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Max Scherzer steals first career base, shuts out Braves

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer stole his first base and threw a shutout against the Braves on Monday evening, helping his team enjoy a 2-0 victory. Scherzer singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh against reliever Peter Moylan, then swiped second base easily while Trea Turner was batting for his first career stolen base. The Nationals could not bring Scherzer around to score, however.

As MLB’s Stat of the Day notes, Scherzer is the first player to steal a base and throw a shutout with 10 strikeouts in the same game since Nolan Ryan on May 16, 1984 against the Pirates.

On the mound, Scherzer held the Braves scoreless on two hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts on 102 pitches. The shutout is the fifth of the right-hander’s career and his first since the final game of the 2015 season, when he tossed a 17-strikeout no-hitter against the Mets.

Through three starts to begin the 2018 season, Scherzer has a 0.90 ERA with a 27/3 K/BB ratio in 20 innings.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.