Max Scherzer flirted with perfection, but settled for setting a new career-high in strikeouts with 16 on Sunday as the Nationals topped the Brewers 4-0. Scherzer brought a perfect game into the seventh inning, but it was snapped when Carlos Gomez led off the frame with a single to right-center.
It was the only hit Scherzer allowed in a shutout, only the second of his career. He walked one along with striking out 16. His previous career-high of 15 punch-outs came on May 20 when his Tigers hosted the Pirates. Scherzer becomes the third pitcher to strikeout at least 16 batters in a start this season, joining Corey Kluber (18) and Michael Pineda (16). Scherzer’s 15th strikeout, against Jason Rogers in the ninth inning, set a Nationals record.
Scherzer, who signed a seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals this past off-season, has lived up to the hype thus far, posting a 1.93 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP and a 113/14 K/BB ratio over 93 1/3 innings.
Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.
The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”
Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.
Now, however, Kopech has opted out.