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.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.
When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.
With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.
Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.
“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”
Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”
Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.
Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.