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Scherzer celebrates Nats' win -- in the 8th? 

@JamalCollier
July 7, 2019

WASHINGTON -- Adam Eaton raced around the bases, slid in headfirst just ahead of the throw and scored from first base on a double by Anthony Rendon, giving the Nationals the lead they had just relinquished in the top half of the inning. And waiting for Eaton once he crossed

WASHINGTON -- Adam Eaton raced around the bases, slid in headfirst just ahead of the throw and scored from first base on a double by Anthony Rendon, giving the Nationals the lead they had just relinquished in the top half of the inning.

And waiting for Eaton once he crossed the plate was Nationals ace Max Scherzer. The pitcher ran out onto the field to celebrate with Eaton on the game-winning run, only to turn around and realize that the rest of the dugout had stayed put -- because it was only the eighth inning.

The video of that premature celebration played on a loop inside the Nationals' clubhouse Sunday following their 5-2 victory over the Royals at Nationals Park, with the team having a laugh at Scherzer's gaffe.

“That’s Max,” second baseman Brian Dozier said, shaking his head. “I mean, c’mon man. The first time I’ve ever seen it.”

Perhaps Scherzer can be forgiven for his mistake. He and his wife, Erica, just welcomed a newborn daughter into the family on Thursday, so maybe he’s a bit sleep deprived. And Nats closer Sean Doolittle had entered the game in the eighth inning, so it’s easy to see how he got mixed up.

“I was trying to stay locked in, but I gotta go back out and Max is out there on the field,” Doolittle said with a laugh as he glanced at the video postgame. “So I don't know. That was awesome.”

His teammates were sure not to cut him any extra slack, but Scherzer also shared a laugh at himself watching the video.

“That’s Max,” veteran Howie Kendrick said. “He’s a great teammate. He has some quirkiness about him, but it’s funny. I enjoy being around Max all the time. He’s probably one of my favorite teammates. All the guys around here, we give him crap, he gives us crap. But that’s just one of those funny things that happens. It keeps us loose, and we had fun with it.”

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.