Max Scherzer dominated Yankee hitters, with a total of 14 strikeouts from 25 batters faced over 7 1⁄3 strong, in which he gave up just a run on a solo home run and two hits total, but the 2-1 lead he left the game with was blown by Brad Hand in the ninth, and this one went into extra innings where, Trea Turner drove in the free runner to make it 3-2, but the home team answered with one in the bottom of the tenth, and then walked off in the bottom of the eleventh on a Gleyber Torres’ bases-loaded dribbler toward third base, 4-3 final.
Scherzer vs NY: Max Scherzer bounced back from a rough start against the Blue Jays on the road in Dunedin, FL, in which he gave up eight hits, two walks, and seven runs (five earned), in five innings pitched, with a nine-inning outing against the Miami Marlins last weekend in the nation’s capital in which he gave up just five hits and one earned run.
After the outing against the Fish, Scherzer rushed off to join his wife for the planned birth of their third child, so he wasn’t around to talk about his success on the mound.
“He was awesome,” manager Davey Martinez said.
“He pumped strikes. I think he had like 23 out of 31 first-pitch strikes. No walks. As a pitcher, a starting pitcher, that’s what you’ve got to do.”
Max Scherzer, Painted 95mph Fastball. ️ pic.twitter.com/nwkuiA9Oro— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 8, 2021
Looking to follow up on that impressive appearance, Scherzer got off to a good start with 2 2⁄3 scoreless against the Yankees today, over which he struck out six-straight batters at one point, but that strikeout streak ended in the bottom of the third, when Yankee catcher Kyle Higashioka hit a 1-2 slider up and in out to left field for a game-tying solo homer, 1-1, a 1/2-inning after the visiting Nats jumped out a 1-0 lead on a bases-loaded walk by Juan Soto.
Scherzer struck out the side in the fourth, picking up his 8th, 9th, and 10th strikeouts from the first 14 batters he faced, and reaching 10+ Ks in a start for the 100th time in his career.
He was up to 11 Ks from 17 batters faced after a 1-2-3 fifth, and Scherzer picked up No. 12 and retired his 8th, 9th, and 10th straight batters in a 10-pitch sixth, then retired the side again in the seventh, picking up two more strikeouts for 14 total from 23 batters faced.
Scherzer was up to 13-straight set down following DJ LeMahieu’s two-out single in the third, and 99 pitches overall after he retired the side in order in the seventh, and he came out for the eighth and issued his first walk of the game to leadoff batter Clint Frazier.
He popped up Mike Ford with his 109th pitch for out No. 1 of the Yankees’ seventh, at which point the Nationals went to the bullpen...
Max Scherzer’s Line: 7.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 14 Ks, 1 HR, 109 P, 69 S, 3/4 GO/FO.
Kluber vs D.C.: Signed to a 1-year/$11M free agent deal this winter, Corey Kluber, 35, has shown signs of a “late-career” resurgence in New York, with a 3.03 ERA, 14 walks, 29 Ks, and a .239/.336/.339 line against in six starts and 29 2⁄3 IP heading into today’s start.
His last outing before this afternoon’s was an eight-inning start at home against the Detroit Tigers in which he gave up two hits and a walk, but no runs.
“It felt good to go out there and execute, for the most part, from start to finish,” Kluber said after that start, as quoted in the New York Post.
Corey Kluber, Filthy 85mph Changeup. pic.twitter.com/t3dOKyZler— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 8, 2021
“That’s always the goal, but it’s not always smooth sailing. So when you do have them, it’s fun to go out there and have that feeling.”
Kluber tossed two scoreless on 22 pitches to start today’s game, but a soft liner into right by Alex Avila, and a bunt toward first by Victor Robles on which Kluber and first baseman Mike Ford both went for the ball, leaving no one at first to accept a throw, put two on, and Trea Turner followed with the third straight hit loading them up, so a two-out walk by Juan Soto forced in a run in what ended up a 26-pitch from for the Yankees’ starter, 1-0.
Kluber struck out three batters around back-to-back, two-out walks in the fourth, and retired the side in order in the fifth, but a two-out double by Kyle Schwarber in the top of the sixth, and an RBI single by Starlin Castro, made it 2-1 Nationals and ended the starter’s outing...
Corey Kluber’s Line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks, 101 P, 64 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
Oh, Mickey!: With two Ks in the first inning this afternoon, Max Scherzer tied, and then passed 16-year veteran (1963-1979) Mickey Lolich on the all-time strikeout leaderboard.
Scherzer’s first two strikeouts were his 2,832nd and 2,833rd career Ks, and he’s now all alone at No. 20 on the list, with Hall of Famer Jim Bunning (2,855) next up at No. 19.
With his 10th strikeout of the game, Scherzer also reached 10+ Ks for the 100th time in his career, which puts him in pretty heady company as well:
Max Scherzer threw his 100th career 10-strikeout game today!— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) May 8, 2021
Nolan Ryan: 215
Randy Johnson: 212
Roger Clemens: 110
Pedro Martínez: 108
Max Scherzer: 100
Talk about great company pic.twitter.com/e9Q5MkZFC2
Bullpen Action: Chad Green came on for NY with one on and two out in the sixth with the Nationals up 2-1, and struck Alex Avila out to end the top of the inning.
Green returned to the mound in the top of the seventh inning and gave up a leadoff single by Victor Robles, but doubled him up on a grounder to second off Trea Turner’s bat, 4-3, before a backwards K from Josh Harrison ended the inning.
Yankees’ righty Lucas Luetge retired the Nationals in order in the top of the eighth.
Daniel Hudson replaced Max Scherzer in the bottom of the eighth with one on and one out, and retired two batters in a row to keep it a 2-1 game in the Nationals’ favor.
Luetge retired the Nationals in order in the top of the ninth to keep it a one-run game.
Brad Hand got the ball in the ninth inning, with a 2-1 lead, and walked the first batter he faced, putting DJ LeMahieu on in front of Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton grounded out into Starlin Castro’s chest.
Aaron Judge stepped in next, and hit a pop down the line in right field that no one could reach, first and third. Gleyber Torres got the first shot at tying it up, and lined a single to right, 2-2.
Aaron Hicks K’d swinging for out No. 2 with runners on first and second, and Clint Frazier grounded out to second to send it to extras...
With Andrew Stevenson on second to start the top of the 10th, Victor Robles singled to right off Aroldis Chapman. Stevenson took third on the hit and scored on a sac fly off of Trea Turner’s bat, 3-2.
Hand came back out for another attempt at a save, and gave up an RBI single to left field by Mike Ford, 3-3. Kyle Finnegan came on in relief of Hand and got three outs to keep it tied.
Justin Wilson got the top of the eleventh for NY, and stranded the free runner at second, picking up two Ks in a 1-2-3 frame.
Tanner Rainey walked Giancarlo Stanton to start the bottom of the inning, then fell behind 3-0 on Aaron Judge and walked him too, loading the bases for Gleyber Torres.
Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez brought Jordy Mercer in for Kyle Schwarber and went with a five-man infield, and Torres sent a dribbler toward third that won it, 4-3 final...
Final Score: 4-3 Yankees
Nationals now 13-16