The 2015 season didn’t go as the Washington Nationals had hoped, but Max Scherzer produced an outing on the next-to-the last day of the regular season that might lessen some of the pain of Nationals fans heading to the offseason.
Scherzer threw a no-hitter against the New York Mets on Saturday, striking out nine of the final 10 batters in a 2-0 victory at Citi Field. Scherzer also no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 20 and became the first pitcher to have two regular-season no-hitters since Nolan Ryan in 1973.
In neither of Scherzer’s no-hitters did he walk a batter. He is the first pitcher to throw two no-hitters without a walk in either of them.
Scherzer finished with a career-high 17 strikeouts. Scherzer’s 17 strikeouts matched the record for a no-hitter. Ryan struck out 17 in one of his 1973 no-hitters.
Scherzer earned a Game Score of 104, the second-best in a nine-inning game in the live ball era (since 1920). The only game with a greater Game Score was Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout one-hitter in 1998.
Saturday’s game was Scherzer’s second this season with a Game Score of at least 100. He and Ryan are the only pitchers with multiple such games in their careers, and Scherzer is the only pitcher to do it twice in the same season.
Scherzer recorded 15 outs via his fastball, including a career-high 12 on strikeouts. All 12 strikeouts against his fastball came on swings-and-misses.
Mets stifled again
Previously, the last team to be no-hit twice at home in same year was the San Diego Padres in 2001. Phil Nevin made the final out of both of those no-hitters.
The Mets are the fourth team that has been no-hit twice in a season in which it made the playoffs. The Los Angeles Dodgers (this season), the Tampa Bay Rays (2010) and the Chicago White Sox (1917) are the others.
There have been seven no-hitters in 2015. The only season with more was 1884 (eight). There were also seven in 1990, 1991 and 2012.
Six of this year’s seven no-hitters have come against playoff teams. And six of the seven were National League games.
Obscured by Scherzer’s no-hitter was the pitching of Matt Harvey. The Mets’ star struck out 11 in six innings.
Scherzer and Harvey combined for the sixth game in baseball's modern era in which opposing pitchers each had 10 strikeouts and no walks. All six of those games have happened since 1997.
Scherzer’s no-hitter was in the second game of a doubleheader. The last time a pitcher threw a no-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader was May 10, 1981, when Charlie Lea of the Montreal Expos (now the Nationals) shut down the San Francisco Giants.
Wilson Ramos became the fourth catcher in the modern era (since 1900) to be behind the plate for two no-hitters by the same pitcher in the same season.
Almost a repeat
The Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann threw a no-hitter on the last day of the 2014 season. Scherzer was one day from matching that season-finale performance.