Max Scherzer took a Grapefruit League no-hit bid into the fifth inning this afternoon before giving up two singles in what ended up a 6-0 Washington Nationals’ win over the New York Mets.
In his second start of the Spring, Scherzer worked around three free passes, gave up just the two hits and struck out seven Mets’ hitters, including some guy named Tim Tebow twice.
Trea Turner and Bryce Harper hit two home runs each as the Nationals topped their NL East rivals in Port St. Lucie, Florida’s First Data Field.
Here’s how it happened:
• Max Scherzer worked around a two-out walk to Neil Walker, striking out two batters in a relatively quick bottom of the first.
Scherzer collected his third strikeout in a quick, 1-2-3 second, striking Tim Tebow out to end his second scoreless frame.
NOTE: Everyone was super-excited about Scherzer’s matchup with Tebow this afternoon, as evidenced by the breathless reporting on that first at bat:
So Tebow's 1st AB v. Scherzer went how you might suspect: 96 swing miss, 97 called, 96 swing miss. #Mets #Nationals #overmatched— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 27, 2017
Scherzer strikes out Tebow on three pitches: 96, 97, 97.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 27, 2017
Tebow vs Scherzer:— David Lennon (@DPLennon) March 27, 2017
96 - swing
97 - look
97 - swing
Thanks for playing. #Mets
Scherzer goes 96, 97, 97 to strike out Tebow on 3 pitches.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) March 27, 2017
With the Nationals up 1-0 after a Trea Turner home run, Scherzer took the mound in the bottom of the third and gave up a leadoff walk to Travis Taijeron, who was left on base three outs later. 48 pitches total for Scherzer after three scoreless.
With the score 3-0 Nationals in the fourth, Scherzer worked around another walk for another hitless frame, giving him four scoreless and hitless on 63 pitches.
A one-out single by Taijeron broke up Scherzer’s no-hit bid, and Jose Reyes singled with one down in the fifth, but the Nationals’ starter stranded both runners and completed his fifth scoreless frame at 86 pitches.
That's a day for #MadMax: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. pic.twitter.com/OBd8OMlx7N— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 27, 2017
• Trea Turner was 2 for 2 on the day after he put the Nationals up 1-0 with a two-out home run on a first-pitch fastball from Seth Lugo in the top of the third. Turner’s 2nd HR of the Spring.
• Speaking of Turner, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal mentioned the Nats’ shortstop in the “Around the Horn” section of his note-filled post this morning, writing that not all those who have shared opinions are sold on the 23-year-old infielder’s ability at short:
Not everyone in the industry is convinced that the Nationals’ Trea Turner will succeed at shortstop.
The Padres drafted Turner out of North Carolina State as a shortstop with the 13th overall pick in 2014. The Nationals acquired him to play the position. But he has played more at second base and center field in the majors.
“He plays one way — on the run,” a rival official said. “That’s a tough way to play shortstop.”
GM Mike Rizzo has stated all winter that he’s confident in Turner’s abilities at short.
Have you seen enough this Spring to make a judgement? Are you concerned about having the Nationals’ leadoff man at short full-time this season?
• Bryce Harper hit the second home run of the game, and his 7th of the season out to right field off Lugo in the fourth, 2-0 Nationals.
Harper unloads so forcefully on Lugo slider helmet flies off, stoops to pick up as ball sails over RF wall #Nationals #Mets— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 27, 2017
• One out after Harper’s blast, Stephen Drew and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back doubles off Lugo, with Zim’s two-base hit driving Drew in for a 3-0 lead.
• Trea Turner homered again in the fifth, taking Lugo deep again, to left again, for his second of the game and third of the Spring, 4-0 Nationals.
• Enny Romero worked around a two-out single for a scoreless frame in the sixth, 4-0 Nationals and returned to the mound in the seventh, working around a one-out walk for a second scoreless inning of work.
• Vance Worley and Koda Glover combined for a quick, scoreless eighth, with Worley retiring two of the three batters.
• Glover came back out for the ninth and retired the Mets in order.
Final Score: 6-0 Nationals.