Bill Ladson

Scherzer proud of stamina, execution in no-hit bid

Nats' ace allows first base hit in 8th, strikes out 10 over eight innings

Scherzer proud of stamina, execution in no-hit bid

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer took pride in the fact that he was still going strong late in Monday's 5-1 victory over the Reds.

Coming five outs away from a second no-hitter, Scherzer said he learned something about his previous start against the Orioles, a game in which he threw 122 pitches and took the loss.

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"Last start, I didn't use my mind as well as I probably should," Scherzer said. "Today, I was a lot more composed and used my mind before [I used my] intensity. I was thinking with [catcher] Willie [Ramos] with what he was trying to call. We did a good job of mixing and matching all the pitches -- just finding different situations to execute different pitches. I thought that was the big reason we had success today."

Scherzer flirts with no-no

Scherzer's no-hit bid came on the anniversary of Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter against the Marlins to close out the 2014 regular season.

The Reds looked overmatched against Scherzer, who allowed one run on two hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks over eight innings in a makeup of a game that was originally supposed to be played on July 8.

Had Scherzer completed the no-hitter, he would have become the sixth pitcher to accomplish the feat twice in a season (including the postseason). The last to do it was Roy Halladay in 2010. Scherzer pitched his first no-hitter on June 20 in a 6-0 victory over the Pirates.

Nationals right fielder Matt den Dekker, who had a three-hit game, thought he was witnessing history in the making.

"He was on today. It was just fun to be out there. When he is on like that, it's fun to watch and it fun to play behind," den Dekker said. "It looked like he was throwing his pitches for strikes, getting ahead and pounding the zone. He is tough to beat when he does that."

Nationals dazzle defensively

Scherzer even tells his players how to position themselves. That's why Tyler Moore made a great diving catch in the third inning off Skip Schumaker. It was Scherzer who told Moore to play near the left-field line against lefty hitters in the club's final game of the season at Nationals Park.

"Max had an awesome day and it was a good day for the team, and it was pretty fun to finish it out like that," Moore said.

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