October 20, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 63 Review: Scherzer throws one-hitter at Brewers

SCHERZER STRIKES OUT TEAM-RECORD 16 IN SECOND CAREER COMPLETE GAME

This offseason, the Washington Nationals paid a lot of money over a lot of years for the services of starting pitcher Max Scherzer. He’s been worth every penny thus far this season, and on Sunday he was extra special.

Scherzer allowed just one hit to the Milwaukee Brewers, a broken-bat bloop at that by Carlos Gomez, and struck out a club-record 16, to beat the Brewers 4-0 at Miller Park.Scherzer was scintillating. He used his fastball — which sat at 95-96 but at times reached 97 — to set up an absolutely wicked slider that had Brewers players in their postgame remarking it was the best they’d ever faced. Watching at real speed, it wasn’t hard to understand their sentiments.

Scherzer (7-5, 1.93) went through the Brewers order, in order, pver the first three innings, striking out four. He picked up the pace from there, striking out two in the fourth and fifth, before K-ing the side in the sixth to remain perfect.

The only batted ball that landed fair against Scherzer came in the bottom of the seventh, as Gomez’ soft liner on a 1-1 count barely escaped the retreating Anthony Rendon, who missed the catch in short right field by a matter of inches. But Scherzer came right back to get Gerardo Parra and Ryan Braun on pop ups and he struck out Adam Lind to end any hopes of a Milwaukee threat.

Scherzer got two more strikeouts in both the eighth and ninth innings to complete his club record. He threw 119 pitches total, 86 for strikes in his second career complete game.

Meanwhile, the Nats were getting just enough offense to allow Scherzer to feel in complete control.

In the third, Denard Span led off with a single, then promptly stole second off Brewers starter Taylor Jungmann in his second MLB appearance. Danny Espinosa — starting again at first base — singled to move Span over to third. Anthony Rendon then lifted a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Span to trot home.

Jungmann (L, 1-1, 2.25) went five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit by pitch. He struck out five.

The Nats added a run in the fourth. Clint Robinson led off with a ground ball single, went to second on a wild pitch, then — after an Ian Desmond strikeout — scored on Jose Lobaton’s single to left.

Washington picked up two insurance runs in the seventh. With two outs, Rendon and Yunel Escobar both singled, then Robinson lined a double to left, plating both.

From there, it was all Scherzer.

NATS NOTES:

  • Every batter in the lineup, including Scherzer but excluding Desmond, had a hit. Desmond struck out three more times, and he was 1 for 13 with 11 Ks in the four-game series.
  • The Nats were 3 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
  • Brewers Hector Gomez and Martin Maldonado both struck out three times, with Carlos Gomez, Adam Lind and Jean Segura going down twice on strikes. Gerardo Parra was the only Brewers starter that did not K.
About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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