Barry Zito gets out of jam to keep Cardinals off the board in Game 5 of NLCS

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The Cardinals had an excellent chance to grab an early lead in the second inning against Barry Zito, but the high-priced southpaw managed to escape unscathed.

After Yadier Molina led off the inning with a single, David Freese dropped a double just beyond the outstretched glove of Hunter Pence, who attempted a diving catch. With runners at second and third and nobody out, Zito struck out Daniel Descalso swinging before issuing an intentional walk to Pete Kozma in order to load the bases for opposing pitcher Lance Lynn. However, Lynn did Zito a pretty big favor by hitting into an inning-ending double play. The Cardinals have stranded three runners in scoring position over the first two innings.

As for Lynn on the mound, he has been pretty impressive thus far, striking out five over three hitless frames. We’re scoreless going into the bottom of the third.

Max Scherzer reaches 300 strikeouts on the season

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Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out his 300th batter of the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins. Austin Dean was the victim, swinging and missing at a 3-2 curve for the second out in the seventh inning.

Scherzer’s 2018 is the seventh 300-strikeout season since 2000. The others: Chris Sale (308; 2017 Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (301; 2015 Dodgers), Randy Johnson (334; 2002 Diamondbacks), Curt Schilling (316; 2002 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (372; 2001 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (347; 2000 Diamondbacks). It’s the 67th 300-strikeout season dating back to 1883.

At the conclusion of the seventh, Scherzer had held the Marlins to a run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He entered the start 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA across 213 2/3 innings. Jacob deGrom will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young Award, but Scherzer’s 2018 has been outstanding.