Max Scherzer continued with the strike while on the other hand the Tampa Bay Rays continued producing outs.
It was one of another brilliant performance from Washington Nationals top player. Max Scherzer pitched eight strong innings to become the first 10-game winner to make it in the majors, striking out 13 in the Washington Nationals 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
“I looked up at one time and he had 86 pitches (and) 70 strikes,” Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay manager said. “It’s absurd. Guys just don’t do that. There’s a lot of good pitchers in this league, but for a guy to just sit there and pound the strike zone the way he did and not give up hard hits, it’s just really telling about how special a pitcher he is.”
Scherzer struck out Johnny Field, Christian Arroyo and Daniel Robertson on a joint nine pitches in the sixth inning. It was the third nine pitch/three strikeout inning in Nationals history and the first since Scherzer did it against Philadelphia on May 14, 2017.
Scherzer joins Hall of Famer with the only pitchers to have accomplish this twice including Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan.
“I honestly didn’t know I had it; then I walked off the field and I was like `Wait a second, I think that was it,”‘
Scherzer struck out 25 over 16 innings in his last two starts and went erratic with five hits to Tampa Bay also was not allowing anyone to make past the second base until pinch hitter brad miller made a two-out double in the eighth.
“Twenty-five out of 28 first-pitch strikes,” Dave Martinez, Washington manager said. “That’s pretty much as good as it gets. He was awesome tonight.”
Washington first baseman Matt Adams’ solo homer lead off the second, opened the scoring. Then Juan Soto singled, moved to third on Michael A. Taylor’s single and slid under Wilson Ramos’ tag when first baseman C.J. Cron threw home on Wilmer Difo’s grounder.