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Max Scherzer matched a franchise strikeout record on Friday

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During Friday’s 7-2 win over the Mets, Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer became the second starter in franchise history to string five consecutive starts together with 10+ strikeouts each. It’s a feat we’ve already seen the Red Sox’ Chris Sale replicate earlier this season, going eight consecutive starts with at least 10 strikeouts, but one that a Nationals’ pitcher has failed to accomplish since Pedro Martinez did it for the Expos in 1997.

Scherzer lasted eight innings on Friday, firing 10 strikeouts to clinch his eighth win of the season. He allowed three batters to reach via walk and hit by pitch in the first two innings, but kept the game scoreless through seven solid frames until Jose Reyes unloaded a 1-1 home run to kick off the eighth inning.

The veteran righty topped out at a season-high 118 pitches, besting the 116-pitch mark he hit back in April during seven innings of two-hit, seven-strikeout ball against the Braves. His 10 strikeouts were just enough to extend his strikeout streak, four shy of the 14 he set down against the Dodgers last week.

Scherzer will still need another 10-strikeout start to match Martinez, who polished off a streak of six such appearances for the club in ’97. He’ll need four more to supersede the all-time record of eight consecutive starts with 10+ strikeouts, which was set by Martinez in 1999 and matched by Sale twice in 2015 and 2017.

Who are the candidates for the Cardinals managerial job?

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If you logged off over the weekend, you may not have heard that Mike Matheny was sacked as the Cardinals manager late Saturday night. I wrote about the reasons for this yesterday morning. Mike Shildt was named the interim manager and he will keep the job through the rest of the season. Between now and then the Cardinals’ brain trust is going to figure out who they want for the job full time.

Today Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch goes over a list of potential candidates. No, the Cardinals have not identified any officially, but Goold is a smart cookie and hears stuff and what wasn’t heard is informed speculation. At the very least, expect to hear many of the names he lists several times as the process goes on.

You gotta read his article to get the list, but there are a couple on there I want to talk about for a second.

The first one is Joe Girardi, who makes it because (a) he is the most prominent marquee manager who doesn’t have a job at the moment; (b) he played 16 games with the Cardinals in his final season; and (c) far more important than that is that he is tight with John¬†Mozeliak. But while Girardi seems like a perfect candidate for a club in win-now mode, I question whether he’s truly the right guy given that he left New York for many of the same reasons Matheny left St. Louis (i.e. not relating well with young players). We can’t overstate that, however, because Girardi is, by every other measure, a superior manager to Matheny, primarily when it comes to managing a bullpen, so his rapport with the kids is not the be-all, end-all.

Goold also mentions Mark McGwire. He’s obviously a legend in St. Louis and, unlike a lot of former players who talk about wanting to get into managing these days, McGwire has been putting in his time as a coach for a long, long time. He’s currently the Padres’ bench coach. I’d like to see McGwire get the job for petty, personal reasons: a lot of people would get really, really mad about a PED guy getting the gig, they’d say and write a lot of dumb stuff and that, for me, is the key to a lot of content. Not gonna lie about that.

A lot of other interesting names on that list too. And there will likely be a lot of people, beyond those who the Cardinals initially identify, who express interest in the job too. It’s a sweet gig with historic job security for a marquee franchise in a baseball city, so what’s not to like?