Max Scherzer ambled into the quiet Nationals clubhouse Sunday morning, looking a little tired, glowing all the same. Even as he conducted the umpteenth interview of the past 18 hours, standing in front of his locker with the ball from his no-hitter sitting on the shelf, he smiled again.
“Just on a high, a high from the game,” Scherzer said. “It’s just something you can’t describe.”
Scherzer’s two-game stretch can be best described by statistics like these: he is the sixth pitcher in baseball history to have two starts with game scores of 97 or better (explanation of that stat here) in the same season. He is the first pitcher ever to do it in consecutive starts. He is the fifth pitcher in history to allow one hit or fewer during back-to-back complete games. Scherzer’s was the fourth no-hitter in D.C. baseball history, and ranks highly on his list of personal achievements, too.
“It’s up there, just because when you put it in the context of what I’ve done the past two games, it’s a major personal accomplishment, but at the same time, we’ve also won two games as well. We’ve done it as a team. The guys are playing really hard behind me. That’s what puts a smile on my face.”
Scherzer’s father, Brad, had a smile on his face when he greeted his son outside the clubhouse Saturday night, celebrating Father’s Day weekend with history.
“That’s what he wanted,” Max said. “He doesn’t want a tie. I gave him a no-hitter, so he’s pretty happy.”
Scherzer said he’ll keep the ball, a picture, and maybe a framed jersey from the game. The Nationals clubhouse staff cleaned his chocolate-soaked one. He said he had more than 120 texts when he checked his phone after the game, some of them carrying congratulations from players on other teams, which Scherzer said “almost means the most.”
“I really do appreciate that kind of support from the rest of the league,” he said.
The baseball world was still buzzing about his brilliance Sunday morning, about whether or not Jose Tabata leaned in, and about that chocolate sauce. Scherzer grabbed his glove and headed to the field to play catch, back to work, preparing for another one.
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