Washington Nationals on the brink after Game 3 loss

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Jason Heyward
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Jason Heyward /
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Let’s start with the positive one from Monday.

Working with one healthy leg, Max Scherzer spun a no-hitter through six innings. Over his first 90-pitches, he whiffed even and walked three. He stalked the mound, hit 98 on the radar gun and did not indicate any hamstring troubles.

In short, Scherzer was immaxxulate.

The decision to leave him in to start the seventh was a no-win one. When Matt Wieters and Michael Taylor were retired in the top of the inning, you can quibble whether Dusty Baker should lift him for a pinch hitter. He did not and Scherzer plodded on with the bullpen active.

Although there was no way Scherzer would finish a no-hit bid, as long as he could get batters out in the seventh, why not keep him in? If Baker goes to Sammy Solis or Brandon Kintzler nursing a 1-0 and the Nats lose with Scherzer’s no-hitter intact, nothing good comes from it.

Despite a Cy Young Award last year, there were some doubting what Scherzer had in the postseason tank. Those doubts were swept out with the hot dog wrappers after the game.

Twice this series, Nats pitchers took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and lost both games. Pitching, if the season ends this week, is not the problem.