Nationals

Quick Links

Putting Scherzer's no-hitters into historical context

maxscherzer100315b.png

Putting Scherzer's no-hitters into historical context

NEW YORK — Any no-hitter is special, even in this age when they seem to happen on a somewhat regular basis. But some no-hitters stand out from the rest of the pack, and Max Scherzer's gem Saturday night at Citi Field certainly fits the bill.

By any number of measurements, Scherzer just authored one of the greatest singular pitching performances in baseball history. And when you add this one to the list of other great performances he had already authored earlier this year, you end up with one of the most remarkable pitching seasons in a long time.

We'll start with this game on its own merits...

— Scherzer struck out 17 batters, establishing a new Nationals club record (breaking the mark of 16 he set in June at Milwaukee). He also struck out nine batters in a row late in the game, establishing a new franchise record and falling just one shy of Tom Seaver's all-time record of 10 consecutive strikeouts.

— The 17 strikeouts were tied for the most ever recorded in a no-hitter, joining Nolan Ryan (who did it for the Angels on July 15, 1973).

— This was only the 12th time in history a pitcher struck out 17 without issuing a walk in a 9-inning game.

— This was only the 27th no-hit, no-walk, no-hit-by-pitch game in history, with the Mets' lone baserunner coming via a Yunel Escobar throwing error.

— Using Bill James' "Game Score" — a stat that compares pitching performances across different eras — Scherzer recorded the second-greatest 9-inning pitching performance ever. His Game Score of 104 trails only Kerry Wood's record 105 in 1998, when the Cubs rookie struck out 20, didn't walk a batter and allowed only an infield single to the Astros. (It should be noted that Wood did hit a batter that afternoon, which doesn't count against his Game Score. If it did, his score would drop to 104, tied with Scherzer for the best ever.)

— Scherzer found the strike zone with a ridiculous amount of regularity. He went to a 3-ball count only twice all night, and each instance came in the first three innings. He didn't go to a 3-ball count to any of the last 21 batters he faced.

— Scherzer induced 27 swings and misses, 15 of those coming in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings alone.

— Scherzer's pitch count of 109 is the lowest ever for someone who struck out 17 or more batters in a game.

Now, let's put this start into his season as a whole...

— Scherzer is only the sixth pitcher in history to throw two no-hitters in the same season. The others: Johnny Vander Meer (1938), Allie Reynolds (1951), Virgil Trucks (1952), Nolan Ryan (1973) and Roy Halladay (2010, with the second no-hitter coming in the playoffs).

— In addition to his two no-hitters, Scherzer also tossed a 16-strikeout, 1-hitter on June 14 in Milwaukee. He's only the sixth pitcher ever with at least three 1-hitters in a season, joining Bob Feller (1946), Trucks (1952), Ryan (1973), Dave Stieb (1988) and Pete Alexander (4 in 1915).

— Scherzer is the first pitcher ever with three 9-inning Game Scores of 97 or better in the same season. Only two others (Ryan in 1990, Pedro Martinez in 2000) even have two in the same season.

— Scherzer finished the season with 276 strikeouts, most in Nationals history. The only other pitchers with at least that many strikeouts in a season since 2001 are Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. The only others with that many since 1990 are Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and John Smoltz.

RELATED: Escobar error spoils Scherzer's bid for perfect game

Quick Links

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

Quick Links

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE