What's better than pitching a complete game to lead your team to a fourth straight victory and to the top of the NL East standings?
Doing all of that, and then welcoming your newborn baby to the world.
On Sunday, Max Scherzer recorded his 12th career complete game in a 3-1 win vs. the Miami Marlins, then quickly left Nationals Park to be with his wife, Erica, who was in labor with their third child.
Scherzer threw nine strikeouts in nine innings, allowing just five hits, one run and no walks in the Nationals' victory. As his name rang out around Nationals Park, Scherzer put the finishing touches on a three-game sweep of the Marlins, striking out Corey Dickerson with a 96-mph fastball.
After the game, Nationals manager Davey Martinez told reporters that Scherzer was aware of what was going on, but didn't say anything about the pending birth of their child until after the game -- very on brand for a super competitor affectionately known as Mad Max.
In Scherzer's absence, Ryan Zimmerman was asked to appear for the postgame press conference and was less than surprised by his teammate's hectic day.
"I think typical of him to do something cool on an interesting day for him," Zimmerman told reporters. "Any time someone can bring a kid in the world, it's pretty cool. So for him to go complete game and pitch the way he did today, and then go over and have a baby with his wife, pretty cool day for him. So we're happy for him. He never ceases to amaze, I guess is the best way to put it."
To add another degree of awe to Scherzer's day, Sunday's career performance saw him pull within one strikeout of No. 20 on MLB's all-time strikeouts leaderboard (Mickey Lolich - 2,832).
The Nationals (12-12) -- for now alone in first place in the NL East pending the Phillies-Mets game on Sunday night -- host the struggling Braves (12-16) on Tuesday. They have reached .500 for the first time since April 7, the second game of a COVID-19 delayed seasons for them. And by Martinez' indication, it sounds like Scherzer will be back on the mound for his next scheduled start this upcoming weekend against the New York Yankees.
Scherzer might not be well-rested, as any new parent can attest, but it's probably safe to bet he'll be in good spirits after such a momentous occasion.