hitters and perfect games — starting pitchers reward their teammates for their help. Last year, Jordan Zimmermann gave outfielder Steven Souza Jr. a Best Buy gift card after his diving catch preserved a no-hitter.
So, after Max Scherzer tossed his career first no-hitter on June 20 against the Pirates, he bought catcher Wilson Ramos a little something for his help that day. But Scherzer didn’t stop with Ramos. He also gave catcher Jose Lobaton, who was behind the plate when Scherzer tossed a one-hitter against the Brewers on June 14, the same gift: an elegant Hublot watch.
It’s unclear how much Scherzer spent on the watches, but they retail anywhere from $2,000 to $80,000. (There are even a couple in the $200,000-$300,000 range.)
“You always take care of your catchers,” Scherzer said. “They’re out there working hard. We’re both thinking about how to outsmart the hitter. I have to have a lot of trust in what they do. They put in hard work, too, to make sure we as a team succeed and help me as an individual as well. If I pitch well, it helps the team. They’re a part of it.”
Of course, both catchers were appreciative of Scherzer’s thoughtfulness, and Lobaton was particularly grateful for the gesture after the one-hitter.
“I told him he didn’t need to get me anything,” he said. “But he did and it’s great.”
Even though Scherzer gave up a hit in that game — albeit a broken bat bloop single to Carlos Gomez just beyond the reach of second baseman Anthony Rendon — he set a personal and Nationals record with 16 strikeouts. The game meant nearly as much to him as the no-hitter.
“That was one was my better performances, if you actually had to ask me,” Scherzer said. “I thought I pitched better in that game. I never thought I should say that I will throw a no-hitter but, if there was ever a time, I think you can say that was the one. I think I should have thrown a no-hitter against Milwaukee. I don’t think I should have thrown a no-hitter against Pittsburgh.”