|A well-creased, rain-dampened program from Saturday (Copyright / W. Nationals)|
Washington – On Saturday at Nationals Park, Max Scherzer of the Nats had the crowd standing in the day’s fading light as he closed out a 6-0 no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Scherzer is certainly well-paid for his efforts but even if expectations are held to a level commensurate to his lofty salary, he more than earned his keep with his pitching and sportsmanship.
The 30-year old, right-handed, St. Louis native lost a perfect game to a strategically tucked elbow with two outs and a two-strike count in the ninth. It was on a pitch perhaps an inch inside the plate, and the Pirates’ Jose Tabata held fast and took the offering off his padded left elbow, ending Scherzers’ otherwise perfect effort.
To his credit, Scherzer (8-5) retired the final Pirate, Josh Harrison, for the no-hitter and had nothing negative to say after the game about Tabata’s well-placed flinch.
“I kind of lost a little control over it. It backed up on me. I have no qualms about it whatever. That’s just baseball. He did what he needed to do. So kudos to him, actually,” said Scherzer after the game.
The win helped the Nationals to a three-game sweep of the Bucs and to add an additional fan, south for the day from Baltimore. – Tom Flynn