Scherzer's quality start almost unnoticed after Nats offense ignites

You know the Nationals are trending towards their 2017 version when a quality start by their top starting pitcher doesn't make headlines thanks to their powerful offense awakening for the first time in six days.

Scherzer-Delivers-Blue-Sidebar.jpgThe Nats pummeled the Pirates 12-4 behind four homers, two from Matt Adams, one from Wilmer Difo and powerful three-run shot from Bryce Harper.

By the way, Max Scherzer pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits. He registered eight strikeouts and two walks in 106 pitches, 71 for strikes. The two runs came home on a two-run shot by Corey Dickerson.

The Pirates tallied only two hits in the first five innings. In the fifth, he struck out the side.

But all the talk after the game was about the offense, and for good reason. And the Washington Capitals, who were wrapping up a late goal and win at Pittsburgh, to which Scherzer exclaimed, 'Hell Yeah!"

Donning an "ALL CAPS" cap to honor the Capitals, Scherzer was thrilled at the offense's output.

"Difo got it started with the solo shot," Scherzer said. "Was able to get a goose egg and then Adams got another one 2-0 then another shut down inning, got in there and the offense exploded there in the fifth.

"Did a great job again in the sixth with all those insurance runs, they add up. The hits make it great to go out there and compete, and that's what our offense has been needing, multiple guys, the lineup just keeps turning over and guys just keep hitting."

The Pirates enjoyed a double from their hottest hitter Francisco Cervelli and a single by Josh Bell early on, but never got any type of rally going. They never had more than one player on base at a time against Scherzer prior to the two-run shot courtesy Dickerson in the seventh.

"Good, attacking the zone, working ahead of guys. When we needed shutdown innings, I feel like that's what I really hang my hat on, I put up the zeroes when I needed to," Scherzer said. "Was able to pitch with all four pitches, in and away and that's what you can do. You go out there and you put up zeroes, and give your offense a chance good things happen."

In the seventh, the Pirates got Bell on with a walk and then Dickerson connected on his homer. Cervelli grounded out to shortstop and Scherzer's night was over. Scherzer had no trouble working into the seventh.

"I know I'm coming on four, five days and I'm not getting an off day for a while, but I went out there I knew after the sixth, a big long inning and I was only at 90 pitches, but I wanted to at least get back out there, like hey I might have to warm back up and really have to kind of restart it," Scherzer said. "This is when you're kind of tired and this is an opportunity, even though the game's out of hand, this is a chance to go out there and face some good hitters and see what I had when I was fatigued, and go out there and compete in that situation."

Even after working so hard through six frames and pitching so well, Scherzer's self-critiqued his only mistake that cost him runs.

"Obviously I came out on the wrong end of that situation where I walked a guy and gave up a home run, but that's something I can learn from," Scherzer said. "Being in that situation, pitching when you're fatigued, even though I didn't get the job done today, that's something I can learn from and get better at so when I do get in that situation I can execute pitches better."

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