Would you believe Max Scherzer didn’t have his best stuff?

The Washington Nationals worked behind an 8 inning 1-run 118 pitch performance from Max Scherzer to tally up a pivotal 7-2 win against the rival New York Mets.

Max Scherzer didn’t have his best stuff to begin the game and a run was saved in the first inning by Ryan Raburn who slid to catch a ball in the corner. Scherzer also induced three doubleplay balls with some nifty infield defense. Scherzer uncharacteristically walked 2 batters and had 2 hit-by-pitches which is not a typical Scherzer outing, but he never panicked. Scherzer had a shutout going into the 8th inning before Jose Reyes knocked a home run.

In the end, Scherzer’s final line included 10 strikeouts which was his 5th consecutive game with double digit strikeouts.

The Nationals offense produced hits from every starting position player, and Bryce Harper had three hits, and Anthony Rendon and Michael Taylor had two each. In fact, Taylor played long-ball and small ball in this game with a home run and a bunt hit.

The Nationals looked good in all facets of the game. Shawn Kelley closed out the 9th inning only giving up one home run.

“You saw in the 3rd inning [Scherzer] started to get it going,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Mechanics, I mean, pitches and location and he started to mow us down. He’s one of the best in the game. You cannot let him get the lead. Those great pitchers get the lead —they can chew you up.”

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