NEW YORK -- There was little chocolate sauce waiting for Max Scherzer this time, just a clubhouse full of howling Nationals teammates and a beer shower to commemorate one of the most dominant no-hitters in Major League history.
Shortly after Scherzer carved through the Mets' lineup Saturday in a dominating, captivatingly karmic 2-0 win at Citi Field, the celebratory mob moved to the visitors' clubhouse. There, the Nationals doused, danced around and head-slapped Scherzer into baseball immortality, leaving behind some of the sting from what was a disappointing September. They left just empty cans and fizzing rug stains in their wake.
For a night, it didn't matter that the Nationals weren't going to the playoffs. It didn't matter this celebration -- in October at Citi Field -- had been forecast to follow certain team-oriented goals that never came to pass.
"When you do something like that, we're going to celebrate and we're going to have fun no matter what's going on," first baseman Clint Robinson said. "A no-hitter is a no-hitter, no matter how you slice it."
This particular Scherzer no-hitter put him in particularly rarefied air, and his teammates made sure he felt the breeze. Scherzer's masterpiece made him just the fifth pitcher to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season. He struck out 17 -- including nine in a row at one point -- to tie Nolan Ryan for the most in a no-hitter in Major League history. He walked nobody, allowing his lone baserunner on an infield error in the sixth. He allowed two hard hit balls by some counts, one by others.
"Pretty remarkable," Robinson said. "He was in total control. He had everything working for him."
"Pretty outstanding," Dan Uggla said.
"We were all pretty privileged to witness it," manager Matt Williams said.
So the party raged, for a time. Scherzer is typically the host of such affairs, using his signature chocolate sauce spray to celebrate many walk-off wins during his emphatic debut season in Washington. His teammates turned the tables on him when he no-hit the Pirates on June 21, drowning their ace in chocolate syrup on the field at Nationals Park.
He emerged for Saturday's postgame news conference chillier and much cleaner.
"I just know there was a ton of beer," Scherzer said. "I was covered and it was freezing cold. But somewhere in there, there was chocolate sauce, I think. It was too cold to really know."
And as he later admitted, "bittersweet" as well.
Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.