Max effort: Scherzer dominates in 100th win
Nats ace loses perfect game in sixth inning, powers on for 100th victory
PHILADELPHIA -- Max Scherzer is a student of the game, and he had a chance to make history during a 5-2 victory over the Phillies on Friday night.
Six days after pitching a no-hitter against the Pirates, Scherzer retired the first 16 batters he faced. He had a chance to join Johnny Vander Meer as the only pitchers to throw consecutive no-hitters.
"It's so hard. It takes luck. You have to be on point. You make mistakes, they have to mishit it," Scherzer said. "I made a few mistakes early. They hit some balls hard. Fortunately, they were right at people."
With one out in the sixth inning, however, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis then broke up the no-hit bid with a double down the right-field line.
"Off the bat, that's a hit," right fielder Matt den Dekker said. "I haven't been around a pitcher in the big leagues that is focused as he is when he goes out and pitches. That carries over to the rest of us. Make us all want to play better and become better players."
Scherzer ended up going eight innings and allowing two runs on five hits. When the Phillies scored their first run in the seventh inning, it snapped a scoreless streak of 47 1/3 innings, a franchise record.
"It's awesome. Any time the starters are going out there and doing their job, it does so much for the ballclub, does so much for the 'pen," Scherzer said about the scoreless streak. "It allows the offense to relax and continue to score runs. It keeps the pressure on their guys and the back end of their bullpen."
Scherzer took pride in the fact that he did not allow any walks as he won his 100th career game.
"Again, another outing with no walks. That's what you pride yourself on -- just attacking the zone," Scherzer said. "The defense made some good plays. I was [on the same page with] Willie [Ramos]."
During his last three games, Scherzer went 16 straight innings without allowing a hit. He credits health and a solid relationship with Ramos and backup catcher Jose Lobaton behind the plate.
"They have done a phenomenal job as well. We have a plan, we go out there and execute it," Scherzer said. "When you get in sync with your catcher, they have a good feel for what you are doing. It's two minds against one, and that's a good thing."
Pitching wasn't the only thing that put a smile on Scherzer's face. He went 1-for-2, scored a run and extended his hitting streak to six games.
"I know how important it is for the pitcher to hit. I take pride in that. It's something I want to continue going forward," Scherzer said.