MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Scherzer sharp, turns to cutter for big strikeouts

Scherzer sharp, turns to cutter for big strikeouts

PHILADELPHIA -- Right-hander Max Scherzer made his second start as a member of the Nationals on Sunday, and he was outstanding in Washington's 4-3 victory against the Phillies in 10 innings. He lasted six innings, allowed one run on six hits and struck out eight batters.

Scherzer said his fastball command was inconsistent, but he was able to throw his cutter, slider, curveball and changeup the way he wanted.

"I didn't have good rhythm today out of the windup. But once I got to the stretch, I was able to dial it in and execute pitches the way I wanted to," Scherzer said.

Scherzer showed his toughness when he faced Ryan Howard in the third and fifth innings. The Phillies had a runner on third with two outs in both innings, and Scherzer managed to strike out Howard twice with the cutter.

"That's the pitch that I've been working at. It's a version of my slider. Hopefully, I'm able to make strides with that pitch and bring it to my game as much as I can," Scherzer said.

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