WASHINGTON — Just one strike from a perfect game, Max Scherzer saw it slip away with a misplaced slider. Or, some thought, a misplaced elbow.
Scherzer lost his bid in agonizing fashion, plunking a batter with two outs in the ninth inning before finishing off a no-hitter Saturday in the Washington Nationals’ 6-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A letdown? Yeah, a little.
“I mean there is, just because you’re so close, one strike away from a perfect game,” he said. “But to get a no-hitter in front of these fans, there’s nothing better.”
Pinch-hitter Jose Tabata was all that stood between Scherzer and pitching’s ultimate achievement. Tabata fouled off three 2-2 deliveries, then seemed to slightly drop his left elbow and got nicked.
Scherzer immediately grimaced as the ball ricocheted to the ground. The crowd at Nationals Park seemed stunned, too, and surely many wondered whether Tabata leaned into…
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