I consider myself a good son. I always get my dad something nice for Father’s Day. But Max Scherzer showed me up this weekend and there was really nothing I could do about it. The Washington Nationals pitcher actually joked afterward that his father didn’t want something simple like a tie. He wanted something better, and so the right-handed ace went out and dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates so thoroughly that he came within one out of a perfect game.
Scherzer wasn’t the only one in baseball, or in the sports world for that matter, that was out styling on the competition this past week. J.D. Martinez provided his own amazing Father’s Day gift. Then there was top young stud Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros busy turning heads on the diamond with some solid hitting and slick defensive play. Finally, after winning the NBA title, the Warriors went way overboard in their celebrations but considering how they trounced the comp all year long, they deserved it.
In this week’s edition of Style Points: Max Scherzer Mows Down the Competition; Carlos Correa Shows Off His Potential. Remember, as always, that it’s not what you do but how you do it.
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Thanks for nothing, Jose Tabata. Pittsburgh’s pinch hitter came up with two outs in the ninth inning of a 6-0 Washington lead. Scherzer was literally thisclose to a perfect game, even grabbing the first two strikes against Tabata…before the left fielder–who has four RBI the whole season–leaned into a pitch to draw a walk. Not cool, man. Seriously. So when Scherzer inevitably secured the no-hitter, it all came off as a little anti-climatic. So what saved it and allows the performance to make this list? Well, first off, it was a no-hitter. That’s pretty amazing. But more importantly, it came on the heels of another incredible pitching performance against Milwaukee where he went the distance and gave up only one hit. Think about this: the dude has retired 54 of the last 57 batters he has faced with a combined 26 strikeouts. Nasty. Even compared to baseball’s biggest stars, he is killing it right now.
Martinez admitted his father asked for a homer on Father’s Day. So what did the right fielder do against the Yankees? He drove in six runs and hit a trio of towering bombs, pushing the Tigers back above .500 for the year. The 6-3, 221-pounder has 16 long balls on the year for Detroit and not only was this a monster gift for his father, Julio, Martinez also became the first player since Bo Jackson to go for three home runs and six RBI against the Yanks on the road.
Correa is one of the top young prospects in baseball in part because he is so different. A 6-4 shortstop who is already batting over .300 at just 20 years old? We’re looking at a new prototype. (He was drafted no. 1 overall in 2012 for a reason, you know.) Correa hit .355 over the past week, nearly enough on its own to get him included on this list. But then he put the cherry on top with this incredible Jordan-like leap to snag a line drive off the bat of Mike Zunino.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
The Warriors are already living the life of champions. We saw them going HAM during the championship parade. Marshawn Lynch showed up. Draymond Green was throwing all sorts of shade at Cleveland. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were doing ESPN specials with their NBA fathers. Even M.C. Hammer came through on a fire-breathing snail. (He really did.) All is good in The Bay right now, to the point that we are getting hilarious Internet memes about the series.
Cleveland will be back, hopefully with a fully healthy Big Three. Golden State isn’t going anywhere, either, although you have to think next year will be much tougher for them with OKC hopefully back healthy and with teams like the Clippers and Spurs still around, as well as Houston. There’s also the disease of more, which every new championship team knows about. But when you have the greatest shooter of all time on your roster, you always have a chance. Big style points to the best team in the NBA, and one of the greatest seasons in league history.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney