PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If there were any lingering concerns with Nats right-hander Max Scherzer's status for the start of the season, his outing in Monday afternoon's 6-0 victory against a Mets split squad should help quell them. Scherzer struck out seven in five scoreless innings and was backed
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If there were any lingering concerns with Nats right-hander Max Scherzer's status for the start of the season, his outing in Monday afternoon's 6-0 victory against a Mets split squad should help quell them. Scherzer struck out seven in five scoreless innings and was backed by a pair of Bryce Harper home runs (his seventh and eighth of the spring) and two solo shots by Trea Turner.
Scherzer did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and only surrendered two on the day as he mowed through the Mets' lineup, twice fanning former Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow, for 85 pitches in five innings.
"You got the whole stadium standing and cheering for that," Scherzer said. "That's always going to fire you up. You always want to get him out."
But Scherzer felt good overall, even as he plays a bit of catchup this spring after recovering from a finger injury. He will likely have one final Grapefruit League outing before the regular season begins.
"That was a good outing to be able to, again, get tired there in the fifth inning and have to execute pitches," Scherzer said. "I kind of battled myself all day mechanically, even though the ball was coming out of my hand well.
"Those are the little things that eat at you, where I need to continue to get better at, because as I'm rushing through spring here, I have one more start to get it dialed in here before the season."
Turner continued to flash the impressive power he showed in the Majors last season with a pair of home runs off right-hander Seth Lugo, who is competing for the final spot in the Mets' rotation.
Lugo allowed four runs on eight hits on 83 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. The other candidate, Zack Wheeler, threw five scoreless innings against the Marlins in Jupiter on 70 pitches.
Nats Up Next: The Nationals will play their first home game under the lights this spring when they host the Marlins at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches at 6:35 p.m. ET on Tuesday, live on MLB.TV. Right-hander Jacob Turner will take the mound for Washington.
Mets Up Next:Robert Gsellman, who has already unofficially won a spot in the Mets' rotation, will make his final Florida tuneup when the Mets take on the Cardinals in a 1:10 p.m. ET game Tuesday, live on MLB.TV. Gsellman will face St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright.
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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.