Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer tossed a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday. It was amazing, because last week against the Brewers he went 7 innings without giving up a hit, and the only hit of the game was a blooper just over Anthony Rendon’s head that might have been catchable.
Yesterday, he was 1 strike away from perfection, as he had a 2-2 count on Jose Tabata. In a perfect game, a pitcher has 27 straight outs without allowing a batter to reach base. That means no walks, errors, hit by pitch, just 27 up and 27 down. Scherzer took his perfect game into the 9th inning with 2 outs. The outcome was like the squirrel in the Phillies game this week– it all came falling down.
Tabata obviously leaned in on Scherzer’s slider and broke up his perfect game. As you can see in this Vine, it’s obvious that Tabata leaned in to get the HBP and end the bid for perfection.
Here are some thoughts about the historic almost perfect no-no:
- In the last 57 batters faced (28 yesterday, 29 last week), Max Scherzer has only allowed 1 hit. He has gotten 2 hits himself during that span. He’s had more hits than he’s allowed.
- Jordan Zimmermann, who threw a no-no to end the 2014 season, doused Scherzer with chocolate sauce during the postgame interviews. Anthony Rendon did the Gatorade, and Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth dumped more chocolate sauce on him. Werth hit sideline reporter Dan Kolko with sauce too– read about Kolko’s reaction to getting doused in my Matt’s Bats Chat with him.
- Scherzer’s no-hitter put the Nats back in first place in the NL East.
- This was Scherzer’s third complete game. His second was last week. His first was last year.In both Jordan Zimmermann and Max Scherzer’s no hitters, the second out of the 9th was caught by the centerfielder and the third was caught by the left fielder.
- The last perfect game in MLB history was thrown by Felix Hernandez in 2012. Armando Gallarraga almost threw a perfect game in 2010, but umpire Jim Joyce called the 27th batter safe at first when he was actually out. He later apologized for the missed call that broke up the perfect game and no-hitter. This led to baseball adopting instant replay.
- I asked on Twitter who Nats fans are going to hate more: Jose Tabata for breaking up the perfect game by leaning into the pitcher, or Pete Kozma, who scored the go-ahead run against the Nats in the 2012 NLDS. My readers overwhelmingly picked Kozma, mainly because the stakes were higher in the playoff game. Still, 8 people thought Tabata is the bigger jerk.
Who will Nats fans hate more? RT for Jose Tabata. Fav for Pete Kozma.
— Matt’s Bats (@MattsBats) June 20, 2015
- The Pirates gave Scherzer and the Nationals a nice tip of the cap on Twitter
— #VotePirates (@Pirates) June 20, 2015
- Do you think Tabata, who’s in the starting lineup, or the best Pirates player, Andrew McCutchen, will get intentionally hit by the Nats today? I don’t think he should. Read why here.
- Can you imagine what the reaction would be like if Bryce Harper broke up a perfect game by leaning into a pitch? Baseball would be going crazy with the hate! #OverHated
- This was the 5th no hitter in WSH/MON franchise history.
- After almost pitching a no-hitter last week, and almost pitching a perfect game this week, what is he going to do his next start? Will he be the next Johnny Van Der Meer (the only pitcher in MLB history to throw back to back no-hitters) and throw 2 straight no hitters? Will he pitch an immaculate game– 27 straight strikeouts? Or maybe a 27-pitch perfect game!