MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Scherzer undeterred by hiccup in Nationals debut

Scherzer undeterred by hiccup in Nationals debut

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer pitched well enough to win in his first regular-season game as member of the Nationals on Monday afternoon at Nationals Park, but he ended up taking the loss as the Mets won the game, 3-1.

Scherzer pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowed three unearned runs on four hits and struck out eight batters. He had retired 17 straight hitters and had a no-hitter going with two outs in the sixth inning.

A four-pitch walk to Curtis Granderson and an error on a David Wright popup later, Scherzer allowed a two-run single to Lucas Duda to give the Mets a one-run lead. An inning later, Scherzer allowed an RBI triple to Travis d'Arnaud. The three runs were unearned because of two errors by shortstop Ian Desmond.

Scherzer's Nationals debut

"I pounded the zone today. I fell behind two hitters," Scherzer said. "So from that standpoint, that what's encouraging to see, that I'm attacking the zone with all my pitches."

Second baseman Dan Uggla said he understood why the Nationals gave Scherzer a seven-year, $210 million deal in January.

"Just look at what he did today. He is a bulldog," Uggla said "He has strikeout stuff. He threw strikes. All of his pitches are pretty much plus pitches. He knows what he is doing. He has a plan when he goes out there, and he executes it. That's why he got the big contract that he did. It's well deserved, and he showed it today."

But Scherzer will be quick to say he wasn't perfect. Even though the team made errors behind him, Scherzer felt he should have picked up his team and get the key outs, especially the four-pitch walk to Granderson.

"I had the two-out walk on four pitches," Scherzer said. "It's part of what I'm doing as well. I just have to tip my hat. I threw a good pitch on Duda there and he made a great swing on it. Sometime you have to tip your cap."

Duda's two-run single

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.