Did you know? Facts from Scherzer's incredible run
As Max Scherzer piled up outs on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park, it appeared that Johnny Vander Meer might be welcoming company soon.
Alas, the Phillies' Freddy Galvis broke through for a one-out double against Scherzer in the sixth inning, and the Nationals right-hander wound up allowing two earned runs on five hits over eight innings. Vander Meer remains the only pitcher in Major League history to twirl back-to-back no-hitters, having done so for the Reds way back in 1938.
But that shouldn't take away from what Scherzer has accomplished of late. His dominant pitching line over his past three starts: 26 innings, six hits, two runs, one walk, 33 strikeouts.
Here are some other notes on Scherzer, and Washington's red-hot pitching staff:
• After Nationals rookie right-hander Joe Ross allowed a run to the Pirates in the second inning on June 19 in Washington, the team's starting pitchers posted nothing but zeros for the next week. By the time the Phillies pushed a run across against Scherzer in the seventh inning Friday, Nats starters had gone 48 straight scoreless innings. That's a new franchise record and the longest in the Majors since the Orioles went 54 innings in 1974.
• On June 9 at Yankee Stadium, Scherzer allowed back-to-back singles to Ramon Flores and Brett Gardner with one out in the seventh inning. In between then and Galvis' double, Scherzer faced 75 batters, and only three reached safely, on a single, a walk and a hit batter. He struck out 30 over that span.
• During that same stretch, Scherzer recorded three hits at the plate. His single leading off the fifth inning on Friday extended his hitting streak to six games, the longest by a Major League pitcher since Mat Latos hit in six straight for the Reds in 2012.
• On June 14 in Milwaukee, the Brewers' Carlos Gomez broke up Scherzer's perfect-game bid with a bloop single to right field leading off the seventh. Scherzer then embarked upon a 54-batter hitless streak. Over those 17 1/3 innings across 13 days and three games, he allowed just one walk and one hit batter.
• Scherzer's six total hits allowed are the fewest over a stretch of three starts since Johan Santana also allowed six from July 6-17, 2004, according to CBSSports.com. Santana threw one fewer inning than Scherzer and struck out the same number of batters but walked seven more.
• Scherzer is the first pitcher with 16 straight no-hit innings since Dwight Gooden in May 1996, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
• Scherzer became the first pitcher to carry a perfect game through five innings in three consecutive starts since the Yankees' Doyle Alexander in 1976, according to Elias.
• Jordan Zimmermann (June 2014) is the only other Nationals pitcher to throw at least eight innings in three consecutive starts.
• Scherzer now has completed at least seven innings 12 times this season. No other MLB pitcher has done it more than 10 times.
• Scherzer is the first pitcher since the Astros' Roy Oswalt in 2008 to go at least eight innings and allow no more than five baserunners three times in a row. The only others to do that this millennium are Cliff Lee ('08), Pedro Martinez ('05) and Santana ('04).
• Scherzer recorded Game Scores of 100 and 97 in his previous two starts, then notched a 71 on Friday. The last pitcher to reach a 70 game score after back-to-back outings of 90-plus was Teddy Higuera of the Brewers in 1987.
• For good measure, Scherzer picked up his 100th career victory. Since going 21-26 from 2008-10, he has posted a record of 79-29 (.731), the best winning percentage in MLB over that span, by a fraction of a percentage point over Zack Greinke. Scherzer (9-5 this year) is also one win away from reaching double digits for a sixth straight season.