Washington Nationals' righty Max Scherzer is now one of five pitchers in MLB history to throw two no-hitters in one season, joining, according to both ESPN and Elias, "The Dutch Master" Johnny Vander Meer, who threw two for the Cincinnati Reds in 1938, New York Yankees' right-hander Allie Reynolds whose two came in 1951, Virgil "Fire" Trucks, who did it twice for the Detroit Tigers in 1952 and the last pitcher to do it before Scherzer on Saturday night, Nolan Ryan, who threw two when he was with the California Angels back in 1973. To hear his name mentioned in that sort of company after Scherzer struck out 17 New York Mets and retired 27 of the 28 batters he faced, coming a throwing error away from a perfect game? Scherzer was at a loss for words.
"I'm speechless about that," Scherzer told reporters in Citi Field. "I don't know what to say."
"You go out there and try to have as much success as possible," the 31-year-old right-hander explained. "You try to accomplish as much as you can, do everything you can. When you start talking about the fact that I was able to -- as a team, remember, I can't say 'I threw two no-hitters' or something like that. Remember my teammates are behind me making great plays as well. To have that happen twice in a season? It's special and when you start talking about the history of the game, you can't really even think about that. That's why I'm speechless. Something that you'll be able to soak in in the offseason and really begin to appreciate what that really means."
"In command all night," Matt Williams said after the 2-0 win over the NL East Division champs. "Really good fastball tonight and he used it effectively. All of his pitches were good."
"Location and throwing it exactly where he wanted to, elevating when he wanted to, and his changeup was good, curveball was good. Fastball was exceptional tonight."
Scherzer put together a string of nine straight Ks between the home-half of the sixth and the bottom of the ninth, then popped Curtis Granderson up for the final out of the game and his second no-hitter.
His 17 Ks were the most by a starter in no-hitter since Ryan again:
"Speechless," Scherzer said again. "You mention that. You go out there and try to accomplish as much as you can, have as much success as you can, but when you start talking about that stuff, you don't even have words for it."
Will Scherzer have to throw in a hotel hallway before every start now?
With rain pounding the New York area on Friday night, causing the postponement of the series opener in Citi Field, the Nats' $210M starter, who has a history of finding odd/fun places to throw on the road, found a suitable venue:
Pouring rain in New York today, one would think it would be impossible to play catch anywhere... I beg to differ pic.twitter.com/YKlSP90EVI— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) October 2, 2015
Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes asked Scherzer the question on everybody's minds after the no-no:
Asked Max if this means he'll have to play catch in the hotel before every start. His eyes lit up. "I might!"— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) October 4, 2015
Looks like my bullpens will be at the team hotel from now on. Thanks to my teammates for making this special day possible!— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) October 4, 2015
Matt Williams talked about Scherzer's stuff vs the Mets, and used the word "zoom" twice...
"It's just zoom fastball," Williams said. "Location to start, zoom up and away or up in the zone when he wanted to and there's the difference between control and command, that was command."
"I really felt like I had a good fastball tonight and was able to pitch off of that," Scherzer explained, before crediting his catcher, Wilson Ramos, for the hard work the backstop did.
"[Ramos] had a good feel for when they were looking at fastball and calling offspeed and trusting with it and when they're looking offspeed, throwing fastball. I feel like that's why I was able to generate some swing and misses there is trusting what Willy was doing and just finding the right pitch and right sequence to be able to execute for a swing and miss."
Sixteen of Scherzer's seventeen strikeouts were swinging Ks. Scherzer and Ramos were locked in and on the same page again.
"They got in a groove tonight," Williams said. "Max didn't shake off much. They were working quickly, in command, it's a testament to Wilson as well."
"I just really felt like I was able to execute every pitch and was really in sync with [Wilson Ramos] and when I needed to execute strikes in the zone I was able to and when I needed to get the ball out the zone for effect, I was able to do that as well," Scherzer said.
Scherzer was asked when he started to think he might be on to something special again and he said that once you get through the lineup a couple times you do start to think about it.
"It's tough to say when it was possible," he said. "When you go through the order one time through you know you've got something going, when you go through the lineup two times through then you know you've got a real shot.
"That's kind of my kind of threshold of when you know that you have something going."
Williams said he saw good signs from his starter early in the outing, and in his last couple starts as well including Scherzer's last before tonight's when he was six outs away from his second before finally allowing a single.
"Last couple of times out. Last time he lost it in the eighth, so had the same feeling tonight as we did last time. This time he got it done."
"I think over the past couple starts where I've noticed I've had success, I've really tried to focus on making sure that I'm using my mind and thinking with the reports and thinking with the catcher and using that first," Scherzer said.
"And using my intensity second. Not trying to get too amped up and outdo myself and become predictable.
The Mets didn't know what was coming or what hit them.
Scherzer is the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2002 to have multiple 16-strikeout games in a season.— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) October 4, 2015
Max Scherzer: 1st pitcher with 2 no-hitters in a single regular season since Nolan Ryan in 1973 5th pitcher ever to do so— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 4, 2015
Max Scherzer only went to a three-ball count twice in tonight's no-hitter. Incredible. #Nats— Chris Johnson (@masnCJ) October 4, 2015
Congrats to Max.. What a performance #gamer— Denard Span (@thisisdspan) October 4, 2015
Aaron Barrett (@aaronbarrett30) October 4, 2015
Mad Max are you kidding me??!! Most dominating performance I've ever seen— Erik Davis (@edavis19) October 4, 2015
Scherzer was proud of his accomplishment, proud to have his name mentioned alongside some of the greats from baseball history, proud of his teammates and the work they did, but most of all, proud of the way he attacked the Mets.
"What I'm proud about, is going out there and attacking the zone," he said.
"Using all my pitches, dropping in curveballs, that type of stuff is what I pride myself on. Being aggressive with the hitters and finding ways to throw swing and miss pitches with two strikes. When you break it down from that angle, that's what I'm most proud about."