By Nicholas Stix
In spite of striking out 17 Mets hitters, Scherzer threw barely over 100 pitches (104 or 105), and was not bailed out by any great defensive plays. In fact, he’d have thrown a perfect game, had third baseman Yunel Escobar, playing two games today after missing four straight with back spasms, not made a bad throw on Kevin Plawecki ground ball in the sixth inning. (Escobar is a natural shortstop.)
All four pitches (five, if you include the occasional cutter) were working for Scherzer, who got the majority of his strikeouts via high (often late rising) fastballs that ran form 95-97 MPH. However, he also got strikeouts via changeups, and sliders and curveballs in the dirt. The dominant characteristic of Scherzer’s pitching movement.
The other pitchers to throw two no-hitters in the same season were the Dodgers’ Johnny Vandermeer, who did it in 1938, when he was the only pitcher to ever throw consecutive no-hitters (the second no-no was the first night game in big- league history); the Yankees’ Allie Reynolds, who achieved the feat in 1951; the Tigers’ Virgil Trucks, the following year; and as, earlier noted, Nolan Ryan, then with the Angels, in 1973.
Mets pitchers, led by starter Matt Harvey, struck out 18 Nats hitters. Scherzer struck out 17 Mets, including nine in a row, a streak that ended when Mets leadoff man Curtis Granderson hit a broken bat pop-up/soft liner to Escobar, to end the game. Tom Seaver’s big league record of ten straight strikeouts (to end a game) thereby remained intact.
The no-hitter gave some solace to the former AL Cy Young winner and his team in an otherwise disappointing season, and marked the fifth straight loss for the division champion New York Mets, who have a lot of question marks going into the post-season. The teams play out the regular season tomorrow, after which the Mets will face the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs, while the pre-season division favorite Nats will go home for winter, wonder what might have been, and re-tool for next year.