Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Max Scherzer Is A Fire-Breathing Dragon

Illustration for article titled Max Scherzer Is A Fire-Breathing Dragon
Photo: Alex Brandon (AP)

The marquee pitching matchup of the day had former Cy Young winners Max Scherzer and Jake Arrieta pitching the rubber match of the Phillies-Nationals series. Arrieta was fine—he allowed a run on two hits and two walks in six innings—but Mad Max was downright historic:

According to Baseball Reference, this was the first time in history that a pitcher fanned 15 batters while pitching just 6.1 innings or fewer. That’s a fairly arbitrary bit of history—Randy Johnson once struck out 16 batters in a 6.2-inning outing—but it nonetheless reflects just how insanely dominant Scherzer was on Sunday. After a popout to open the second inning, the next 12 consecutive Phillies outs were via strikeout, and 11 of those were swinging strikeouts.

Scherzer was pulled with the Nationals up a run in the seventh after giving up a single and a stolen base to tricky glovesmith Pedro Florimon, when the Phillies brought Nick Williams in to pinch hit for Arrieta. Of course, because they’re the Nationals, reliever Sammy Solis immediately surrendered an RBI single to Williams to tie the game, and the Nationals are now losing 4-1.

Staff Writer, Deadspin

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