Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals has been dominating Major League Baseball this season. His recent domination has been impressive and historic. With his parents in town, the pitcher no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday, who had been one of the hottest teams in the MLB. Scherzer says that his no-hitter was his gift to his dad for Father’s Day and happened during the pitcher’s epic streak.
ESPN reported that the pitcher’s parents nearly did not get to witness his feat firsthand. They were planning on coming to watch their son play next month, but decided last minute to travel and watch him play Father’s Day weekend. ESPN says after the game, Scherzer said that his father wanted a no-hitter as his gift, and he was able to deliver it to him.
However, Scherzer’s no-hitter could have been even more impressive as he carried a perfect game into the ninth inning. He lost the perfection status when Jose Tabata controversially leaned into a pitch and was awarded first base. He was one out away from achieving the prestigious perfect game when Tabata was hit by the pitch.
Scherzer was able to retire the next batter, Josh Harrison, to end the game and preserve his no-hitter. Despite missing out on perfect status, his pitching was still remarkable. The pitcher had only allowed a single hit in his previous start, meaning that in his last two combined matches he has only allowed a total of one hit.
Furthermore, his last two starts have both been historic. According to Elias of ESPN, he is one of only two pitchers in the modern era of major league baseball to pitch a no-hitter and a one-hitter shutout in consecutive games. Likewise, they report Johnny Vander Meer remains the only player in major league baseball history to achieve back-to-back no-hit shutouts when he did it with the Cincinnati Reds in 1938.
Nonetheless, Scherzer, in his epic streak, gave the gift of a no-hitter to his dad on Father’s Day. According to MLB.com, he is thirty years old and has been in major league baseball for seven seasons. He is a big pitcher at 6’3” and 215 pounds. He is a native of St. Louis, MO.
Scherzer attended the University of Missouri and in 2006 became the school’s first-ever first round pick in the MLB draft when he was picked eleventh overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
Statistically, Scherzer has been the best pitcher in baseball this season. He ranks first in the statistical categories of ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. Being ranked number one in ERA and WHIP means that on average he has allowed the fewest runs and base runners this season. Scherzer has always been highly regarded, but this season he is starting to get recognized as possibly the best current starting pitcher in baseball.
This season is Scherzer’s first with the Nationals. He came from the Detroit Tigers with a seven year, $210 million contract. The Tigers acquired him in 2009 in a three-team deal involving Arizona, Detroit, and the New York Yankees. The Nationals invested a lot on the pitcher this offseason, and so far his statistics have been living up to the team’s expectations. He has led his team to first place in their division at this point in the season.
Scherzer’s dad was undoubtedly grateful for the Father’s Day no-hitter during his son’s epic streak. The pitcher is 8-5 with a 1.76 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 123 strikeouts this season. His next start will come on Friday, June 26 in Philadelphia, when the Nationals travel to take on the Phillies.
Commentary By Megan Hellmann
ESPN- Max Scherzer: Dad ‘Pretty Happy’ With No-Hitter; His Father’s Day Gift
MLB.com- Max Scherzer
Photo Courtesy of David’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of Scott Ableman’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License