Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer tossed a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon. Scherzer actually came within a strike of throwing a perfect game, but with two strikes plunked pinch hitter Jose Tabata. Scherzer got Josh Harrison to fly out to end the game. Scherzer fanned 10 batters and the Nats won 6-0.
Scherzer’s no-no is the second of the 2015 season. Eleven days ago, San Francisco Giants rookie Chris Heston no-hit the Mets. Oddly enough, the only baserunners he allowed were via hit by pitch as well.
But it has really been a remarkable week for Scherzer. Last Sunday, Scherzer took a perfect game into the 7th inning against the Milwaukee Brewers when Carlos Gomez hit a bloop single up the middle. That was the only hit Scherzer allowed and the only other batter to reach was Scooter Gennett on a walk in the 8th. Scherzer struck out 16 batters in that game.
If not for Gomez’s single, Scherzer could have been the first pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters since Johnny Vander Meer did it in 1938 with the Cincinnati Reds. In consecutive starts that June, Vander Meer no-hit the Boston Bees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Oh well, Scherzer has a chance to replicate Vander Meer’s feat coming Friday when he pitches against the hapless Philadelphia Phillies.
Come to think of it, Scherzer very nearly became the first pitcher to throw back to back perfect games. No pitcher has thrown more than one perfect game. Scherzer is the first pitcher in MLB history to take a perfect game into the 7th inning in consecutive starts.
The 30-year old Scherzer, who won the 2013 AL Cy Young Award with the Detroit Tigers and led the AL in wins for the past two seasons, signed a 7-year, $210 million contract with the Nationals during the off-season. The contract raised eyebrows, but thus far Scherzer is 8-5 inaugural campaign in D.C. and his 1.76 ERA is the best in all of MLB.
Perhaps Scherzer won’t throw a no-hitter against the Phillies, but if he gets the win it will be the 100th of his MLB career.
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