Max Scherzer will always hold fond World Series-winning memories with the Washington Nationals after potentially making his final appearance on Thursday, amid reports he could be on the move to the San Diego Padres.
The starting pitcher allowed one run over six innings as the Nationals picked up a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, though he now awaits confirmation on his future.
Scherzer, who helped the Nationals to a 2019 World Series win and is 8-4 this season with a 2.76 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 111 innings, wanted to focus on the positives after Yan Gomes' two-run homer secured victory over the Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader.
"I don't want to look at this as a negative thing," Scherzer told the media after the game. "I'd rather look at this as a positive thing. I signed a seven-year deal here and we won a World Series.
"That's the first thing I said when I signed, that I was here to win. And we won. We won a World Series.
"That's a lifelong dream come true and something I'll always be proud of with these guys here, to be part of a championship team, looking forward to reunions and stuff like that."
The 37-year-old is being tipped for a trade to the Padres, according to the Athletic, as they attempt to pair up the three-time Cy Young winner with Yu Darvish.
Scherzer's potential final game nearly did not happen due to triceps discomfort, but the pitcher pulled through for the Nationals to show the world he was still fit and healthy.
"Just working through it, getting back in the groove of things," he said about his injury. "I never like missing starts. For me to get back here, get six innings in, get back in my routines, that's when everything feels great."
Indeed, Scherzer has continually performed during his six-year spell at the Nationals which appears to be coming to an amicable end.
Since joining in 2015, Scherzer's 1,610 strikeouts lead the pitcher charts, with Gerrit Cole's 1,366 providing not much competition way back in second – such is the quality of the Nationals starter.
Amid growing trade rumours, with the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox among the original favourites, Scherzer reflected glowingly on his experiences with the Nationals.
"For me, this is where my family started. I came here without kids and now I have three kids. I've watched my girls grow up here," he said.
"What can you say about the fans? That championship will always mean something to all of us and we'll always have that flag."