It would be easy to think of the hanging slider Max Scherzer threw Giancarlo Stanton in the eighth inning Wednesday afternoon as the lasting image of his start, because it was the last pitch he threw and because it landed well beyond the left-field wall and because it turned what looked like a blowout victory for the Nationals into something far less secure.
But that one pitch shouldn't be the real takeaway from Scherzer's outing, because everything he did up to that point was nothing short of brilliant.
Yes, Scherzer wound up charged with five earned runs on 10 hits over seven-plus innings. But he also struck out 10 Marlins without walking any, which is no small feat.
Indeed, that's only the 14th time in Nationals history a pitcher has struck out 10 or more batters without a walk. And it's only the third time any MLB pitcher has done that this season.