Mets' Max Scherzer driven to win second World Series ring: 'That's why you play the game'

Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer / Amir Norman, SNY

Max Scherzer has accomplished so much during his major league career, and he’ll have a plaque in Cooperstown one day to show for it.

Three Cy Youngs. Eight All-Star appearances. Nearly 3,200 career strikeouts. One World Series ring.

But don’t think for one second that Scherzer, about to enter his second season with the Mets, isn’t driven for more.

Speaking with SNY during an interview that aired on Thursday’s Mets Hot Stove, Scherzer broke it down simply: He has his sights set on a second World Series ring, and he knows it would be incredible to achieve it in New York.

“That’s why you play the game. You play the game to go out there and win this whole thing,” said Scherzer. “Steve [Cohen] obviously has that dream, all the coaching staff, the front office and all the players, that’s all of our dream. We make all the sacrifices in our lives just to have a chance to be able to win this thing.

“To win this thing again for me and be able to do it a second time – doing it first is unbelievable. I can’t imagine what the second one’s going to feel like, because I feel like that would really be a big statement within the game.”

Scherzer, 38, was outstanding during his first season as a Met, pitching to a 2.29 ERA with 10/7 Ks per nine. The only blemish for Scherzer was that he made just 23 starts, as he missed time due to a left oblique strain.

But entering his second season in Flushing, Scherzer says he's a bit more relaxed knowing "all the ins and outs of being a Met," especially pitching alongside fellow Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander.

Scherzer and Verlander last pitched together with the Detroit Tigers in 2014, and both pitchers are on the same page when it comes to winning, and are dedicated to helping each other out.

"We've started kind of comparing notes a little bit.," Scherzer said. "He's trying to get used to our systems over here then with what Houston had. He's working with the teams and once the games get going, that's when we'll really start being able to really compare notes and seeing what it takes. What we're seeing and what we're making the checks off of."

In addition to comparing notes with his new teammate, Scherzer will have to adjust to the new rules implemented this season.

A pitch clock will give pitchers limited time to get their pitch off. Many have debated whether it benefits hitters or the pitchers, but Scherzer believes it gives one side the clear advantage and that players should keep an eye on another rule change.

"I'm going to be just fine. I want to work quick.," Scherzer explained. "I've always wanted to be able to dictate pace, I don't even think that a clock is going to make the difference. I think it's the rule of only having one time out that's going to completely change the hitters' dynamic of what they're to be able to do in the box.

"Now the pitcher has control of over the pace of play, not the hitter. The hitters always had unlimited time outs and the umpires always protected them, and so now it's changed. Now the pitcher has control over the bat and can work quick."

With Scherzer already throwing live BP this spring, he'll have plenty of time to adjust to the new rules before the season begins.