Max Scherzer reaches another milestone at Nationals Park
Max Scherzer has saved some of its best moments for the Navy Yards neighborhood.
And that is just fine for Nationals fans, who haven’t had much to cheer about this week in a dreary season on the field and in the clouds above water-logged Nationals Park.
Scherzer allowed just one run and five hits in seven innings in a 9-4 win Tuesday over the lowly Marlins, but more importantly, he fanned 10 batters to reach an even 300 for the season.
“It was an awesome feeling having the fans behind you,” said Scherzer, 5-0 this year against the Marlins.
The only other pro pitcher based in Washington to reach that level was the late Walter Johnson, who reached that number twice in the 1910s before retiring to his farm in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Scherzer is the fifth pitcher since 2001 to get 300 strikeouts in a season. It was the 18thtime this year and 82nd time in his career Scherzer has reached that mark. The veteran also threw a no-hitter and fanned 20 batters at a game at home since joining the Nationals.
Did manager Dave Martinez even consider taking out Scherzer (18-7) before he got 10 strikeouts Tuesday?
“I value my life,” said Martinez, with a grin. “He was going to get 10. What an unbelievable accomplishment. I can’t say enough about Max. He’s a winner and a true champion.”
The milestone came in the top of the seventh as Scherzer fanned rookie Austin Dean, who had fouled off four pitches before whiffing on a slider of 85 miles-per-hour a few minutes after 9 p.m.
“We were able to execute it,” Scherzer said of reaching 300 for the first time in his career. “That was pretty cool. We knew what he was thinking; just stay focused and stay within yourself. Don’t try to get too caught up in the moment. Just stay composed.”
It was another good night for Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon, who was 3-for-3 and drove in four runs. He hit a homer for the second game in a row and has five longballs in his last 11 contests.
“He is on fire,” Martinez said. “He works good at-bats. He uses the whole field. He’s a professional; he goes about his business every day.”
Bryce Harper scored his 100th run of the year in the first inning. Harper has also driven in 100 runs and leads the league with 129 walks. Catcher Matt Wieters, who caught Scherzer, also had three hits.
Harper could play in his last home game with the Nationals on Wednesday at 4:05 p.m.
Washington was knocked out of playoff contention Saturday and ends the season with three games in Colorado this weekend.