Nobody’s perfect, but Max Scherzer was close in Nats’ 4-0 win

The Nationals jumped on the scoreboard first this afternoon. Denard Span bounced a single up the middle to lead off the third and then picked up his sixth stolen base. Danny Espinosa gave the Nats runners at the corners with a line drive just over the outstretched glove of Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett and into right field.

rendon-swings-red-sidebar.jpgAnthony Rendon followed with a sacrifice fly to deep right field that easily scored Span for the game’s first run. It’s Rendon first RBI on the season.

Meanwhile, Max Scherzer hasn’t allowed a baserunner yet while striking out five of the first nine batters he has faced.

Span is 2-for-2.

The Brewers won two challenges in the first to help prevent an early Nats rally.

Update: Brewers starter Taylor Jungmann helped the Nats to their second run in the fourth. Clint Robinson beat the shift with a single up the middle to start the frame. A pair of wild pitches from Jungmann advanced Robinson all the way to third, where he scored easily on a Jose Lobaton base knock to left.

The Nats threatened again in the inning when Scherzer singled and Span walked to load the bases. Danny Espinosa battled Jungmann to a full count before striking out to end the threat.

Scherzer is now 7-for-29 (.241) at the plate this season. On the mound, he added his sixth strikeout of the afternoon in a clean fourth.

Update II: Scherzer is looking dominant this afternoon. He struck out the side in the sixth to reach 11 on the day. It is the fifth time this year that Scherzer has whiffed 10 or more batters in a game. The Brewers still have not had a baserunner against Scherzer today.

Update III: The Nats rallied with two outs in the seventh. Rendon and Escobar smacked consecutive singles and then Robinson delivered them to the plate with a two-run double.

Update IV: Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez spoiled Scherzer’s shot at a perfect game with a broken-bat bloop single to right to start the seventh. The short fly ball landed safely, inches beyond Rendon’s glove as he backtracked into right field.

Scherzer retired the next three Brewers in order, including ending the inning with his 12th strikeout.

Update V: Scherzer didn’t let up in the eighth, as he struck out two more to reach his season high in strikeouts with 14. The mark also matches the Nationals single game record for strikeouts, tying Stephen Strasburg, who fanned 14 in his major league debut in 2010.

Scherzer will attempt to finish the second complete-game shutout of his career when he comes out in the ninth.

Update VI: Scherzer achieved a new Nationals single-game record and a career high by adding two more strikeouts in the ninth for a total of 16.

He allowed just one hit and one walk in his second career complete-game shutout.

The Nationals shut out the Brewers 4-0.

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